I stare through the window into a distant distant horizon. This far life has been a good mixture of fortunes. Experiencing lack and enough has been part of life. I would wish to have plenty; plenty that I may let it overflow more to my surroundings to enrich and touch those around me, those in the world, those that are more disadvantaged than me.
I have a desire to do much more than I have done before, I only wonder, will it come by hard work, sacrifice, planning, networking, organization or collaboration?
Mmh! This enemy called poverty! Poverty, you have been around for longer than you should have. How can we be able to eradicate, end , eliminate and totally do away with you?
As I meditated, I looked forward to:-
A time I would be able to mobilize people to eliminate poverty.
A poverty free community, when each and every family in the society shall be living above a one point two five dollar ($1.25) a day.
When our women will be liberated from the burden of taking care of families in the villages as husbands move to cities and towns looking for formal or informal jobs because jobs will be easily available in the villages and self employment will be a better option.
A day when our children, will not walk to school barefoot and on empty stomachs. When they will come home to a lovely welcome and a warm meal at the end of the day. When they will be able to study without the smoke from the lantern lamps because electricity or its alternative will be readily available to all. When they will have a sound sleep so that they would go to school fresh to get and understand what they will be learning. When the school dropout rate will be zero. When the youths will not engage in drugs and crimes to earn a living, but will find a meaningful way of living.
I looked forward when the vicious cycle of poverty would end.
I thought and a lot of ideas came to my mind. I needed to get a network that would support me in achieving my dream, my hope and my desire for the community. This group! I settled to invite women and youths for piloting. We planned and agreed to meet. Ten women and five youths turned up. Our first meeting was mainly to familiarize and know each other. We brainstormed and agreed that our main agenda was to find out what we should do to eradicate poverty. First step, we agreed to form a group and got officials to lead us.
After the meeting I felt a far sense of satisfaction because it was apparent that all the members who turned up had the same feeling. They all showed a great desire to work towards poverty eradication. We scheduled another meeting to be able to come up with the actions we needed to do to achieve our goal and my hope. I smiled just wondering could this be the right strategy and group to start working with on poverty eradication. I hoped that all would turn out well.
The second and subsequent meetings, we talked, wrote down, brainstormed more and came up with actions that could enable us move from where we were to where we wanted to be. After so many deliberations we settled to start or continue using the available resources we had or could get to work towards poverty eradication. Given that we experienced an excellent climate with rain almost throughout the year; had fertile soils; we agreed to embark on agribusiness. Each of the members, with the help of the group members decided on what type of agriculture they could venture into. Some of the agricultural practices we settled for included poultry, dairy, horticulture and value addition.
We started and kept on evaluating our actions and strategy, one year down the line; using the out of poverty index we found positive improvement on the groups life. After this success, we have expanded our strategy to include more households in our community.
With the above achievement I foresee elimination of poverty in the society and see my hope coming true.
We all need to come together to fight this monster ``poverty``.