The answer to ending poverty? Education. Ours and theirs.

Poverty2 Today is Blog Action Day ’08 — the one day a year that bloggers unite on a single topic.  We hope to raise awareness, initiate action and shake the web.

This year’s topic — poverty.

Here’s the truth, if we’re willing to be honest with each other. 

Most of us don’t think about poverty every day.  Because we don’t have to.  Sure, we might sponsor a child in a poverty-stricken country or donate canned goods to our local food shelter.   We bring old coats and mittens to church every winter for the homeless. 

But then we stop for brunch on our way home from church and poverty is the furthest thing from our minds.

While all of those acts are kind and serve to meet an immediate need — we fill a belly or warm hands — they don’t actually address the problem.  As long as people are shackled to poverty, they don’t have the tools to break free.  They are reliant on us to continue to put bandages on their problem.

My friend Laura Hecht tells me that if we could lift people from illiteracy, we could take a big bite out of poverty.

In educating myself to write this post, I also discovered the End Poverty 2015 organization.  They’ve identified 8 major goals that would make it possible for us to be the generation that ends poverty forever.  Not surprising, universal education is one of their core tenants.

I don’t even begin to pretend I have the answers.  But I do know today is the day for asking ourselves the tough questions. 

We can’t help educate the world until we begin to educate ourselves.

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