Poverty Purge 2022

We act against poverty

The community service of RTI and the good we do as tablers are divided into 5 different pillars. Poverty and reducing the impact of this on people’s lives are one of these pillars. Poverty is widely described as the lack or absence of something. The first thing most think of is the financial aspect. Although economic poverty contributes to about 80% of it, as a collaborative, poverty goes way beyond just the immediate absence of money.


According to UNICEF, 22 000 children die every day due to poverty, the lack of basic living conditions, or poverty-related illness. These children mostly die in some poor, remote villages far away from the conscience and watching eye of the world.


Poverty is divided into the following 4 main segments in terms of type:

Absolute poverty is the worst kind related to the complete lack of food, clean drinking water, essential health, and a place to stay. People generally living under these conditions struggle to stay alive. The most common causes of child deaths are preventable and include diseases like Malaria, Cholera, and other water-related diseases. This type of poverty is usually long-lasting and passed from generation to generation. This type of poverty is more likely in underdeveloped third world countries than in developed countries.


Relative poverty is where comparisons are drawn between individual lifestyles within a community. If a family does not have the funds to go on vacation or buy presents for one another, where the rest of the neighbourhood has. They might get subsidised by the government and still have enough to eat, good and clean drinking water, and access to essential health and basic education.


Situational poverty can be described as families who got poor due to factors outside their control. This is typically connected to natural disasters like earthquakes or floods, where they might have lost their residence. This could also include illnesses like Covid 19 where many people lost their jobs etc. Usually, people can get themselves out of this situation reasonably quickly with the help and assistance of somebody as the cause of this poverty is linked to an unfortunate event.


Generational or Chronicle Poverty is described as a much more complex form of poverty that is passed on from one generation to the next. This type is almost impossible to escape from. People in this situation have virtually no access to any tools to help them escape this situation. The poorest countries in the world affected most by generational poverty are situated in Sub-Sahara Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. The poorest of them all is Sub-Saharan Africa. Out of the 22 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, 310 million people are classified as chronically poor, with 150 million living on less than 1 USD per day. The countries include Angola, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, and Zambia. Latin America had about 25 million in South Asia, about 200 million people living under the 1USD mark per day.

The World Bank released a statement in 2015 that they estimate that 700 million people globally live on less than 1.90 USD per day. This is better than the 1 billion people reported in 1990, but still too much. These people were characterized by the UN as a group that was severely deprived of basic human needs, including food, clean drinking water, basic health, sanitation, and the prospect of education.


What are the most common causes of poverty?

  1. High Unemployment rates compounded by overpopulation
  2. Lack of availability of proper basic education
  3. Warfare and Conflict
  4. Natural disasters caused by weather and climate change
  5. No or limited access to food and clean water
  6. Lack of infrastructure
  7. Lack of government support and a failing system due to corruption
  8. Lack of primary healthcare and rising disease rate of Malaria and HIV Aids
  9. High inflation rates caused by a struggling economies
  10. Inheritance of generational poverty

The impact of poverty is far-reaching and could be considered a vicious cycle. Apart from the obvious economic challenges caused by absolute poverty, where people cannot buy food and water or afford a basic shelter or pay for primary healthcare, usually associated with failing economies. The absence of money also creates the problem of not being able to pay for education where you could learn skills, get a job and elevate yourself from poverty.


Generational poverty or Absolute poverty leads to extreme hunger or even starvation due to malnutrition. These people, especially children, are much more vulnerable to diseases like cholera and TB. Due to their natural state, they will soon enter the market as sex workers or fall victim to human trafficking. (Prostitution) This is very common among young girls, whereas the young boys typically join gangs or extremist rebel forces. Both boys and girls are easily caught in a web of crime, possibly also fuelled by drug abuse.


How can we help?

As one can see, the problem is far more extensive than most of us realize. Now it is time to act to help reduce poverty in our local communities. During June, the RTI Board would like to encourage every association to grab this opportunity and get involved in fighting poverty. We all experience poverty in our local communities or Associations to the same extent. No matter where you are from, you can make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate.


Some examples of club or association wide projects are as follows:

  • Teach a person a new skill which they can use to earn an income
  • Help set up a small vegetable garden with seeds to feed a family in need
  • Clean out your closets or your residence and donate clothing or goods
  • Drive someone to an interview that would otherwise not have the opportunity
  • Offer someone employment, even if only for a short term. Be available then as a reference for future employment
  • Approach local restaurants or supermarkets to donate good food to the needy that would otherwise go to waste.
  • Help someone draft a professional CV and then float this in your networks
  • Help with the construction of housing or educational centers


Should there really be no need in your local community or association, look beyond your borders to where the need is great. Consider reaching out to associations that do projects in this regard. Most of the associations in AMI and ASPA run projects aimed explicitly at poverty alleviation. Should you choose a side-by-side option, Ladies Circle’s International Service Project caters to the homeless in Morocco.


It really doesn’t matter how we get involved. AS LONG AS WE DO!!!!



Paul Dippenaar

RTI Community Service Officer 21-22