Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Revealing

Posted: August 1, 2014 in faith, life, love, religion
Tags: , , ,

god-light

…and what can God’s love heal? Everything and anything!

God’s light can reach into corners of this world where there has only ever been darkness. To reach those corners of the world, God needs us to spread His message.

Are you up for the challenge?

 

Living in Scotland, you may think that poverty is not prevalent. However I read some shocking statistics recently on child poverty in Scotland, which were publish by Save The Children in March this year.

poverty Glasgow

Poverty is defined as a family of 4 living on less than £17,200 per year or £330 a week or a single parent living with 2 children on less than £13,500 a year or £258 a week.

More than 1 in every 5 children in Scotland are growing up in poverty – That’s 220,000 of children

130,000 children live in low income and material deprivation.

Half of Scottish local authorities have wards where over 30% of children live in poverty.

90,000 of these children are living in severe poverty.

Severe poverty is defined as a family of 4 living on less than £14,300 per year or £275 a week or a single parent living with 2 children on less than £11,250 a year or £216 a week.

Children growing up in poverty in Scotland are:

Missing out on the things other children take for granted

More than twice as likely as their better off peers to suffer developmental difficulties as they reach school age

Less likely to reach their potential at school

More likely to experience health problems

Less likely to reach their potential in adult life

 

I’m sure you’ll agree that in the 21st century, these are shocking statistics, these are unacceptable statistics.

What are you doing to stop child poverty today?

Statistics taken from savethechildren.org,uk

So in the last few days in my Poverty In The UK blog post series I’ve given you information about why there is poverty and I’ve given you some recent statistics of current poverty levels in the UK, but what now?

  1. First and foremost we must pray! That may seem a strange thing to start with, however I believe God can and will help us to help those in need.
  2. We can give financial support to organisations who work with those living in poverty.
  3. We can give of our own time to go out into our communities and be hands-on, helping those we find in need.

I realise there may be many reasons why options 2 and 3 may not be possible for you to do – financial pressures, health, your location – however no matter who we are, where we live, and our financial and economic situation, we can all pray!

Prayer can change the world! God can help us end poverty, so let’s get praying!

Here’s Matt Redman singing We Could Change The World:

Today in my Poverty In The UK blog post series, I just want to give you some facts about UK poverty…

4 million children – one in three – are currently living in poverty in the UK, one of the highest rates in the industrialised world.

Poverty can have a profound impact on everyone affected, a child, their family, and the rest of society. It often sets in motion a deepening spiral of social exclusion, creating problems in education, employment, mental and physical health and social interaction.

Did you know that all over the world, women are likely to be poorer than the general population, and that the same is true in the UK too! For example, women who work part-time in the UK earn, on average, 40 per cent less than men. Likewise female pensioners are likely to have incomes that are 40 per cent lower than male pensioners.

Around a third of all disabled adults aged 25 to retirement are living in low-income households.  This is twice the rate of that for non-disabled adults.

Half of all people in social housing are in low-income households compared to one in seven  of those in other housing tenures.

The UK has a higher proportion of its population in relative low-income   than most other EU countries.

The number of children who live in households where no-one is working is higher than in any other EU country.

Yesterday in the first part of my Poverty In The UK series of blog posts, I gave you the shocking news that there are millions of people living in the UK, as supposedly large economy, who are living in poverty.

Today I want to have a look at some of the factors that cause poverty…

Unemployment

The recession in the UK has led to huge increase in unemployment levels in the UK, and as the recession continues to grow deeper, unemployment levels are set to rise further.

Those with fewer skills are at higher risk of being unemployed. Those from some minority ethnic groups are also at higher risk of unemployment. The area in which you live is also a huge factor in determining your chances of unemployment, as if you live in an area of high unemployment, you’re even more likely to be unemployed.

Low Wages

Just because you have a job, doesn’t guarantee yu will be poverty free. Low wages, part-time work and not having two working adults in work all increase the risk of poverty.

Inadequate Benefits

There are benefits and tax credits available which are supposed help those in need. However, in my opinion, they are too low to help those who are most in need of help.

Debt

There are thousands, if not millions of people around the country who are in debt. Some are managing their debts, while others have let their debts get out of control and so are now struggle to make repayments, and so are sinking deeper and deeper into a downward spiral of debt.

These are just a few factors which can contribute to families being in poverty.

Shocking isn’t it that these factors can have such a catastrophic impact on so many lives in the UK.

The UK is the world’s six largest economy, yet 1 in 5 of the UK population live below our official poverty line, meaning that they experience life as a daily struggle.

So what exactly is poverty? Most agree that poverty must be understood in relation to typical living standards in society:

Individuals, families and groups in the population can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the types of diet, participate in the activities, and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or are at least widely encouraged and approved, in the societies in which they belong.

I think it is unacceptable that over 13 million people in the UK do not have enough to live on, and most do not have the power to speak out about what this feels like and why it is wrong. Therefore isn’t it the responsibility of those of us who do have enough to live on, to do something to help those in need…to take action!

Over the last week or so, I’ve been noticed a new “poverty” poster has been posted on a lot of billboards that I see every day.

Have you seen these posters?

What do you think of them? Do you think they will make a difference?

I must be honest and say, I personally am not convinced these posters will make much difference at all. Why do I say that? Well as I drive past a poster, or read one as I sit in a queue of traffic waiting for traffic lights to change, it’s not going to immediately make me go do something about it, and by the time I’ve got to wherever I’m going, I have forgotten all about the poster again.

I think that for these posters to make any kind of difference, the reader must already be conscience of poverty and have thought about it to some extent. I’m not saying that I don’t think the poster will urge anyone to “make a difference”, however I do think, it may be limited to those who have already have helped, or considered how they could, help end poverty.

Maybe what I’m really trying to say is I think there is a widespread ignorance about the levels of poverty that exist, not just abroad but in this country as well. We should be trying to educate everyone more about poverty. One of the failings of these posters (again just in my opinion) is although at the bottom of the posters it does tell you to visit the Christian Aid website to find out how you can help, I for one have never even noticed this, as I while driving/stopped in traffic my attention is drawn to the headline and I’ve passed it before noticing this bit!

Whether you agree or disagree with what I’ve said, I ask that today you make a point of finding out more about how YOU can help eradicate poverty…and then DO IT!