The measure of progress in poverty alleviation – Blog Action Day ’08

The past few days have been really rough for me, as I’ve been sick and working non-stop to try and finish a project. As a result, my health has deteriorated and my ability and willingness to focus on anything has been severely reduced as well. I don’t *want* to think about anything for the next, say, three months! I’m just mentally and physically exhausted.


Credit: dtes.people

But the fact that I’m one of several participants in Blog Action Day ’08 (focus on Poverty) made me force myself to think about how can we really measure progress in poverty alleviation.

The fact that over 11,000 blogs are contributing in different ways (writing blog posts, contributing photos, organizing contests, publishing podcasts) is amazing. But, does this mean that we have achieved anything in regards to poverty? Will X number of people be less poor tomorrow than today?

Don’t misunderstand my post, please. I am not saying that what we are doing (because I know for a fact that several of my Twitter friends are contributing posts) is not relevant. It is! The thing is, the next step after raising awareness I think is to take action.

My question to you, my dear readers, is – what action do you think we need to take, at the personal level, to combat poverty?

I leave you with a thought that I read somewhere (I wish I remembered the actual source). Somebody was telling Mother Teresa that she was spoiling the poor people by giving them free stuff (food, clothes, etc.) She answered back “well, at least I’m spoiling the poor. The rest of the world is spoiling the rich“.

Related posts:

  1. Blog Action Day is October 15th – Climate Change is the theme
  2. The anthropology of poverty in the Downtown East Side
  3. Canadian elections results 2008 and poverty – Blog Action Day 2008
  4. Giant Ant Media Fundraiser this Friday Oct 17th – Blog Action Day ’08
  5. Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty

Comments (4)

AlexOctober 15th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Great post, I myself wrote one at: and the action has not stopped. Would you share your thoughts by a comment there as well?

shanegibsonOctober 15th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Love the Mother Teresa quote!


isabella moriOctober 15th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

like shane, i like the mother teresa comment.

i was thinking the same thing – we might want to see, say, 6 months from now, if not only the conversation but also some realities have changed.

in my mind, poverty is one of the biggest, biggest problems in the world. therefore, the vast majority of my personal and financial contributions to charities etc. are directed at the alleviation of poverty. maybe it’s the way i was raised. my parents always thought it was “bad form” not to give to a beggar, even though they had very little money themselves most of the time. they had experienced extreme poverty after the second world war, and i grew up with their stories about it.

Peter | The Change BlogOctober 16th, 2008 at 7:06 am

Hi Raul,

Great to see you getting involved in Blog Action Day.

Raising awareness about poverty and homelessness is incredibly important, but as you say awareness must be followed by action. Thanks for the post!


ps – I plan to come out of hibernation soon to attend Third Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll see you there.

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