Faces of Poverty

Faces of Poverty

Faces of Poverty

Poverty mean different things to different people. Abject poverty means different situations to the same people at different times. Here are some responses to the question “what does poverty mean to you” asked to our target clientele the poor over a period of 15 years. These responses are from people with different geographic, culture, family situations

“When I have no money”

“When there is no food for my children”

“When my child is sent home from school because I have not paid school fees or buy a textbook”

“When my friends cannot walk side-by-side with me because I cannot dress like them”

“When my wife refuses to give me her “ngangi” money. That is challenging my manhood”

“… shoplift in order to be charged and sentenced in jail to survive winter bills”

“When I’m woken up from sleep to be paraded in front Shelter’s donors”

“When my neighbor looked down upon my daughter because she was wearing her school uniform in church on Easter Sunday”

“When I can’t afford my child’s favorite toy on his birthday”

“Having to urinate and give my son to drink because I had no taxi fare to rush him to the hospital after a snake bite”

“When your children are beaten because they are under a pear tree looking for pear to come eat their fufu with”

“When I cannot take my kids out to a movie, not even on a holiday”

“To me, it is when I don’t know where to go or whom to turn to”

“…two days I have not bath even my baby because I cannot buy water. There are no more public tapes”

“When I have to make a choice between two things that are not supposed to be treated differently e.g. giving the only tablet of aspirin we have to my mother or my daughter who are both in great pains?”

“…when I have to rotate and withdraw two of my three children each school term just to give each of them an opportunity every year to sit and listen to a teacher and learn how to write their names…”

“When I’m losing my friends in church and quarter meetings because I cannot pay church contribution or group dues and still buy group uniform”

‘When I cannot think or see anything good in my future”

“When circumstances force you to continue raising your children in a neighborhood with really bad kids and bad examples”

‘The cold way people hand things to you and you still have to take because you have nothing”

“…cannot go out for hot-dog or pizza when you really crave it”

“…is the day my 15-year-old son died with hernia because the doctor insisted I must make a deposit of 75,000Frs before it could be operated and I had only 12,000Frs. He died in my hands …”

“When your children tremble at the sight of fish or meat at a cry-die or party”

When your food is put on a plastic paper and placed on the ground with a frown for you to pick up and that of your neighbor is served in a plate and place on a table accompanied with a smile”

“When there is nothing in my refrigerator”

“…for me it is the day I had to go out with a man I have been hearing that he had AIDS just to get transport fare to travel and see my mother for the last time before she was buried”

“When even the people I respect and have confided in them use their mouth to point at me and my kids with a telling face and spine breaking words “rachet thing”

“…unable to repair even the only pair of sandals I have”

“…it is the everyday struggles”

“When my children cannot attend good schools like other children”

“Living in dilapidated housing”

“Delaying and applying where there is no doctor for lack of money to go to hospital even with major health problems that finally killed my husband leaving me with six children”

“…when I don’t know where I will be buried”

But what seems common is that it is the inability to acquire basic needs in a sustainable manner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.