Author Topic: Make Poverty History  (Read 8606 times)

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Offline Editor

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Make Poverty History
« on: February 06, 2005, 12:29:46 pm »
This site does not usually get involved in campaigns, but the team running the site has decided to make an exception in order to promote the Make Poverty History campaign.  A small band has been added to the front page linking to the campaign site.  Click here for more details.
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline supersonic

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2005, 09:48:07 pm »
Have the site team changed their mind about the Make Poverty History band across the top left corner?  It's a fab idea for a worthy cause and I'm sorry to see it gone so soon.


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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2005, 10:39:13 pm »
Hi Supersonic,

Sorry about that, I've been fiddling trying to find the best place to position it. It's back.

;)

David
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Offline supersonic

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2005, 10:55:42 pm »
Quote
It's back.  ;)  David


Nice one David!


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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2005, 09:44:59 pm »
Iíve been asked about the picture of the little lad on the ĎMake Poverty Historyí story, and who he is.

Itís an interesting story. He was captured on film just out of shot when the charity www.excellentdevelopment.com was doing some work in Kangemi, a village in an arid area of Kenya.

The building of the dam meant that the boy's mother didnít have to walk four hours for water and his dad didnít have to spend six months every year four days walk from home earning enough to keep the family.

If interested, click here to read the full story of Kangemi or click here for a wider angle picture of the little lad watching engineers working on the dam that was about to change the lives of villagers in Kangemi.

We took a close up from this shot for the front page and story picture.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2005, 09:48:52 pm by admin »
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

LongTallSally

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2005, 04:47:59 pm »
I think it's an excellent idea to get behind such an important campaign.
Many years ago when I attended secondary school, I noticed  a poster on the wall of my RE classroom. Showing a famine in Africa, its caption read

'When we say there are too many people in this world do we mean there are too many other people'

If we make poverty history the poster can come down.



 

Offline john

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2005, 10:24:24 am »
While a commendable philosophy, if one applies that old adage "the devil is in the detail ...", how can it actually be achieved ?   For example, how many people in BP would accept the seismic levelling-down of their living standards necessary to get the levels of housing, nutrition, health-care, water, education, pollution-abatement, local political stability/ reliability, etc needed throughout such vast areas of the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Far East, ...
Or will we continue to seek personal satisfaction and refuge in comfortable generalties ?

(linking to another strand:   why are our lights flickering ?   because we continue to demand unlimited energy for our ever-growing mass of computers, widescreen TVs in many different rooms, heating, dishwashers, air conditioners, fridges, freezers, and suchlike.    If it's Lent, how about every BP household giving up an electrical appliance and surrendering it in a public show of action on the Green for recycling, sustainability and reducing poverty in its widest sense ?
 

Offline shads

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2005, 05:16:43 pm »
i just hope that all the funds and debt clearance will filter through to the people who need it most and not just be stolen my despot dictators to wage more civil wars and line their and their cronies pockets whilst the rest of the country are in faminine,disease etc.


Lets pray it does as these people need it

 

Offline supersonic

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2005, 11:22:06 pm »
I'm sat here in my lounge watching Red Nose Day with tears in my eyes, having just watched a report by Nick Knowles about the devestation of AIDS in Africa. Another reminder that this is our moment, our chance, another opportunity for us all to make a difference in our world, and to help Make Poverty History.

Go on..... Log on to https://www.rednoseday.com/rnd/donation and give a few quid.


supersonic
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2005, 06:56:28 pm »
Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean people have been evicted from their homes by Mugabeís police and then those houses bulldozed and some children inside crushed to death.

Not only that but other African governments shamefully refuse to condemn this outrage, (BBC: Africa rejects action on Zimbabwe) the latest in a series of attacks on the freedoms of the people of Zimbabwe.
Make this history

Picture of torture victim. BBC:† Zimbabweans fight on two fronts

Oh and we should not be welcoming complicit African heads of state, like Thabo Mbeki, the South African ďpresidentĒ, to G8 in Scotland either.

Friends of Mugabe, like Mbeki, should not be welcomed by those who wish to make poverty history.

We should thank Kate Hoey MP for speaking out so bravely on the Zimbabwean crisis. BBC: Blair pressed on Zimbabwe stance

Of course, the UK royalist, fascist police state should stop the deportations of Zimbabwean asylum seekers. (BBC: UK Zimbabweans on hunger strike ... Rethink urged on Zimbabwe asylum ... Zimbabwe lives 'won't be risked')

- Peter Dow
« Last Edit: July 05, 2005, 05:49:00 pm by Editor »
 

Offline supersonic

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2005, 06:19:09 pm »
Today is Live-8 day.

Today 50,000 people in Africa will die due to extreme poverty.

Today a child in Africa will die every 3 seconds.

Next week in Edinburgh 8 men in one room can make a difference.

Today 1 person can make a diference.

Today you can make a difference.

Today you can change the world.

Today you can help Make Poverty History.

Add your name to the Live-8 list http://www.live8live.com/list/

If not our generation - who?

If not in 2005 - when?



supersonic
« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 05:24:22 pm by supersonic »
 

John_fraser

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2005, 08:06:41 pm »
If only the world was that simple.  The problems of Africa are many

Zimbabwe has been made poor by its rulers, ditto Zambia
Angola was ruined by civil war, ditto The Congo,
Sudan is slaughtering itís own people as did Rwanda
Nigeria has systemic corruption, so does Kenya, Central African Republic, LiberiaÖ

Not all of Africaís problems are connected to poverty. The epidemic of HIV can only be cured by education, not money.

Africa should be a rich continent. The reason it isnít is complex.

Twenty years ago the Live Aid concert worked because it raised money for a specific crisis that had to be fixed quickly. Poverty will not be fixed quickly. It will not be solved by 250,000 people turning up for a free concert, which they would have turned up for in any case. Poverty will not be fixed by signing a petition. 200,000 people marching isnít the answer either. Even if the G8 could cure poverty I doubt this would influence them. In 2003 one million people marched to stop a war and were ignored. In 2005 the government that took us into that war were re-elected.

Even if the G8 cancelled all the debt and doubled aid poverty would remain. A ten fold increase in aid will not save the poor. More likely it would help destabilise poor countries and fuel corrupt ones. If the answer were as simple as throwing money at it then Africa would have been saved many years ago.

The G8 can not cure Africaís problems, but it could help the Africans who want to cure them. The West should stop supporting corrupt regimes and stop its multinationals from propping them up. It also needs to link debt cancellation and aid to the building of a free society Ė free elections, a free press, an independent judiciary, respect for the rule of law, free education, property rights, freedom of speech.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 10:18:47 pm by John Fraser »
 

Max

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2005, 01:40:35 am »
OK, let's accept that nothing is going to happen that will sort out all of Africa's problems overnight. Still, there is the issue of debt. Can anyone say that lifting debt will not be of any benefit to Africa whatsoever? And from a purely moral standpoint, given that most of Africa's debts were incurred by unelected dictators, why should people who have since got rid of these dictators and held elections be bound to honour their debts? If a government or financial institution is stupid enough to make a big loan to someone like Obote or Mobutu, then that is their fault. they should pay the price for their own stupidity, rather than insisting that the unfortunate people of countries such as DR Congo should be required to pay off loans made to unelected crooks.

It is likely that the current campaign will not achieve that much, but it cannot do any harm, and if the only thing it does achieve is to save the lives of a small number of kids, well, that would still be worth it wouldn't it? What if they were your kids?

 

John_fraser

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2005, 09:01:16 pm »
An interesting choice in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. DR Congo is the largest country in Africa and should be a wealthy country with its massive mineral resources. Its debts were indeed created by a corrupt dictator. Heís been booted out, but donít let the name deceive you. Like the old German Democratic Republic (i.e. East Germany), the new country hasnít take democracy very far yet. Maybe the new will fulfill his promise. But seen as ruler he inherited the position from his farther ďmaybe notĒ is equally valid.

For the last few years the DR Congo has suffered in a very nasty civil war. Maybe canceling debt would help, but if there arenít some very strong conditions put in place the money saved may be used to finance more guns and killing - the road to hell being paved with good intentions. If however aid and debt cancellation were to be linked to elections, free press etc maybe the West could actually help.

The whole Live 8 thing has been done by people who honestly and sincerely want to help; Want poverty to end and justice to exist. Sadly sincerity and honesty arenít enough. And they could do harm. Throwing money into a violent unstable system without some control can make it even more unstable and violent. More cynically, poverty and Africa have the publicís attention, but it wonít last. The public is fickle and donor fatigue will set in. At that point the publicís attention will move onto something new - climate change, Europe, Big Brother - and Africa will move out of the spotlight to be forgotten, except for a dull feeling of embarrassment when we see the next set of pictures on the news. If, during Africaís brief span in the public conciseness, nothing solid and lasting is built then the opportunity will be missed and Africa will suffer for another twenty years.
 

Max

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2005, 08:05:10 am »
yes, but the issue here is, to me at least, why people should be forced to pay what are in effect other people's debts. Should the UK be taken over by an unelected dictatorship which then ran up huge debts, I would be outraged if I were then, upon restoration of democracy, required to pay off these debts. Why should I have to? Had I given any kind of mandate to the person who ran them up to do so in my name? Those who leant him the money were being very stupid, and I would see no reason whatsoever why they should not have to pay for this. No one forced them to leand money to unelected dictators, and be sure they only did it because they thought they could make money out of it. Well, they didn't, so tough!

Now I would agree (as would my numerous African colleagues) that corruption in Africa is a problem, but it would not be if big companies were not in the habbit of paying bribes to gain advantage. I do not take bribes largely because no one is trying to bribe me. If I were, say, and Angolan customs official struggling to support a large extended family and some big company offered me a bribe worth 10 times what I usually earn in a year (very easily done) to move its incoming shipment to the front of the queue, be sure that I would do it. Who wouldn't?

The mechanisms involved in African corruption are very well illustrated in Chinua Achebe's excellent novel "No longer at ease", or the lyrics to Fela Kuti's "ITT (International Tief Tief)".

Debt relief will not begin to solve all Africa's problems, but it will certainly help. In the mean time, we would be well advised to have a hard look at those forces from outside Africa that play such a major role in corrupting African politics.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2005, 02:09:16 pm »
Quote
would be outraged if I were then, upon restoration of democracy, required to pay off these debts.


As would I, but it does depend on the restoration of democracy. Many poor African countries are still saddled by corrupt dictators. The suspension of debt will not help in those cases as the rulers care little for the suffering of their people.

Corruption in some Africa states is systemic. As a result officials - at all levels Ė ask for bribes because they have come to accept that that is how business is done. Like wise companies give bribes because they have come to accept that that is how business is done. This cycle has to be broken.
 
I imagine the reason you have never been offered a bribe is because that is not the normal way of doing business here. In the West offering a bribe carries an amount of risk as the target could bring the police in or just reject your bid out of hand. Itís not fool proof and bribes happen, but it isnít systemic here. The West could help Africa break its corruption cycle by passing and enforcing laws against their multinationals making bribes.
 

Offline Fiona

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2005, 04:39:52 pm »
Clearly the problems in Africa are more complex than can be solved by money alone, otherwise Africia would be a wealthy continent by now. Ever since I was a child aid has gone to Africa, I now have children of my own and Africa is still desperately poor.
To solve the problem we must look at the wider issues rather than the tunnel vision of just financial aid.
We must tackle it from all angles. The G8 countries can do the following:
1. Pass laws (and enforce them) on multinationals to stop the vicious circle of bribes, as mentioned by other forum users.
2. Stop dumping over produced food in the West on Africa and instead help them to feed themselves.
3. Invest in their industry remembering 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime'.
4. Invest in their education so Africans themselves have the confidence to overthrow their corrupt leaders.

In fact we can all invest in their education. Many charities enable you to sponsor a child and help with their education.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2005, 05:20:00 pm »
A properly enforced arms embargo would help too - I'm sure many of the guns used in the various civil wars were manufactured somewhere other than Africa.
Unfortunately that would be very difficult to enforce given how keen some countries are to export weapons eg the French.
 

Offline Fiona

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2005, 07:27:02 pm »
Yes. An arms embargo is vital.
The Live 8 concert has been critised for its naivety but I think an important point has been missed. We must have the youth of today in the loop. Their opinions matter as they may well inherit the mess and the complex problems which previous generations have failed to address. If to include them we need a concert is that such a bad thing? Although Live Aid raised money for famine relief and Live 8 is much more political it keeps people focused on the issue. Indifference will get us nowhere.
 

Offline jet

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2005, 10:11:47 pm »
Unfourtunately indiference is reality and many years of aid have done little to solve the problems of a continent that is very different to our own.
If people find that finance in dribs and drabs asuages their conciences then fine.
The truth is that the countries within Africa need to sort out their problems without the external influences which have in part added to the crisis's
Arms embargoes, leave it out, peopel will kill each other with their bare hands if they are so inclined. Firearms just make the killing remote and a little cleaner.
regards,
jet
And lets wipe out poverty in England first, not everyone lives in BP.....
 

Max

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Re: Make Poverty History
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2005, 12:00:00 pm »
And lets wipe out poverty in England first

Whilst not a bad idea, I would say that action on poverty should take place first where it is most needed. Whilst there are far too many poor people in the UK for such a wealthy country, it is unlikely that any of them will be dead as a result before the week is out. Sadly, there are far too many places where this is not the case. Every day that the waelthy world does little or nothing to help poorer countries, real people are really dying.
 

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