Watching the Commonwealth Games last night, I was struck by the UNICEF Put Children First Campaign. It came across like the kind of campaign to raise money for treating or researching a particular disease – cancer (find details at https://mesotheliomaexplained.com/mesothelioma/cell-types/biphasic/), heart disease, even malaria.
Poverty is not a disease.
If the kids they showed last night aren’t getting an education, for example, it’s not because they’ve caught something; not because they’ve sat next to somebody on the bus who’s got poverty and hasn’t covered their mouth when they sneeze.
The Commonwealth covers a third of the world’s population and member countries turn over collectively more than 10 trillion dollars a year (according to Wikipedia). If the Commonwealth wanted to make its domain poverty-free, it could do that easily.
But it doesn’t want to. Because things would have to change.
Instead viewers last night chipped in £2.5 million that will go towards some UNICEF projects to benefit a few lucky souls. And at the next Commonwealth Games/Sport Relief/Comic Relief we’ll see the same pictures again.
I’m not suggesting that all charity is bad. Definitely, some people will benefit from this, and it’s a good thing if even one child gets any opportunities previously denied them.
But if things are going to change, then every individual has to be prepared to change, and for some giving up what they’ve got is going to hurt.