“This parking meter earns more in an hour than 70% of the world’s population does in a day”
It’s late on Saturday afternoon and it suddenly occured to me that I haven’t written a thing here for six days. As is usual when I go on the missing list, my mind and focus has been elsewhere. However, the stuff I have been concerned with is meaningless and inconsequential when you consider the following fact:
30,000 children a day die as a direct result of living in extreme poverty.
Yet because the vast majority of these deaths do not occur in our own countries, it is so much easier to ignore this than do something about it. However, imagine that you opened your favourite newspaper or website and saw the headline:
Drunk drivers and car thieves kill a child every 3 seconds on our roads.
Let’s be honest, we’d be horrified, keeping our kids at home and demanding that someone do something to stop the carnage, wouldn’t we? Which begs the question: why, when the governments and financial institutions of the developed world have the means to prevent these deaths, are we not demanding that they bring an end to poverty?
Well, folks are and you can too. In the next five minutes, you could join the hundreds of charities, campaigns, trade unions, faith groups and celebrities, not to mention millions of folks worldwide who are campaigning to make poverty history by cancelling crippling debts and promoting trade justice across the globe.
If you are in the UK, you can do the following without even leaving your PC:
- Email Tony Blair – this year he is hosting the G8 summit in Edinburgh and the UK will assume the EU Presidency.
- Send a postcard to Tony Blair (pdf) – well, you can download and print it before you have to get off your bum.
- Wear a white band (like mine below) – you can get one online, in the High Street, by phone, by text and good old-fashioned post.
If you are more inclined towards direct action and can spare a night, you can attend an overnight vigil outside Parliament and Downing Street next Friday.
If you are elsewhere in the world, you can get involved and take steps in your own country to make poverty history.
Whatever you do, please don’t do nothing – because another 100 children have died in the time it has taken you to read this.
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