You do not have to part with your money to help break the cycle of poverty. Money does help when it comes to supporting worthy organisations, but in many cases it is actually known to perpetuate the cycle of poverty by encouraging dependency. You can help people take steps out of poverty by being intentional about the following:
Relationship: It is widely known in business, psychology and community development that little change occurs without first establishing trusting relationships. People generally don’t respond well to guidance from people or organisations they don’t know. When there is a true connection, however, one that says, “I am genuinely interested in you”, then the foundation has been built to start a journey that will make a difference.
Education: Education goes far beyond formal schooling. To play an active role in breaking the cycle of poverty, educate yourself. Beyond financial income, a lack of other resources, such as health, environment, access to amenities and social connection contribute to poverty. The more you learn, the better understanding you will have of people affected by poverty. It’s likely you will find you are experienced in one of the areas that influences poverty and can offer your expertise to operating in that arena.
Belonging: Essential to the success of any movement is a sense of community, the knowledge that you are not alone and can be a part of something bigger than yourself. You can help people affected by poverty take steps by uniting them around a common goal, and this doesn’t necessarily mean bringing them together physically. Stories unite; sharing stories of how people have overcome poverty-related challenges, will not only show others that they are not alone, but may also inspire them to take similar steps.
Self-belief: It is often said that poverty is a mindset. This is not to mitigate the reality of economic, social and environmental factors, but often a symptom of these factors is the belief that there is no room for positive change. This is disabling. A shift in mindset is necessary and it starts with you. Look for the strengths and assets that people have and help bring them to light. This will help them to see that, regardless of their circumstances, they are capable agents of change. This also brings in the essential ingredient of ownership; for anyone to grow, they need to believe they can do it and be active in initiating it.
Enjoyment: Possibly one of the most under-estimated dimensions of poverty is a lack of fun. This is understandable considering the nature of survival mode; how can someone relax, laugh and play when they don’t know how they are going to feed their family or send their children to school? Yet, it is of the utmost importance. Pursuing a task that isn’t associated with enjoyment can be tedious to say the least and the likelihood of seeing it through is radically reduced. This is not to ignore the fact that life necessitates some not-so-fun activities, but finding and activating realistic steps out of poverty doesn’t have to be one of them. Enjoyment is the golden thread that ties all the aspects listed above together. It encourages relationship-building, belonging and self-belief, enhances education and stimulates innovative thinking. Not only will enjoyment aid in coming up with do-able solutions to combating poverty, but it will increase the likelihood of follow-through.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN BE DIRECTLY INVOLVED
You can do all five of the above with the Philile Foundation by telling stories! Whether you like writing, photography or film, there’s a story for you to tell at Philile. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!