This world has a lot of poor people. Is there a workable solution to this problem? How can we define the relevant issues in such a way that we can actually make a difference? We will examine these issues in this course experience.
One of the most compassionate books ever written is the Bible. Over 2,100 times in its pages we read of the poor and the condition of poverty. This is not by accident. The same book that defines God as Love stresses that God’s people are known by their love and are instructed to look after those who cannot help themselves. As humans, we are called to a loving and generous concern for the poor.
That we care for the poor is a clear biblical mandate. Beyond that, it is mere social common sense. Stable economies, prosperous communities and healthy, satisfied individuals make for a safer, more peaceful globe. When the poor prosper, everyone prospers.
Yet it remains true that more than a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. Despite the best efforts of powerful governments and well-funded aide agencies, millions of men, women and children continue to die from AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases every year. Tens of millions around the world today still lack basic life-needs such as clean water and a sustainable food supply. In short, the world is not as it should be.
There is, however, reason for hope. We cannot create heaven on earth. But history has taught us what it takes for the materially impoverished to create new wealth for themselves – to raise themselves out of poverty. Powerful tools exist that, if employed, would allow us to make enormous strides towards the creation of prosperous societies.
Now is the time to rethink western assumptions on poverty and poor people. Now is the time to give the people closest to the problem the agency to find the solutions. Now is the time to support entrepreneurialism, enterprise and employment rather than handouts, aide and dependency. Now is the time to treat poor people like people, made in the image of God, and capable to take the lead in their circumstances.
PovertyCure’s conviction is that the solution does not lie in the delivery of aid through the redistribution of resources. Instead, the solution lies in the productive capacity of the human person, made in the image of God with His divine creative spark. It is time to toss away the donor-recipient model of the past, embrace complexity, and make the shift toward partnership models that value the creative potential of our brothers and sisters in the developing world.
This course presents excerpts from the PovertyCure DVD series. If you find it stimulating, helpful and hopeful (which we believe you will), then you might want to get the full DVD and become more involved in helping to make the world a better place for people who live in extreme poverty.