Posted by: J Nyman | October 14, 2008

One Farmer Putting Energy Towards Poverty Awareness

A month or so ago, I signed up to be a part of the second annual Blog Action Day.  I can’t even remember where I first read about it.  But, having clicked on a badge somewhere, it was clear that this was something I’d like to do.

How could I not.  There were so many benefits to joining in.

For one, I would be forced to sit down and write something new on this sadly neglected blog.  (Yes, I will, eventually, finish my ‘How to Start a Farm’ series.  And, I will follow that up with an e-book.  Tease.)

Secondly, if writing one blog post about poverty on a specific day could have some impact; could add my energy to a larger energy, why not?

Well, I never realized just how difficult it would be.  Poverty.  This is a huge issue.  It’s a lot of issues.  It’s hunger in third world countries.  It’s disease from poor quality water.  It’s lack of social resources here in North America.  It’s homelessness, mental illness, obesity.  On a less drastic but extremely widespread level, it’s not being able to afford quality food.

Having realized how little I really know about poverty around the world, I thought I’d do some research and share with you glimpses of what I found.  I invite you to look into any of the statistics or facts that you find here in an effort to raise your awareness about some aspect of poverty.  Let’s all put some good energy to this!

First tidbit:  Terminator Seed Technology and how it is threatening livelyhoods

Let’s start with this beautiful picture of a woman who seems to be cleaning seed.  This is only slightly less technologically advanced than our homemade seed cleaner that uses a drill, some screening and a bucket to sort out the chaff and weed seed.  Small tech-y difference.  HUGE quality of life difference.

This picture comes from an article about Terminator technology in seeds.  Be on the look out for a rant about this in the near future.  Gives me the warm fuzzies thinking of how big agribusiness has figured out how to get more of this woman’s money.

The Lambi Fund of Haiti

Below is an excerpt from The Lambi Fund of Haiti‘s website talking about one of the projects this organization undertook to improve the lives of Haitian women.

Photo of woman

“The task of milling grains, such as corn and millet, falls to women. Once milled, the grain can be fed to

their families or sold in the marketplace to raise money for household expenses. Women in rural areas of central and

northwestern Haiti faced daunting challenges in accomplishing this task. Because there were no mills in their small villages, they had to transport the grain, on foot or by pack animal, to mills that were often many hours’ journey away. Once they arrived, they were often pushed aside, and merchants with larger amounts of grain were served ahead of them. The women developed proposals for motorized mills or multiple small manual mills which their organizations would operate. With Lambi’s assistance, the women now collectively own and run the mills; they have access to the service they need close to home, and no longer have to endure the rudeness of the male mill owners.”

Kudos to organizations with humanity!

Another organization with humanity: Kiva.org.

  • This is Abduzoir Shokulov.  He is a small farmer in Tajikistan wishing to become a viable farm business.  Sounds familiar.  (Yet so different.  I think my gratitude journal will be well used tonight!)

He is one of the people looking for micro loans through Kiva.org.  People (like you and I) can donate as little as $25 to these entrepreneurs.

What we consider a micro loan, these folks can start a business on.  Hmm… sounds like the people at Kiva.org are putting a lot of good energy towards poverty in the world.

So, no, I didn’t look deeply into any aspect of poverty.  I simply couldn’t wrap my head around just one.  And coming up with something that related to what we do here at the farm?  Well, I didn’t want this to turn into a rant.  (That will be for another day!)

What I chose to do, instead, was touch on three different topics for interested readers to look into.  That’s what Blog Action Day is all about, right?  Bringing awareness.

Please look into something poverty related whether it be something I mentioned or not.  And, do tell me about it.  I’m interested.

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