Social Justice Challenge: Poverty

This month’s theme for The Social Justice Challenge is poverty.

We all know what poverty looks like, right? We see it on our streets daily – the homeless sitting on street corners, the elderly struggling to pay for medications and groceries, the young who are often hungry and sad. Most of us probably have a vision in our heads of who the poor are and why they ended up that way. Some of our visions may be correct; some may be based on myths…but regardless, we cannot deny that poverty is a huge problem globally.

When I thought about what I wanted to do for this month’s theme, I decided I wanted to look at poverty differently. I did not want to feel hopeless about it. I wanted to understand how individuals could tackle the issue of poverty and find a solution for it. That thought process led me to read a book which brings a new vision to the idea of poverty. That book led me to an organization which is about “supporting choice, not charity, and embracing dignity, not dependence.” Below I’ve given you some information about both the book I read this month, and the organization which I have joined in order to have a positive impact on one of the biggest problems humanity faces: Poverty.

Book Read: The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz (Completed July 17, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)

This is a fantastic book – hopeful and optimistic, it follows the journey of the author from America (where she was educated as an international banker) to Africa, India and Pakistan. The author is the creator and founder of The Acumen Fund which offers a revolutionary approach to ending poverty in the world. I loved the book and highly recommend it.

Action: Joined the Acumen Fund Community

Their vision:

[…]working toward a world where every human being has access to the critical goods and services they need—affordable health care, water, housing, energy—so that they can make choices for themselves and pursue lives of greater purpose.  This is where dignity starts—not just for the poor but for everyone on earth.

How they do it:

Using the compassion of philanthropy and the rigor of the marketplace, Acumen Fund brings together the best of business and charity. We invest patient capital to identify, strengthen, and scale transformative businesses with the aim of effectively serving millions—and someday billions—of the world’s poorest.

Check out some of their events.

FAQs about The Acumen Fund.

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  1. That sounds really lovely, I will make sure I check out their fund. Its scary to think the level of poverty that is out there.

    • Molly on July 18, 2010 at 14:47

    Well, the hazy, hot, humid weather has now arrived in Kansas as well. It truly zaps all my energy!

    LOVE Raven’s new bandana — so bright and colorful 🙂

    • Staci on July 18, 2010 at 15:22

    I like that she is trying to find a way for others to support themselves rather than just giving money. Honestly, that is what needs to be done. Show others how to make those changes in their lives and we would all be surprised at the difference it would make! I need to read The Blue Sweater for sure!

  2. I think poverty wears many faces and shapes. I think it’s neat that you are spotlighting this social cause this month. I will be following along with your posts!

    • Wendy on July 26, 2010 at 06:52

    Becky: I agree – when I think of how some people are living in the world it makes me so sad.

    Molly: Thank you!

    Staci: I agree – I don’t know why other charities are not taking the same pathway …it just seems to make so much sense.

    Zibilee: Thanks! I agree …

    • Erin on August 2, 2010 at 06:07

    Thanks for the review and refreshing approach! I had not heard of this book but will add it to my list of future reads. I also like your post format (Book Read / Action) and may do something of that sort as a wrap-up for the year. Also, I’d love to hear about your membership w/Acumen—what else you learn, how else you will be involved, etc.

    • Wendy on August 15, 2010 at 09:05

    Erin: Membership with Acumen is a way to keep on top of things happening with their organization and also a way to keep in touch with other people interested in helping to reduce global poverty. Since I’ve joined, I have not been too active because of some personal stuff going on in my life…but I am glad to have the reference. Glad you like my posting format for this challenge 🙂

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