Throughout the world and in every society and community there is no lack of vision or hope for a brighter future.
Recently we were asked, when talking about lack and people living in desperate situations, whether we actually meant the word ‘luck’, suggesting that people’s poverty could be largely due to sheer bad luck, the toss of a coin, complete chance.
At PovertySwap we have more often seen that increasing poverty spirals when people are isolated and without friends in their difficulty. Abandonment and Exclusion from society creates individuals and families with indescribable need and often reduces humanity to basic survival status for the long term.
- Street Children in Asia become excluded from families, a threat to society and forming their own almost feral community.
- Young mums with new babies in Africa, who have contracted HIV/Aids in a culture where community and family networks are essential to survival, become abandoned through misunderstanding, lack of education and the resulting fears.
- Women and girls leaving prison in Europe become victims of the sex trafficking industry as they seek a new life and have nowhere else to turn.
We have seen that when another person, group or community gets involved to share a vision of hope with those who experience deep poverty they can partner together with them to begin to make an exchange. The beginnings of a transformation process. We call this the “PovertySwap”.
The bible, in Isaiah 61 is a useful focus for this PovertySwap. In its most basic form it suggests that when we partner with those who are living in poverty and breakdown there will be an exchange – Beauty for Ashes, Joy for Mourning and Praise for Heaviness. There is the image of strength and true empowerment so that those same people will “rebuild the old ruins, raise up desolations and repair ruined cities”.
At PovertySwap we start with one step, one person, one community. Repair and restoration is only possible one stone at a time. Help us to Help Them Rebuild.