Monday, 7 March 2016

Bloggers Against Poverty

I am a big supporter of the work that Oxfam do - I donate when I can and regularly hunt through my local Oxfam bookshop to find great bargains! So today I've joined up with Oxfam as part of the Bloggers Against Poverty initiative. 

The fight against poverty is an incredibly important issue, and one that we in the West maybe don't think about as much as we should. Sure, if we see a homeless person on the street many of us will give them some spare change, but as far as our personal experience with poverty goes, that's pretty much it. 

Image credit: Oxfam / Irina Werning
We all see the charity adverts on TV about how poverty affects people in less privileged countries, but many of us don't see it as an important issue - it doesn't affect us, so it isn't a direct priority for us. But things shouldn't be that way, which is why I've joined the Bloggers Against Poverty initiative.

For me, one of the most important things about this is a child's right to an education. Too many people take education for granted, and don't stop to think about the countless children around the world who can't have an education, for whatever reason. And what a lot of people don't realise is that education has the power to lift communities out of poverty forever.

One of the biggest problem areas for education is Pakistan. Only 1 in 3 women in rural Pakistan have ever attended school, and more than half of Pakistani children aged 6-16 wouldn't be able to read this simple sentence. The classes are crowded, teaching methods are outdated, and school buildings are appallingly poor quality. In a nutshell, Pakistan's education system is at breaking point.

Image credit: Oxfam / Irina Werning
Everyone has heard of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for her activism about women's rights and education, but it was reading about Pakistani student Shazia's story (pictured above) that really put things into perspective for me. Shazia's local school was destroyed in a flood, but with the help of Oxfam the community have been able to build a bigger, better school to replace the old one. Speaking to Oxfam, Shazia said:

"When I wake up in the morning I pray to God that we get more education. We will be able to learn more in our new school, this is good, I am happy and excited to see the building. I spent almost one year not at school.

Some of my friends come to school but some don't. Many drop out as their fathers do not allow them to come. They should come and continue their studies and be educated." 

However, Oxfam are committed to making education more accessible to Pakistani children. Oxfam continues to help in Pakistan by:

  • Training more teachers.
  • Engaging with governments.
  • Building more schools in rural Pakistan.
  • Getting as many children (especially girls) in classrooms as possible.
  • Inspiring communities to value education.
  • Campaigning for children's rights to go to school.

Last year Oxfam were able to help almost 12 million people. Regular donations can go such a long way in the fight for education, for example:

  • £8 can provide 32 children with textbooks. 
  • £12 can buy soap for 100 families for 6 months.
  • £18 can teach 50 young women about their rights.

Education is vital in the fight against poverty as it ensures young people have the best chance to succeed. If you want to get involved with the campaign yourself and make a donation, visit the Oxfam website.

Are you supporting the appeal? Let me know in the comments below!

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