I am admittedly a huge fan of the National Football League (NFL). The New England Patriots are like family members to me. But strangely enough, the most exciting time of year for me as a football fan is not during the season … it’s now!
On May 8, the NFL draft will captivate the imaginations of millions of fans as teams stake claim on the best players coming out of college. In the spirit of NFL draft season, I thought it would be appropriate to conduct a mock draft picks of the five best ways to fight poverty.
Food for the Hungry (FH) is now on the clock…
For those who pay attention to the world of fighting poverty, this is not a shocking pick. Heroes such as Malala Yousafzai have given this core intervention the exposure it deserves. Former Secretary Gerenal of the UN, Kofi Annan, has said
… there is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls.”
It is simply one of the smartest ways we can improve the well-being of the most vulnerable communities around the world. And it is a pillar upon which other interventions (as you will see later in the list) can better impact the lives of the poor. FH is dedicated to helping vulnerable communities provide educational opportunities, especially for girls. This effort alone will give us the best chance to end poverty together.
2) De-worming Medications
I recently outlined why I believe de-worming is a winning game plan in the fight against poverty. While it is one of the most unpopular and under-the-radar issues that plagues the Global South, it is nonetheless one of the most detrimental to the economic output of developing nations. Intestinal worms decreases overall school attendance, stunt development and hinder vulnerable communities. Offering simple de-worming solutions, Food for the Hungry has found that this intervention is an essential activity to allow communities to thrive.
3) Provide Health Training through Care Groups
Possibly an obvious activity in the fight against poverty, training communities about important health and sanitation practices in no less important to list. A key distinction about how FH provides health training is that we do so through a proven behavior change model called care groups. In this case, the medium of the information is only as good as the mode by which it is transferred. FH has spent a lot of time developing this innovative model of transferring information focused on delivering life-saving information.
4) Setting Up Community Savings Groups
FH seeks to help vulnerable communities thrive. In order to do so, there needs be opportunity. Generating opportunity is easier said than done. One thing that is important to realize is that opportunities can grow from both external and internal sources – and both sources should be pursued. One thing that FH commits to when we begin walking with a community is to help that community setup savings groups. This is done with no outside capital. Members of the savings groups are then able to take out loans from the group to build small business, help with education costs, or fund other activities that allow them to thrive! It allows the community to generate opportunity for itself. This is a powerful way FH is walking with communities to end poverty.
5) Inspiring Hope
Perhaps the most intangible intervention is also the most profound. FH is about walking with communities, inspiring hope and ending poverty. We understand that in order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, a holistic approach is necessary. While providing physical relief in the form of these other listed interventions is essential … these responses do not last unless you add an important spiritual ingredient: Hope. Hope comes in the form of better opportunities for parents so that they can provide for their families. Hope comes in the form of a child’s dream to become a doctor or a businessperson. And hope comes in the form of a special relationship with Jesus, the light of the world! FH believes that inspiring hope is very much a poverty intervention.