Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day, a day on which thousands of bloggers write about the same topic to raise awareness, and this year's theme is Poverty.

Just like last year, I signed up to participate without thinking. But now that I start writing I realise that I am by far the right person for writing on this topic. Right now I am sitting in my own house behind my €1400 Macbook with a high speed broadband internet connection. What am I supposed to know about poverty? I (and all my readers as well) probably belong to the richest 1% of the world.

For me poverty is something they show on TV. Only once in a while I see poor people begging for money on the street, and I know that I can ignore them because I happen to live in a country with excellent social services that will take care of these people. For my own conscience, I make my contributions to some NGO's to pay of my guilt debt. When I read back these lines, it sounds very cold, which is not how I am, but there is a great deal of truth in it.

Only twice in my life I actually saw poverty with my own eyes, when I visited Lesotho and Thailand, and it greatly affected me. More than that, it made me realise how lucky I am. We dedicate about 2% of our income to charity, which is an amount we won't even miss, but which makes a great difference for the people depending on it.

I encourage everybody reading this to do the same: realise how lucky and incredibly rich you are, and donate 1-2% of your income. Together we can stop poverty.

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers

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