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Just Wondered as it is important....

(29 Posts)
doobydoo Sun 02-Jan-05 17:05:16

It is completely awful what has happened in S.e.Asia i could only watch in complete horror,along with many others,on boxing day..but whilst i think the British public have been amazing donating tons of cash there are thousands of people living all over the world in extreme poverty.Places like se Asia too but also the Sudan for example.What i want to know is why does all this get brushed under the carpet?I admit i watched the Vicar of Dibley last night and they certainly rammed the message home(slightly preachy)but basically at least 30,000 people every day die from extreme poverty,HIV etc.That is 210,000 people a week.I do liken the slight hysteria toward this natural disaster(if it is as global warming probably plays apart thanks to the western world) anyway i liken this to the death of Princess Diana that sort of feeling seems to be around again.
Naturally i expect people to be cross with this posting.I am not belittling the disaster,i donated money too.Just thought i would see what you lot think.

CaRowlers Sun 02-Jan-05 17:09:00

You're right.
But we are simply creatures really and most of us react when something is waved in front of us day and night. Quite right that we do that but yes, why we "ignore" world poverty on a daily basis is an interesting question.
It has been put on the global scene by politicians and haven't a load of "celebs" just highlighted the problem? Hope it doesn't get lost at the moment with news attention elesewhere.

JaNgLyBELLS Sun 02-Jan-05 17:12:46

I think you've just got to give what you can, as and when these dreadful things happen. I hope Africa doesn't get forgotten. I don't think it will - Band-aid will have helped and a lot and people have already bought goats through Oxfam. I think its good that people have not got "compassion fatigue".

doobydoo Sun 02-Jan-05 17:18:52

I bought a goat from Oxfam.I thought it wa s a great idea in fact next year all the grownups will get one for Christmas and maybe i will get one for a kid or two(excuse pun).I do sponsor a child in Sri Lanka and am v worried.
I do think though that we are all crazy,mad consumers(in general)and hope that one day we will realise that we do not need half the stuff we have or learn to be content with a gadget that is more than a year old!
I also think that govs and corporations want us to feel insecure and crave material things and would not be happy if we all showed too much of a social conscience.
I mean would T.Blair really have bought a 5 mill house in London if he thought there wa s astrong risk of terrorist attacks?Anyway i digress.

jollymum Sun 02-Jan-05 17:19:20

I think everyone "clucks" about it for a bit then sort of forgets about it.I have days when I think about all the people in the world starving etc etc and then start wondering about my own country. I think this was on an earlier thread but why, oh why ffs do we send stupid little robots to Mars or wherever when people here and now are living in boxes, poverty and dying through lack of medical time/help/cash? I sometimes read articles about things in the paper and get resally upset about them, two days later I've forgotten What about that pregnant 14 year old found dead in a church? I can't even remember her name, can you? I try and help in my own way by charity contribution etc but I have toyed with the idea of becoming a Samaritan or similiar. Then I look at my own family and wonder if perhaps I would be doing them a disservice by leaving them to train etc and perhaps I should concentrate on being a better mum/human being first before tryig to change the world. The fact that at least I'm thinking about it isn't always enough, but if every rich and I mean really stinking rich gave a donation, surely
life here could get a little better for some of the people? Rant over, feel so guilty sometimes about being healthy/alive but I can't change the world. I can help one person though, then another and that's a start. I think MNetters do this too, each in our own way.

doobydoo Sun 02-Jan-05 17:21:36

Well put jollymum.I think starting at home and with friends/colleagues etc is good.I agree with the other things you said too.and what others have said

walliamsbabysmum Sun 02-Jan-05 17:22:12

I know exactly what you mean - simply not having access to clean water kills more people each week than died in the trade centre disaster for example. It when you start looking at the actual figures, then it hits home how lucky we really are living where we do. In this day and age, when we send people to the moon (again), no-one should be without the basics - food, shelter and water.

doobydoo Sun 02-Jan-05 17:23:59

Agree walliamsbabysmum.

CaRowlers Sun 02-Jan-05 17:25:14

I do think though that we can all do our bit to make the world a better place without a huge amount of effort or change of lifestyle etc. Like buying Fair Trade coffee, tea etc, banking with an "ethical" bank and so on. It's a funny world we live in but the developing world needs us to be greedy and buy lots of stuff that they sell. We should perhaps be more politically (with a small "p") active and put pressure on our government to reduce world debt.

cori Sun 02-Jan-05 18:22:22

Which banks are 'ethical'? Am thinking of banks.

tribpot Sun 02-Jan-05 18:30:53

The Co-op is definitely one of the more ethical banks, worth a look if you're thinking about changing.

Instead of a conventional wedding list recently we had a list with Goodgifts and received a startling number of goats, enough to repopulate half of Africa I reckon . Goodgifts and similar organisations (Greatgifts, Oxfam) are becoming more popular for presents as people look around and realise there really is nothing they need or even want - I'm so pleased we did this rather than get people to buy us stuff for the house just for the sake of it.

I also agree we should pressure the government into reducing world debt, Bono et al have just launched a campaign on this very subject Make Poverty History

sophabaubles Sun 02-Jan-05 18:52:14

i feel the same doobydoo (i posted about this on another thread), that is, it frustrates me that there is an outpouring of grief, but then everything is forgotton about, and if the numbers involved aren't spectacular, no one gives a toss (it seems sometimes).

having said that, spectacular events such as this do mobilise compassion in people and motivate them to give money or time or of themselves...which can only be for the good surely?

codswallop Sun 02-Jan-05 18:53:11

oh vicar od dibleyt was awfully preachy
I tuened it off

doobydoo Sun 02-Jan-05 20:08:49

Agree dibley v preachy but still true also sophabaubles iagree it is good in the short term anyway.What a great idea tribpot.Just wonder what this year will bring.Who knows poverty could be erradicated and everyone will have clean water,a roof and food!at the very least.

TwoIfBySea Sun 02-Jan-05 21:07:18

Dooby, it has been something I have been thinking about also and talking to just family and friends over the past few days we have come to the conclusion that people have just become apathetic about certain disasters. And in particular I am thinking about the African nations who just get ignored not matter how badly they are suffering.

Remember the first Band Aid/Live Aid project and how enthusiastic people were in donating and thinking it would make a difference. Now 20 years later it is like "oh here we go again" which is an actual quote from a family member during a discusion. I thought it quite callous to say that but it is true. Some folk have a short attention span and it needs something huge, like this tsunami, to jolt them into thinking and feeling again.

I do think Blair could have saved gassing on about how he (and it must be only he) didn't realise the seriousness of the situation at first. He should get together with Dubya Bush and wipe the debt of the affected countries, very do-able IMO. It would be a start anyway and go to making up for the hell they have created in Iraq. (Okay not really but it would be nice if these two eejits could do something productive instead of destructive!)

Found out about the Oxfam buy a goat/chicken thing too late but guess what people are getting from us next year! And I can just picture what the in-laws will make of that but stuff them!

whitepixmas Mon 03-Jan-05 01:04:35

Vicar of Dibley was preachy but the film of the little boy sobbing and his sister trying to comfort him was obviously genuine. I watched it for a bit of comedy light relief and ended up in tears.

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Mon 03-Jan-05 05:53:44

very well put jollymum

I think the SE Asian disaster galvanizes us in to actioni more than ongoing disease and poverty simply because there is a before and after. None of us can remeber images of subsaharan Africa in health and contentment (if indeed it ever really was). But we can all imagine the horror of having a normal life one minute and then devastation the next.

Jimjams Mon 03-Jan-05 07:52:26

Know what you mean as I thought the same- although the tsunami has finally focused my mind enough to send away to sponsor a child (anyone know anything about Plan?). Aside from a short term immediate response it made me want to take a longer term view. I suppose it acted as a kind of reminder than many people are living in truly awful circumstances.

SantaFio2 Mon 03-Jan-05 07:56:02

I feel that as we have lost a family from our village in sumatra and my builder is still 'apparently' missing in thailand it is still classed as a 'local' issue aswell. think we can become a bit too immune to things that are happening in our country and peoples judgemental attitudes dont help

sobernow Mon 03-Jan-05 08:23:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morningpaper Mon 03-Jan-05 10:08:02

On a similar note, I heard someone arguing recently that, with global warming and rising sea levels being inevitable, there is a likelihood that large parts of the third world will be uninhabitable and the amount of money required to make them inhabitable is impossible. His argument was that the third world will eventually be left to die. With petrol costs rising and the massive cost of rising sea levels in our own countries, we will be forced to focus on our own country's survivals and the third world will be forced to fend for itself and will disappear completely. Basically there are many countries whose continued support from the rest of the world will be unsustainable.

I found myself thinking that he was probably right. I think this is already happening with the way we are ignoring the plight of people with HIV in Africa.

At the end of the day, we don't really care enough to resolve it.

morningpaper Mon 03-Jan-05 10:10:40

"World poverty on a daily basis is actually a man made decision"

Yes - it is a decision made by US, every time we go out for a meal or buy a new pair of jeans for the amount of money that it would cost to buy a well for a village in a third-world country. Or spend 200 quid in the sales which could save the lives of 50 children. Pretending that it's something that the 'government' can solve is a lie. It's all our responsibility. I don't see people banging on the door of No 10 saying that they MUST pay more taxes to eradicate poverty.

sobernow Mon 03-Jan-05 10:30:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morningpaper Mon 03-Jan-05 10:42:27

Yes the British public has contributed very generously but it stil only works out as an average of 70p per person.

We don't care enough. I don't care enough. It's our fault. It's my fault. No point dressing it up in nice language.

doobydoo Mon 03-Jan-05 10:57:41

Jimjams Plan are who i sponsor achild through he lives in Sri Lanka,so am concerned.Did wonder about whether or not to do it as it felt rather patronising and middle class smug if you know what I mean.Basically they help villages get on track...wells,growing food etc and the money helps let children go to school.When they have achieved targets they move on to another area that needs support.

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