Poverty in Africa

The phrase, “Be thankful for what you have, luxuries for African orphans are the necessities for you” always finds a way into our ears today with those nagging parents trying to get us to stop complaining about our lack of luxuries. The ideal and generic response is to just roll your eyes while they keep preaching about this cliché saying and make comparisons between you and people in Africa. However main stream this saying sounds, the truth behind it is much more than parents or teachers make out of it. The literal meaning still stands strong, but the depth of this saying goes substantially further than what a reactive thought could ever achieve. Assuming most of us live in the developed part of the Northern Hemisphere, we face the fact that we are beyond lucky. We are blessed. Our essential emotion for our living conditions should be beyond thankful. We should embrace every moment of our blessed lives here where we live. Whether it be from living in a one-bedroom apartment to living off a $200,000 annual paycheck, we live as royalty in comparison to our brothers and sisters in Africa.

When an overview is given of Africa’s economic situation, the considerably low numbers also finds a way to surprise us. The 50 USD GDP per capita is barely enough to sustain an economy compared to the averaged 1000 USD GDP per capita in American cities. Misspent funds simply used at the wrong time and wrong place seem to dominate the factors that render most of the money used by government essentially useless. A prime example for this would be the Akosombo dam which was designed to extract certain minerals. However, the ore meant to power the dam was extremely rare in the area, making the dam pretty much useless. That being established, minimal funds are available for children in Africa. Many parents try to create a better life for their children by setting out and finding a consistent flow of income but often, failure is the result. Even established orphanages struggle to provide children with their needs. The lack of money obviously correlates to food, medicine, and overall utility shortages. Unlike America, the economic crisis in Africa has a devastating affect on orphans and their lives.

With notably low funds, Africa cannot mass-produce and distribute cures for diseases. Apart from the insufficient funds and the lack of clean drinking water, disease covers Africa. These ultimately lead to a spike in infant mortality rates. The presence of mixed sewage that contains deadly bacteria in the drinking water eventually leads to fatal diseases. Most of this comes from inadequate sewage systems adopted by most cities in Africa. With dirty water and the inability to create solutions, Africa is left in a lose-lose situation in which they both lose money in attempts at solutions and at the same time, watch their population slowly suffer from these problems that are virtually unstoppable giving the status quo. This ultimately ends up affecting the children of Africa. It can either create orphans or create problems for orphans. These orphans must endure the hardships thrown at them by the harsh surroundings for the place they must call home.

Which brings up the question: To what extent would you go to help these children? And remember, be thankful for what you have, luxuries for African orphans are the necessities for you.