If I were a millionaire I would teach a man how to fish
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As the proverb goes: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. If I were a millionaire I would teach the world how to fish. I use the phrase how to fish metaphorically, we do not need so many fishermen.
Poverty is one of the greatest problems of the world. A millionaire alone will not be able to eradicate poverty but the investment in the human race can be a big step in the right direction.
Why does poverty exist?
Poverty exist all over the world, whether it is relative or absolute, it seems to be an inherent fabric of the world we live in. Some have even argued for its functionality in the world. Do people choose to be poor or are their material circumstances so difficult to overcome?
I close my eyes to think of what poverty looks like, and all I can see is that hungry young boy who does not have the energy to even swat that fly off his face. I am almost certain that this is no fault of his. He does not choose the country or family he is born into. With limited food and medical facilities, he miraculously makes it to adulthood with no schools in sight. What skills does he have? What job can he go on to do? Is he stuck in the vicious cycle with no escape route?
The short term solution seems to be to give him fish so he will no longer be hungry but if were a millionaire I’d make sure that everyone who found themselves in those circumstances would be taught how to fish.
Schools and skills centres
Access to primary education is essential to the eradication of poverty. What do I mean by education? It is essential that everyone knows how to read, write and count but skills and informal education is also very important. If I were a millionaire I would set up schools and skills centres in poverty struck communities. This would involve not only a building with the proper facilities but with well trained teachers. Parallel to learning formal education there would be integral skills sessions such as good agricultural practice (if the school is situated in a rural area), entrepreneurial skills and family planning practices.
I would identify the areas that I would set up this facility. Then fund the building of the schools and facilities and recruit teachers dedicated to teaching. This I believe would lead to the most conducive learning environment. It is of course acknowledged that money alone cannot achieve these things.
Access to formal and non-formal education will mean people who were once not even given a chance would now have opportunities equal to others. For one they would be given the chance to pursue secondary and tertiary education, able to enter the employment market, start a business rather than being a job seeker and have control over their family size. This would mean providing the escape route from poverty.
What does a world without poverty look like?
It is closing my eyes and not seeing human suffering. It is knowing that everyone is being given a fair chance.