“Poverty is defined and dependent of social context. Usually poverty is measured as percentage of the population with income less than some fixed proportion of median income”
A video of actor Jack Black (School of Rock, Kung Fu Panda) visiting Kampala, Uganda is below. It focuses on a 11 year old boy named Felix stuck living in the streets. Felix has really never known his parents, and Jack Black gets to know him.
Felix has been homeless since he was nine, and since then he has been sleeping on the streets. All Felix does in his life is to collect glass and metals, for which he sells to be able to get food out of the money he makes.
This was the first time that Black had been to Africa.
Black immediately broke down when he heard Felix’s story, and he was very touched. He said that the conditions that the children were living in is horrendous, especially when he compared them to his own kids.
Just recently, English singer Ed Sheeran went to West Africa for Red Nose Day. Sheeran was reduced to tears when he saw what was going on there. He met a kid called JD.
JD is a sixteen year old boy, but Sheeran says he looks like he is just 10 or 11. He is quite distant from the other kids, and there is absolutely no happiness about them.
“More than 14,000 children, some of them as young as seven are living and working on Monrovia’s dangerous streets.”
“Tragically the Ebola outbreak only made things worse as more and more kids were forced to head to the city when their parents died and they were left to fend for themselves”
“It is completely heartbreaking and I struggle to hold it together. I really didn’t want to cry and I try everything to hold it in, but it’s just too much of a shock for me. I’m completely overwhelmed and feel helpless”
“Something has to be done, and thankfully it is. The good news is that we can help them”
“What I’ve loved most about this trip is seeing what a life-changing difference just a little bit of money can make in a place like West Point.”
“As you tuck your kids into bed tonight, think about those children who are bedding in boats, under railway bridges and on rubbish dumps.”
There are many kids that live in poverty, not just in Africa, but even in our own backyard of Australia.
Charities that help those in poverty
- Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets
- World Vision
- Save the Children
- The Smith Family
Poverty in Australia is really quite a serious matter. Child poverty continues to rise.
Former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke said in the 1980’s that “no child will be living in pverty by 1990”. Twenty-seven years later that still has not happened. Approximately 731,000 children are living in poverty, which is 1 in 6 Australian children. In percentages that is 17.4%.
There is an estimate of 2.5 million people or 13.9% of people living below the internationally accepted poverty line.
“The overall picture from the last decade is one of persistent and entrenced poverty across the community with an increase in child poverty. It is a national shame that after 25 years of economic growth, we have not done better at changing this trajectory and ensuring our most precious national resource, our children, are given the best possible start in life” said the CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Cassandra Goldie.
One in four of them are Indigenous children. Young people between the ages of 15-24 are the most likely age group to be unemployed.
The Australian Government are trying to solve the problem by creating more jobs, and cutting down the Sunday double rate in some job industries.
Below is an episode of ABC’s Four Corners, where they look into the concerning issue of Poverty in Australia.