[Tayyaba Hammond | Contributing Writer]
I believe every human being alive today has a job. That job consists of helping eradicate suffering of some sort. It doesn’t matter if you choose to do that in a small way, like giving up your chair on the bus for a pregnant lady or in a big way, like full-time voluntary work. The fact that ONE (a campaign organization) are interested in putting a permanent stop to poverty and HIV/AIDS, is actually what interested me.
A character from an American series, ‘Scandal’ just popped into my mind, Olivia Pope would sometimes say “what do you need”. I do think we are all here today, to ask each other “what do you need?”. I absolutely love what the late Nelson Mandela said, poverty is “man-made”. I don’t know about you, but it tells me that only you and I have the power to change this situation.
What is poverty currently like in Africa? Well as an African myself I know the road to a poverty-free continent is still long. If you ask me,with consistent support from individuals, more awareness being brought to schools and universities all over the world and of-course the governments, then the time taken to eradicate poverty will decrease. I read an article by Dr Namala Mkopi recently on the ONE website and he said something that has stuck with me to this date: “I’m tired of seeing children die of things that can be prevented”. This article made me think about how I’ve helped and how I can do more.
I felt the same way, when I saw a young beautiful girl of about five years playing around with her a toy car with no shoes on, in my motherland Ghana. That didn’t look right, so I thought ‘there must be something I can do’. A woman was seated near them, so without even knowing who she was, I summoned up the courage and asked her. with a smile on my face, if she needed any help. I ended up helping her with cooking, giving some food to her and her family as well as giving the child some toys and story books. She thanked me later on, for my kindness and willingness to help. That same evening, I felt grateful and extremely pleased with myself to have been given the chance to help. See what I mean when I say we all have a job? How do you feel when you have done a great job on something? Happy and deeply fulfilled, correct?
I did a bit of research on HIV/AIDS statistics and found out that currently in Swaziland, Africa has the highest rates, with 26.5% of 15 to 49 year olds infected with this disease. South Africa has so far had 171,733 AIDS related deaths in 2014. I think this has been a result of the world refusing to to contribute. The word ‘poverty’ means poor but it also means a ‘lack in something’, these talented and unique beings are lacking in something, it could well be money but how about knowledge? Whose fault is that; themselves, the government, their neighbours, us, or are we all to blame?
A phenomenal woman once said: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands,one for helping yourself,the other for helping others.” I think that if more people realised this, perhaps there would be less poverty in the world.
ONE is an international campaign organization that is currently raising awareness to fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS. ONE deals with other issues as well, such as education and agriculture. To name but a few, Idris Elba, Angelina Jolie, P.Diddy,Ellen DeGeneres and George Clooney have joined ONE to help with the fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty. If you want to know more please have look at the their Twitter @ONEHertsUni and Facebook page: ONE Herts.