Today is Blog Action Day and thousands of bloggers around the world are blogging on one subject: poverty.
Since this is a blog about building up streams of income, I thought it would be appropriate to post about this subject on this blog.
A friend of mine recently returned from Africa where she works on a rehabilitation program with prison inmates.
The purpose of the program she is running is to restore integrity and values to the prison inmates so that they can truly make a change and begin to leave valuable lives.
The level of poverty even within the prisons was astounding to hear about. Little things which we take for granted were an enormous gift and privilege to these people.
Here are two stories in the words of my friend:
A course certificate and a bar of soap
Living conditions in African jails can be pretty harsh. We got some simple reality on this when, while preparing the first graduation ceremonies, we asked some prison officials if there was anything we could hand over to the prisoners as an extra acknowledgment.
The answer was simple: why not a bar of soap?
Although, to us, this seemed to be a bit ‘cheap’, we realized that it was better to follow the advise.
And when, later, we handed over the certificates and the soap bars, each proud smile we saw was for the earned certificate. But the ‘thank you’ was for the bar of soap. Which would, most probably, last for a fortnight or so…
A pen and a notebook, please?
Can you bring us a note book and a pen please?
Prior to visiting the different prisons upon our arrival in September 2008, we called the prison officials to organize briefings with the inmates.
We were a bit puzzled, each time, to find out there was some insistence about bringing ‘a pen and a note book’ for each student. The pen was – indeed – needed for writing answers on the answering sheets of the correspondence course. But why the note book, since the correspondence course provided enough space between the questions to write down the answer?
I found out later from one of the prisoners what the note book was all about.
‘You see, if we take good care of the pen and we don’t use it up while doing the course, and if we write in very small letters when answering the questions so we don’t need more space than provided in the answering sheet, then we will end up owning a note book, wouldn’t we? And that is a very good thing to have in the prison! You know, a prisoner is rich when he has something he can use as a diary or when he has paper to write a letter to a family member.”
As a side note, I’m embarking on my own project to support this project and other similar humanitarian activities around the world. I intend to use what I have learned about Internet Marketing on this project as well, but everything is very much in its beginning stages.
I am in progress in setting up a website and a blog, but to start with, I’ve created a Squidoo Lens about the prison rehabilitation program in Rwanda.
If you would like to visit the lens and leave a rating and a comment, it would be much appreciated. The lens is Rebuilding Rwanda.
With that said, I will end off with a short video on the subject of poverty.
There are many non-optimum conditions in the world but the fact is, when enough people come together, changes can be made. Internet Marketing provides many new opportunities and possibilities.