“The fight to End Poverty” is a bracelet Mickey Boston dawns on his right wrist. His parents, before arriving to the West were subject to seeing poverty on a quotidian as they themselves resided in a landscape where realities are much different from those found in more prosperous nations. In essence, poor living conditions affect the impoverished and these effects and affects in themselves may be trans-generational. Mickey Boston experienced this first-hand via a family member who was exposed to contaminated water, leading this person to develop typhoid which still rattles this person and their familial entourage to this very day.
For Mickey Boston, poverty has been a hurtful phenomena and he himself was ashamed of certain aspects of his life growing up in the West. After having traveled numerously to and fro many countries in the Orient, Mickey Boston was exposed to many predicaments of poverty which undeniably impacted him in some very provocative ways.
The reduction of poverty is a priority for him. As a hip-hop artist, photographer and activist he feels that it is quintessential that he uses his gifts and talents to bring forth awareness concerning the issue of poverty and what individuals can do to eradicate it.
The Afghan Girl with the Plum
An Afghan girl was always seen singing to passers by with her tiny palm extended out for money while her older brother, laden with dust, oil and flies gathered tin and newspapers. The child was no more than five years old. She would sing songs in Pashtu. In the West, children living and sleeping on the streets or beneath cars and bridges is absent. In other countries of the world, the presence of street orphans in the thousands is an everyday reality. Sadly, not much can be done. This child came up to Mickey Boston as she would do to everyone on a daily basis. This is the reality of life on the other side.
While driving his motorcycle in Ramadan at the food market, MB’s fruit bag of plums tore on the side handle. The plums rolled to the dusty ground picking up mud along the way. A child came up to him uttering: “Big brother, you dropped this.” Looking at the plum, muddied, MB told her it was unclean and that he didnt want it. She smiled and bit into it. By the time he could reach her, she had vanished into the crowd.
Poverty is not having the means to accommodate the basic needs and necessities of everyday life. It is a multi-faceted and multidimensional predicament which moves and mobilizes itself beyond simply the lack of financial resources and income, whether through employment or social benefits. It additionally encompasses the notion of vulnerability, precariousness, lack of opportunities, and denial of rights, such as access to clean water, education and health, culture, housing, employment, services and infrastructure, as well as access to information and political participation.
As mentioned earlier, it is the lack of basic human needs of the likes of clean drinking water for irrigation and consumption, education, nutrition and healthcare, clothing and shelter, because of the inability to financially afford them. In essence, this is alluded to as absolute poverty or destitution. About 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty.
Poverty reduction has historically been a result of economic growth as increased levels of production, such as modern industrial technology, made more wealth available for those who were otherwise too poor to afford them. Also, investments in modernizing agriculture and increasing yields is considered the core of the antipoverty effort, given three-quarters of the world’s poor are rural farmers.
There are many definitions of poverty depending on the context of the situation and the views of the person giving the definition. These are some from various sources including a well-known development scholar. Poverty is also often divided into relative poverty and absolute poverty. Poverty can also be defined as a condition wherein a person cannot satisfy his or her basic needs, namely, food, shelter, clothing, health and education.
Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.
Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and cloth of family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.
Your Part…do your part.