Julian Omidi - No More Poverty
Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 15:29

America's Health

Juilian Omidi discusses why America’s health is still facing many challenges according to America’s Health Rankings 2014. The report provides an overview of the nation’s health and ranks them by states.

Health and Ranking by State

The most significant changes in the report indicate that obesity has increased by 3 percent and physical inactivity has increased from 22.9 percent to 23.5 percent from the previous year. Smoking continues its downward trend, declining 3 percent compared to the previous year, infant mortality decreased by 4 percent and immunization increased by 5 percent.

Obesity Has Doubled Since 1990

Since these reports were published 25 years ago, America’s health has changed considerably. Life expectancy is at 78.8 years, an all-time high, infant mortality has decreased by 41 percent and premature death has decreased by 20 percent. However, obesity has doubled since 1990 from 11.6 to 29.4 percent, and diabetes has also doubled since 1996 to its current rate of 9.6 percent.

Healthiest State in the United States: Hawaii

Hawaii ranks as the healthiest state followed by Vermont and Massachusetts while Mississippi ranks last followed by Arkansas and Louisiana. Hawaii’s top ranking is based on the low prevalence of smoking, obesity and children living in poverty, as well as low rates of hospitalization, cancer and cardiovascular deaths.

No More Poverty and its co-founder Julian Omidi are encouraged by the health gains in the nation.

“This report provides an important reminder that we are making progress but there are still more areas where we can improve, particularly with preventable diseases” says Julian Omidi.

For 25 years, America’s Health Rankings has been published annually by the United Health Foundation in partnership with American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. The report uses health, environmental and socioeconomic data to provide a comprehensive analysis on America’s health. For a complete report visit: www.americashealthrankings.org.
Friday, 05 December 2014 22:49

Are Christmas Toy Drives Missing the Mark?

Giving what is needed

Every November and December, toy drives to benefit poor and homeless children are everywhere, but many homeless advocates are beginning to wonder whether some of this altruistic energy is being misdirected. It’s true that no child should ever endure a Christmas morning without toys, but many families are in such desperate need that toys are nowhere near the top of their wish list.

Sometimes the basics are best

Many philanthropists support organizations like Mercy House, which provides emergency, transitional and permanent housing to those in need. Based in Orange County, California, Mercy House offers dozens of free social services to homeless families. If children are living on the street or, even worse, are homeless and starving, then toys are a distant thought. A warm meal and a place to sleep are priorities for the chronically poor. Yes, toy drives are wonderful, and they fulfill a huge need in the homeless community. But what are some of the other ways we can help kids this holiday season? Homeless advocates in Virginiapoint to several things, besides toys, that can help those in need during these months of universal goodwill. A place to stay, nutritious food and safety are three of the most vital requirements for a happy holiday. Sadly, some families struggle just to secure one of those three, and toys aren’t even a consideration.

What are the options?

If you want to help homeless families and children this Christmas, consider donating some of the following to your local shelter or church: Suitcases: A local advocate for the homeless in state of Virginia pointed out that neglected kids in foster care move often, and they frequently have no appropriate luggage. Sadly, foster kids and homeless families default to trash bags for transporting their belongings. Movie tickets: What child doesn’t want to see a first-run movie in a real theater? Consider purchasing ticket coupons or gift cards from a large theater chain and donating them to your local church or homeless shelter. Hats and winter clothes: Sometimes the basics get forgotten when winter comes. Homeless moms, dads and children all need proper clothing to stay warm. Books: Popular books in good condition make great gifts to shelters. Your time: If you can spare a few hours each weekend during holiday time, virtually any local homeless charity can use you skills. Money: If you are worried about bureaucratic overhead in large organizations, think small and local. Rather than one large cash gift, consider giving several small donations to multiple recipients. Churches, individuals, homeless shelters, hospital-based charities and other micro-organizations can make a few dollars go a very long way. There are dozens of ways to help others throughout the year, and toy drives certainly have their place. We should also keep in mind that those on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder need many other goods and services to help them out of the poverty cycle. Keep an open mind this year, and do whatever you can to assist those in need. (No More Poverty was founded by Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi. The Omidi brothers’ goal is to end poverty at home and abroad by supporting the efforts of like-minded charities and agencies.)

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 19:33

How Family Farming Could End Poverty

A recent article from the Huffington Post examined how family farming in impoverished areas could significantly decrease poverty and hunger. 

Of the roughly 7 billion people on our planet, roughly 1.2 billion (or about 17%) live in extreme poverty, of which 870 million will fall asleep each night hungry. The World Bank has estimated that an increase of merely 1% in the agricultural GDP (gross domestic product) of a nation can decrease the amount of poverty by 4 times that of a 1% increase in non-agricultural GDP. By increasing the ability for impoverished families to become farmers, it is strongly believed that a significant decrease in poverty and hunger can be seen in the ensuing years and decades. 

How can we work to invest more effectively in family farming? Food Tank: The Food Think tank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have developed several ways for non-profits, donors, and policy-makers can invest to maximize family farming. 

  • Securing Land Rights - Many of those that own land for farming in do not have legal documentation or the legal rights to the land that they own. By helping families secure the legal rights to their land and prove ownership a significant increase in investment in the land, productivity, and income for the family is often seen as a result. 
  • Adapt to Climate Change - Climate change will affect 75 million to 250 million people in Africa as a result of more water stress within less than a decade and helping farmers to prepare for drought and flooding as a result can help decrease variability in food security. 
  • Access to Local Markets - By providing family farmers with a method for selling more of their products in local markets will help improve their income and quality of life as a result. 

Other suggestions by these organizations include closing the gender gap and promoting more sustainable methods for agriculture, all of which you can learn more about in this article from the Huffington Post.

 

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. 

 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 21:52

Childhood Poverty Rates Rise in America

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.

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