Last Friday I signed up to be part of Blog Action Day 2008. This is its second year. Last year’s topic was the environment; this year’s topic is poverty. On Wednesday, October 15, all participating bloggers will write a post about poverty. According to the website, “Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.”
They also suggest that participants donate a day’s salary to a poverty-related organization. One way to do this is to make a microloan through Kiva.org. I first heard about this website from Bill Clinton’s book, Giving, and since then have heard about it again several times. I visited their site, and I really like their concept. They link people who are trying to start small businesses to lift themselves out of poverty, and people who want to help financially. Each entrepreneur has a certain amount of money he or she needs to get the business going, and each donor is encouraged to loan $25.00 to the entrepreneur of his or her choice. Once the business is up and running, the loan is paid back. Many people simply make another $25 loan to another entrepreneur; in that way your same $25 can help several people get themselves out of poverty, over time.
Another excellent poverty-related organization is Heifer International. They supply families with animals – a flock of baby chicks, a goat, a cow – and teach the family how to raise and care for the animals, how to milk and make cheese, etc. The family can either sell offspring of the animals or products from the animals, and also feed themselves. They are also expected to continue the process by giving an animal to another family.
You don’t have to be an expert in poverty to take part in Blog Action Day, or have strong opinions. All you need is an interest, the commitment to write a post, and hopefully the commitment to take a small action towards relieving poverty for one person or family.
I’m going to join in. I hope you will too.