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According to recent reports from the Mexican government's Coneval social development agency, poverty rates in the country have seen a decrease despite the number of poor actually growing.

From 2010 to 2012 the poverty rate in Mexico decreased by 0.6% to 53.3 million people. Taking into account the population growth that occurred during this period, the actual number of poor actually grew by about 500,000 people.

In Mexico one of the biggest issues facing the nation is the large wealth disparity. These statistics highlight the uneven distribution of wealth throughout the nation:</br>

  • Despite being the richest country in Latin America behind Brazil, Mexico also has the second highest number of poor in the region.
  • Mexico ranks 4th in the world with the largest number of poor among the richest economies
  • Nearly half of the population lives in poverty

Mexico has been putting in efforts to decrease the number of those in the country living in extreme poverty and they have managed to decrease that number in the last several years to roughly 9.8% of the population or 11.5 million individuals. However, many more are living in poverty and the country is experiencing weak economic growth. Many believe that the only solution for the nation is to be able to provide sustained economic growth, although many are at odds on how best to do this. 

One 82-year-old woman, in an article from Reuter's, was quoted as saying, "We've grown accustomed to poverty. They say that since we were born poor, we are poor now, we remain poor, and we will die poor." Imagine growing up as a child where this is your attitude, mentality, and expectation. We must do something to change this and at No More Poverty we are looking to partner with organizations that provide assistance to these impoverished nations. Please help us by providing your suggestions for charities and nonprofit organizations that we can assist in Mexico to help relieve this burden. 

 

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A new report published by the Economic Policy Institute revealed that the federal poverty line is actually far lower than what is necessary to meet basic needs in even the least expensive regions of the United States.

While the United States couldn’t be considered an impoverished nation by any means, we nonetheless close our eyes to the conditions in which many of our citizens are forced to exist.  We do this in casual ways when we allow homeless people sleeping in alleyways to become a part of the urban landscape, and we also do it when we believe that government programs are enough to keep a family out of crisis.  As it turns out, the federal government isn’t fully aware of what is needed to survive within our own borders.  

As much as we want to believe that the worst of the financial crisis is over, it seems that we are grossly overestimating the annual income necessary to support a family of four throughout the United States.  The federal poverty line is defined as being $23,280, an amount that cannot sustain four people in any city in America – even the county with the lowest cost of living requires nearly double the amount to adequately care for a four member family.

For a full-time worker earning minimum wage it would be nearly impossible to meet basic needs in nearly any part of the United States.

The metrics used to determine the amount of money needed to meet basic but modest needs was developed in 1964 and has only adjusted for inflation and the increase of food costs.  Regional differences in housing costs were not taken into account – the monthly housing costs for a dwelling appropriate for a four person household range from nearly $2000 per month (in Hawaii) to slightly under $600 per month (in Tennessee), nor were the regional variations in the costs of transportation, healthcare and child care, among other factors.

Another factor that influenced the findings in the original metric was the over all reduction of the cost of high end electronics, but it doesn’t take into account the fact that, while electronics weren’t a necessity in terms of job responsibilities and information acquisition in 1963, they certainly are today.

The woefully outdated system for determining what is and isn’t the American poverty line has affected federal economic policy, since it a major indicator of whether or not Americans are financially secure.  Until the calculator is revised, we might never be fully aware of how people in our own country have to live.


[1] Berman, Jillian: Federal Poverty Line Doesn’t Adequately Reflect Cost of Living In America, Analysis Finds 7/2/1013 Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/03/federal-poverty-line-afford-to-live_n_3541338.html
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 21:52

Childhood Poverty Rates Rise in America

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According to a recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, despite American families making strides in health and education, more children are experiencing poverty in the United States. 

On Monday, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released findings from their KIDS COUNT Data Book for 2013. The 2013 Data Book incorporates several findings on the current state of families and children in the United States including education, health, and poverty among others. 

The study found that in many areas there were significant improvements made between the years of 2005 and 2011. In education, the number of high school students not graduating within four years declined by 20%, and improvements in the areas of math and reading were quite significant. Additionally, the rate of teen birth saw historically low numbers, while the number of children with health insurance increased across dozens of states. Child and teen death rates also declined during this period. 

While these were amazing improvements as the nation saw economic recovery, the childhood poverty rates were very startling. Across the United States, the number of children living in a family that was classified as impoverished increased from 15.7 million to 16.4 million. This means that in the United States almost 1 in 4 children are living in poverty, with one-third of children living in a family where neither of their parents had full-time, year-round employment. The report also found that almost half of children (roughly 45%) live in a family that is low-income, or roughly double the income of poor families, but research has indicated that for families to adequately meet basic needs, they need an income of three times the federal poverty level. 

This is why the work being performed by organizations supported by No More Poverty are more important than ever. In order to properly combat rising poverty rates we need charities such as Project Night Night, Union Rescue Mission, Children Today, and many others to make an impact in the lives of children suffering from poverty in the United States. 

Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to help spread awareness of this dire issue and the charities that are working to provide support.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 18:37

Supporting Women Around the World

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Guest Contributor Daniel Vidal of Whole Planet Foundation outlines the importance of supporting impoverished women around the world and how No More Poverty is helping to do this through support of Whole Planet Foundation. 

It’s astounding to think that half the world’s population lives on the less than $2 a day. Of the persistent problems that plague the world, poverty should be one that doesn’t exist. While extreme poverty is a man-made problem, it’s also one that we can eliminate in our lifetime. 

Whole Planet Foundation is a Whole Foods Market founded nonprofit foundation whose mission is poverty alleviation through microcredit. In short, microcredit is small loans to the poor who don’t have access to many resources including traditional financial institutions.

Imagine for a moment you’re a textile maker in Guatemala. You purchase thread, produce your product and sell them in the local market, but you’re limited in your production because you can only purchase so many raw materials up front. With a small loan – usually about $200 – you’re able to invest more in your business. This investment allows you to produce more, sell more and thus generate more income for yourself.

With this increase in income, these microentrepreneurs can better support their children and families, by purchasing clothing, sending them to school, or accessing clean water and healthier foods. While microcredit isn’t a silver bullet solution to poverty, the impact that it can make on the next generations is real.

Currently, Whole Planet Foundation is supporting 77 projects in 57 different countries including the US. With a 97% repayment rate, we’ve reached more than 250,000 microcredit clients impacting the lives of more than 1.5M people.

We’re thankful for the support of No More Poverty to be able to continue to support those living in extreme poverty.

If you’d like to get involved, please visit our website or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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In an effort to stimulate discussion and debate about poverty in the United States, Oxfam America has begun a new series called Voices on US Poverty: Right the Wrong.

Oxfam America's president, Raymond C. Offenheiser, understands that poverty is a significant issue. With 50 million Americans living on incomes below the federal poverty line and estimates stating that as many as 1 in 3 Americans currently struggle to make ends meet and live below, at, or near poverty, the organization has setup a method of increasing debate on the issue with their Voices on US Poverty: Right the Wrong series. Mr. Offenheiser had this to say on the subject:

"We believe poverty is about power, not scarcity. It’s time to tackle this injustice head on. Poverty and inequality, and the social exclusion they breed, are wrongs to be righted, whether they occur in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or the United States. We need a lively national conversation about how we can right this wrong here at home.”

With this in mind Oxfam America has compiled many essays by prominent activists, researchers, and others to provoke the conversation of poverty within the United States. Some of the essays that have been included in this series are:

  • Ai-jen Poo - "Building a Caring Economy" - Activist, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and one of Newsweek's "150 Women Who Shake the World" discusses improving the rights and protections of domestic workers and those that are employed in the "care economy." With the need for domestic workers expected to increase over the following years Ai-jen Poo makes the case that domestic workers, who were excluded from the right to organize unions and workplace protections afforded to almost every other form of employment, is necessary to addressing poverty and growing the middle class in America.
  • Ray Offenheiser - "Poverty at Home" - The president of Oxfam America for over 15 years and with 30 years of experience in field programming, grant making, and professional management in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States, Offenheiser discusses the inequality seen within the United States and the imbalance of power and privilege and how Voices of Poverty will help to address these issues.

More essays will be forthcoming from other thought leaders in the area of poverty, with these individuals voicing their personal opinions on specific issues that do not necessarily reflect those of Oxfam America. The important part is that debate can be stirred about what to do about such an important issue in the United States as well as around the world.

 

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An amazing resource for those interested in getting involved with worthy charities and projects is UniversalGiving. Learn more about why UniversalGiving is such a helpful resource for those interested in philanthropy and giving back. 

Founded by Pamela Hawley, UniversalGiving helps to provide hundreds of methods for people to get involved in the world of philanthropy through giving and volunteerism. 

UniversalGiving has taken the time and effort of vetting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) over 100 countries and created an easy to use resource that allows you to take action by focus or geographical region. Whether you are looking to aid a child suffering from poverty, help provide clean water and sanitation, or looking to help those residing in China or Uganda, UniversalGiving provides opportunities to donate gifts, fund projects, or volunteer in those areas and countries. 

UniversalGiving is a completely free service that makes sure the entirety of your donations are given directly to the charity or project of your choice; at no point does UniversalGiving take any cut of donations made through them. 

An innovative Quality Model is instituted by UniversalGiving, which involves the utmost due diligence for each project and nonprofit that they partner with and feature. Through this Quality Model - which conforms to compliance with the Patriot Act, review of management, financial vetting, verification of nonprofit status, achievements and awards, and much more - ensures that when you utilize UniversalGiving you can trust that you are associating your philanthropy in the top-performing projects around the world. 

Some of the organizations that they have partnered with and projects they are helping to fund include:

  • Develop Africa, Inc. - This charity helps to facilitate both sustained and meaningful development in Africa including a project to provide schools in Sierra Leone with computers. 
  • Nepal Youth Foundation - A non-profit organization based in the United States that works to assist those living in Nepal with medical care, housing, and education a current project focuses on assisting in the rescue of Nepalese girls from bonded servitude.
  • Miracles in Action - In order to assist Guatemalans living in extreme poverty, Miracles in Action is currently working to provide backpacks and school supplies for students in the country. 

In addition to helping you find projects and volunteer opportunities, UniversalGiving also provides assistance to corporate entities in philanthropic services through UniversalGiving Corporate. 

No More Poverty is proud to provide support to UniversalGiving, a truly amazing nonprofit. 

 

 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 18:32

NMP Partners with Los Angeles Organizations

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No More Poverty has recently provided support to ABC Learn, Inc and Love in the Mirror, Los Angeles non-profit organizations. Julian Omidi outlines what these charities do for their community and why NMP has chosen to support them.

At No More Poverty we feel that it is imperative to do our part to change the world and that often the best way to institute permanent change is to start at home. For the Omidi Brothers, home is Los Angeles, which is why we are supporting Los Angeles charities ABC Learn and Love in the Mirror.

ABC Learn

ABC Learn is a non-profit education corporation that has helped students, parents, teachers, and the entire school system through the donation of time, money, skills, and effort. Their efforts have included working with various departments in Los Angeles County including the LA County Department of Education, the Los Angeles Police Department, and Department of Youth and Family Services and have helped many children learn how to read, improve scholastic scores, and realize their full academic potential.

Among the programs that are offered by ABC Learn include English as a Second Language, free tutoring programs, free learning resources, and the YouthBuild charter school that assists in providing life and job training to at risk young people of the San Fernando Valley.

It is our great pleasure to provide support to ABC Learn, an organization that has done so much to help the children of Los Angeles County over the last 17 years and we encourage you to provide support and awareness to this amazing non-profit.

Love in the Mirror, Children Today, and Smart & Final Charitable Foundation

We have had the benefit of partnering with the amazing organization Love in the Mirror before and it is our distinct pleasure to receive kinds words of encouragement from Love in the Mirror founder Jonas Corona. The eleemosynary enthusiasm that young Jonas Corona exudes is infectious and encourages everyone around him to take part in charitable efforts. In that spirit, it was truly a pleasure to be able to partner with the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation to provide shoes for more than 50 children at the Children Today organization.

 

At No More Poverty we will continue to not only provide support abroad, but in our own community of Los Angeles as well.

 

 



Friday, 08 March 2013 20:24

International Women's Day

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March 8th is International Women's Day, a day that is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the challenges that women have had to overcome in the last 100 years and those that they still face. Each year millions of people both celebrate advancements and spread awareness regarding issues for equality in education, politics, and employment. 

History of International Women's Day


On March 8th of 1857, a protest was staged by garment workers in New York City to challenge the working conditions and low wages they were encountering, with this event leading to the formation of first women's labor union. 50 years later more than 15,000 women, again in New York City, protested in order to receive increased wages, voting rights, decreased work hours, as well as the elimination of child labor. In February of 1909 the first International Women's Day was celebrated on the last Sunday of the month. 

International Women's Day Today

Today International Women's Day is an official holiday in over 27 countries around the world including in Afghanistan, China, Madagascar, Nepal, Uganda, and Ukraine. While great improvements have been seen in the goal to increase female equality, with women taking high-ranking positions in government and boardrooms around the world, in the United States women still earn less than men in almost every field, and human rights abuses toward women still occur around the world. 

To promote women's rights and equality major corporations hold specific events or highlight the day through awareness methods. For example, today Google has changed their logo in support of International Women's Day, while social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter encourage posts on their platforms that highlight the day. 

Spread Awareness


Today, celebrate IDW by sharing the message on your social media platforms. On Google+ and Twitter use the hashtags #IWD, #WomensDay, and #InternationalWomensDay to build and spread awareness about the need to improve women's rights around the world. 

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Julian Omidi looks at some of the most recent news related to poverty including the TED Talk provided by Bono, poverty in China, and the rate of absenteeism in high-poverty areas. 

One of the best things that we can do to spread awareness about poverty is to share the latest news related to the issue. Here are some of the top headlines surrounding poverty in February 2013.

Bono Gives TED Talk

For those of you unfamiliar with TED, it is a nonprofit that encompasses a broad range of topics in some way related to Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED). While the first conference was held in 1984 it has gained wider notoriety and tackled a wider scope of issues in the years since its foundation. Although it is still based upon it's bi-annual conferences on the West Coast each spring and in Edinburgh each summer, TED has started many other initiatives in order to promote "Ideas Worth Spreading."

On February 26th Bono provided a TED Talk in California that focused on the facts about poverty. According to the presentation he gave (which by most accounts was filled with data and statistics) he illuminated the audience to the progress that has been made in the fight against poverty in the last 20 years. Some of the statistics he provided in the talk included:

  • Since 2000 deaths caused by malaria have decreased 75%
  • Eight million AIDS patients have received retroviral drugs
  • The decline in extreme poverty between 1990 and 2000 was 10% and dropped an additional 12% between 2000 and 2010
  • If poverty continues to fall at this rate extreme poverty could be eliminated as early as 2030

As the singer noted, the most important part of defeating poverty is knowing that this is a goal that can be achieved, something that we agree with whole-heartedly at No More Poverty. [1]

 

Strides Made Against Poverty in China

China's State Council announced yesterday that the number of rural poor had decreased by 22.39 million to 98.99 million rural dwellers. While this number is certainly still exceptionally high it is still a remarkable rate of progress. [2]

 

Poverty and School Absences

According to a study conducted by John Hopkins University chronic absenteeism in schools (which is classified as missing 10% or more of classes held in a school year) occurs at rates 3 to 4 times higher in areas that have a higher prevalence of poverty. Within low-income communities it is not uncommon for teachers to see as much as 25% of the class missing each day and many students in these areas miss as many as 40 days of school each year. 

Why are absentee rates so high among the impoverished? There are multiple causes related to absences such as violence in the community, expectations for children to care for their younger siblings while their parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and high rates of disease and illness. One of the biggest barriers can be that the concern of the parents is focused on simply surviving and the school system (which may have failed them) is seen as a luxury for their children that the family can ill-afford. [3]

A focus on school attendance will allow some of these children to break the cycle of generational poverty and a solution to this issue needs to be developed to help them. 

 

For more poverty news keep checking back to our NMP blog, and keep checking back with No More Poverty to learn how you can do your part to fight poverty in all of its forms. 

[1] http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bono-embraces-inner-nerd-in-fight-against-poverty-20130227

[2] http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/02/chinas-poor

[3] http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/27/22cutillo.h32.html?tkn=ZVXFoK05p8E2Mn4C3USFn5%2BiiC1DtDPruLIF&cmp=clp-edweek

 

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