I recently watched a documentary called Poverty, Inc. The premise of the film was that there are too many people, charities and industries profiting from poverty. They made the point that there are too many handouts keeping people down from truly bringing themselves and their families out of their situation. It was incredibly fascinating. They are not saying that we shouldn’t help, because we definitely should, but we should figure out what people really need.
It also mentioned the fact that while celebrities mean well and organizations like Toms shoes wants to help, sometimes the help does more harm than good. For example, instead of giving people free shoes and putting the local cobblers out of business (who can’t give away shoes for free), we should be training people to make shoes and giving them the equipment to do so and the ability to sell them and bring them to market. Or, instead of giving free or reduced rice, we should be teaching people better farming techniques and showing them how they can grow their own rice and sell it.
I believe everyone should have the opportunity to better him or herself. It goes back to the story of the two mice dropped in a bowl of cream everyone has the choice to give up, accept the situation and drown, or keep fighting and pushing which would turn the cream into butter allowing them to climb out. Poverty is the same way, everyone should have the chance to work and push and get out and get a chance at a better life for them and their family. When someone or some organization throws in a raft it allows them to float temporarily, but doesn’t get them out of the situation. When charities give handouts it is like a raft thrown to a mouse in a bowl of cream- a temporary fix but not a permanent solution.
We need to be giving a hand up not a hand out. Allow people to create things to sell or learn a new skill that they can use to make money. They can then take this money and use it to expand their skills and products and expand their boundaries/position in the world.
This movie really hit home for me, especially after going to Africa last year and seeing the extreme poverty that is there. I know people want to help and most people see donating to charity as a great way to make a difference, usually it is. However, I would caution that the next time you donate money or go to help an organization that you do a little research to make sure it is truly helping people and that they are making an opportunity for people to get out of their own situation.
You might recognize the name Priyanka Chopra from the ABC show Quantico, from Bollywood films, or as the winner of the 2000 Miss World Competition, but Grit Glam Grace loves Priyanka because she is so much more than her titles.
From a young age, Priyanka was bullied in her Massachusetts school for being Indian and ever since she decided she needed to gain confidence for herself and other girls out there. She is very passionate about the following causes:
- Girl’s Education: She founded the Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health & Education which supports 70 children in rural India (50 of which are girls) with medical expenses and school fees by donating 10% of her earnings to support the cause.
- Feminism and Empowerment of Women: Her dad told her not to fit in someone else’s glass slipper but to shatter the glass ceiling. She has done this by advocating for equal pay for women.
- Children’s Rights: Priyanka was named a Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights in 2010.
- Environment: She is a brand ambassador for NDTV Greenathon which supports eco-friendly initiatives and provides solar power for rural villages.
- Fight Against Cancer: The actress recently donated $5 million to a cancer ward at the Navarti hospital to support the fight against cancer after her father passed away.
She is truly an inspiring woman creating change in the world. We love Quantico, but even if you've never seen the show there's many reasons to #GetInspired to #GiveBack after learning about all the work this leading lady does off screen.
Watts of Love:
The Cause: Watts of Love is a global solar lighting non-profit bringing people the power to raise them out of the darkness of poverty.
LIGHT = HOPE #Health #Opportunity #Power #Education
Founder Nancy Economou went on a business trip with her husband to the Philippines. While her husband was in meetings she decided to do a little tourism; not to the shiny tourist sites, but to the villages to volunteer at a local feeding program. When there, she was blown away by living conditions she saw, specifically the lack of adequate sources of lights, the amount of people with respiratory issues from breathing in kerosene or other fossil fuels and the amount of burns from tipped over candles. Upon returning from this trip, she knew God was calling her to do something about it. Thus, Watts of Love was created and she built this non-profit lighting company with her husband.
The goal is to reach the poorest of the poor across the world and bring them light and thus hope. Through light, they are improving their health and the health of their families by no longer breathing in the smoke night after night. They are getting opportunity as they no longer have to spend what little money they might have buying kerosene and candles. They receive power, the ability to work or study throughout the night and have access to light after the sun goes down. Lastly, they receive education in saving. The goal is to get people to save the money they would spend weekly on light to buy what they truly need: medicine, shoes, food, home improvements or schooling for their children.
This organization is amazing and is lighting the world with their solar powered lights and the light of Jesus Christ.
Where they are creating change: Haiti, The Philippines, Mozambique, Uganda, Nepal, Kenya
How to get involved: Go on a trip with Watts of Love to distribute lights, donate, start a campaign or partner with Watts of Love.
Donate to Ashley’s Uganda Campaign: https://support.wattsoflove.org/ugandalights
For more information: www.wattsoflove.com
The cause: Nest is a non-profit dedicated to advancing the global community of home workers and hand producers.
This organization is changing the world, one artisan at a time. Following the model of the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” this organization is empowering local artisans in their crafts all across the world. These range from metal work to basket weaving, from sewing to print making. This group is working to change the cycle of poverty across the world by employing artisans to make and sell items in the West. This non-profit is based out of NYC and is also working to raise awareness of issues facing the world by elevating the cause of the local artisan. Their goal is to bring new skills to different parts of the world to build on the local traditions and crafts already passed down family to family. By doing so, they can modernize and westernize these crafts to increase their chances of selling, which ultimately allows the craftsmen and women to support their families. While Nest continues to grow, they have already changed the lives of over 28,000 artisans and their families.
Where they are creating change: Swaziland, Kenya, Colorado, Alabama, Indonesia, India, & West Java
How to get involved: Donate to help them reach their goal of changing the lives of 2 million artisans by 2020! You can also apply to do a short-term fellowship with them teaching men and women across the world different skills and techniques to help them improve their craft.
For more information: www.buildanest.org