Yin and Yang. Life should be a balance of give and take. This is easy to say but hard to implement apparently. Which leads to the division of poor and rich. Let’s talk about Poverty.
Poverty is a very much overlooked issue in Singapore by most people. This is partly because people don’t know the difference between absolute poverty and relative poverty or that relative poverty even exists. Many here assume that Poverty is not a issue in Singapore because they don’t see starving kids at every turn of their eyes or beggars on every street. Poverty exists, just that the stereotypical view on poverty is not extremely common here unlike other countries. There is no “one size fits all ” solution for this problem, especially in a place like Singapore.
I see the “white collared” man’s point of view for not wanting to define poverty. But by not defining it and creating a huge movement about it, they can’t really give us Singaporeans a real picture of the current situation. No matter how many times the phrase of “Look how far we have come” is repeated, we must always ask ourselves “Just because it’s better than the past, does it mean it’s good enough?”. According to Dollarsandsense , in 2012 about 10 – 12% of the country falls under the poverty line. THAT IS INSANE. This is an issue that must be put in every bus stop poster place.
If you told a 2 year old about the problem of poverty, her answer would probably be “give a little bit to others”. But its obviously not that easy of an issue to eradicate just like that, though it seems to make sense. Poverty here is a very complex issue that many face, like the 105000 families who earn 1500 on average monthly. Its the kind of issue that you cant really point a finger at for the root cause of it. But thankful there are organisations looking out for them. One example would be Salvation Army. They have a few facilities such as meeting rooms and tennis court, basically for families to spend time with each other. It’s nice to know that people are trying to help lower-income families enjoy themselves as well.
The poor needs our help and it is in our hands to make a change.
We can make a change by giving more away. Just a little more will make a huge difference. We should never be afraid to provide help. We can provide help by :
a) Simply donating more. Donating anything honestly, as long as they need it. Food , clothes , computers or books even. Anything as long as it is needed and helpful. ( But remember to never use this as a dumping ground. They deserve respect and they are not bins. )
b) Volunteer at places such as Heart to Heart. There are many different organisation like these.
c) Spread the word. Being aware of something may trigger you to want to change things. The more people it reaches, the more help those who need it may get.
The first step to solving a problem is accepting that there is one. And once you can put a definition on something, you can see the clear stats on how big (or small) the problem is and how much things need to be changed. More people will become aware and even more will step up to help. Things will move forward for the better. I believe things will change for the better. But before all that, we need to see it as a problem.
Poverty exists, right under our noses.
Ho, T. ( 2015, 19 May ). 3 hard truths about poverty in Singapore. DollarsAndSense. Retrieved from http://dollarsandsense.sg/3-hard-truths-about-poverty-in-singapore/.
Othman, L. (2015, 31 May). Salvation Army’s social enterprise arm launches it’s family hub. Channel News Asia. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/salvation-army-s-social/1882838.html
Singaporeans Against Poverty. (N.D.). About Us. Retrieved from http://sgagainstpoverty.org/