Today is Blog Action Day, and the theme is poverty.
I have started this post so many times and then deleted what I had written. What can I write about poverty? Actually there are so many things I could write about it I don’t know where to start, and yet I have not experienced it personally. I suppose the closest I came was when I was living in England and working in a factory. I had to budget so well just to make sure I had enough money to get to work in the mornings but that is still not real poverty. It is not the poverty that we see around us in Port Elizabeth every single day.
In South Africa there are so many contrasts. Yes, a lot of it has to do with the past policies but not all. We can’t blame everything on the past. The present has to take some responsibility as well. What about the children that are living in child headed households due to the HIV/AIDS policy and non supply of antiretroviral drugs. The lack of housing, the greasing of certain hands, the inadequate and incorrect spending of various municipal budgets. But on my blog I stay away from politics, so I won’t go there!
I will just write about something I saw last Sunday. I went down to the beach to watch a triathlon. All lined up nicely in the cordoned off transition area were these fantastic bikes. Some of them worth much more than my car – yes I know bike envy rearing its ugly head again. I mean if you take what the average triathlete had spent on their equipment it would have been quite a bit. Even if you take my near the bottom of the range stuff it still adds up. And there right next to the transition area, taking shelter against a small wall was a row of street children still sleeping under blankets, cardboard and newspapers. The contrast was huge! These kids have absolutely nothing. I don’t know if I have never noticed them before because I am always taking part and so am more focused on setting up or if they are not usually there but it really upset me. What can these kids be thinking? Here we are laughing and sucking on our energy gels for extra sustenance. Those gels probably had more energy in them than the foods these kids had eaten all week.
The kids I volunteer with at the children’s home really are the lucky ones. Even though they have probably been through things we could not even imagine they are now well cared for and protected. There are still so many children that are in desperate need of help.