The Credit Crisis – A Different Perspective

As I write this post, I’m sitting in an office in Dublin, Ireland. The weather is miserable outside… but we’re warm and protected indoors. The bad weather means that it’s really dark, even early in the day… but we fix this by switching on the lights. Even looking out the window makes me shiver… so I pull my comfy sweater a little closer around me. If I feel thirsty… I can help myself to a drink from the fridge. When lunchtime comes, we will all make our way down to the canteen for some food to keep us going for the few hours until we head home for dinner.

If you’re reading this post, then the chances are that you, like me, are one of the lucky ones.


In recent weeks I have found myself worrying about my bank account, my savings, my mortgage, my job… My mind has been filled with thoughts about unemployment, repossessions, stock markets plummeting, banks going bust… As more & more bad news hit the headlines I began to wonder… can this get any worse?

Then it hit me… Yes.

Things could be an awful lot worse.

Despite the financial turmoil, despite the credit crisis, despite house prices falling, despite everything… I AM one of the lucky ones.

  • I don’t have to worry about feeding my family tonight.
  • I don’t wonder where my next meal will come from.
  • I don’t worry about my baby drinking dirty water.
  • I don’t have to sleep outdoors tonight or any night.

I have access to food, shelter and warm clothing. I have clean water on tap. I can visit a doctor if I need to. I have access to heat and electricity at the flick of a switch. I have access to education and training. I have job opportunities and leisure time. I even have the privilege of having some savings to worry about in these economic times…while many people don’t have even enough money to survive, never mind save.


The world’s poorest people aren’t worried about the credit crisis. They are worried about feeding their families and struggling to survive on a daily basis.

At the moment many of us are cutting our spending… this is leading to a fall in charitable donations… there is a real fear that this may result in many of the world’s poorest people suffering even more than they already do.

So, despite the economic downturn, I have decided to make a small but determined effort in favor of those much less fortunate than me. Out goes the weekly treat of Hot Chocolate with extra marshmallows & whipped cream… in comes an extra weekly donation to charity. It may not be much, but it’s a start. If you think about it, by foregoing one tall latte, you could contribute $3 to someone in dire circumstances.

Could you sacrifice one trip to Starbucks per week?

…by SJ…


As a part of our contribution to Blog Action Day 2008, StatCounter has decided to sponsor a child via the charity Plan Ireland.

Plan is an international development agency which works to implement programs at a grassroots level in health, education, water and sanitation. Children are at the heart of all Plan activities and their projects directly support more than 1,500,000 children and their families.

By becoming a sponsor with Plan, StatCounter, together with thousands of other donors worldwide will help to improve the quality of life of children living in poverty.

Plan’s active support for child development over a long period of time aims to improve the healthy development of children from before birth, through to an adulthood in which they can be valuable and productive members of their community.

If you would like more information about Plan, please click here. To sign up as a sponsor follow this link, or click here to make a single donation to Plan. Remember – every cent counts and every donation is appreciated.


Plan Ireland’s Work in Togo

Togo is a small country in West Africa. Annual income per head is just $350 and the mortality rate for children under 5 is over 10%.

Plan is currently working on various projects in this area including:

  • erecting clean water points
  • training teachers
  • building and modernising schools
  • establishing voluntarily manned crèches to release younger girls from the responsibilities of child minding so as they can attend school

Plan are also working to tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with disability by establishing and equipping community based rehabilitation centers. It is hoped that, following this project, disabled children will no longer be locked away in homes, but instead be given the opportunity to be active participants in society with the opportunity to live their lives to their maximum potential.

Positive results are already emerging as communities are beginning to recognise that disabled children have an important role to play. As one community leader put it ‘this project has helped us re-find our children’.

Click here to visit the Plan website


This post is our contribution to Blog Action Day 2008, a non-profit event aimed at changing the conversation on the internet to focus for one day on the mammoth issue of global poverty.


  1. Great post. We had this same sort of discussion at church on Sunday, and realizing blessings is what it is about.

  2. Great post for Blog Action day. I also posted for blog action day here:
    Global Poverty is all relative

  3. We should count our blessings each day……….thanks for a positive and upbeat post………we should all follow your example………..

  4. VERY good post it was a really nice way to put this financial turmoil and has changed my view on it.

  5. Thank you for the heart felt words. There is no better way to teach than by example. May your personal & business life prosper.

  6. Thanks oh kindred spirit …. Back in March 2006 I did such a piece on my blog expressing just such sentiments … all we need to do is imagine ….Sure it’s tough here right now but you are spot on, ‘NOT PAINFUL’ as for many .
    So often I ask my self the question :-
    ‘if we had all made a stand on a regular basis on behalf of others , would it have ever got as it is for us ? ‘
    Love the action ..and once again thanks ……

  7. Excellent post SJ! We do get caught up in day to day events and fail to stand back to take in the whole picture and appreciate how lucky we really are.

  8. I love the points you make and I feel like I forget them all too often. So what if I don’t have anything to do tonight or my computer is acting funny or traffic is bad…at least I have a place to sleep tonight, i have a computer, and I have a car…I feel so selfish sometimes when I realize the things I strive for when so many people have only a fraction of what I do.

  9. Yes guys you take all you have available for granted. I also participated in this Blog Action Day 2008. And if you’d like to see how much a family consumes food per week, go ahead and read:

    StatCounter Team Response:

    Raffi – thank you for sharing your post with us. It is humbling to view the comparisons.

  10. This is such a meaningful writing, we are already lucky to be live in N America cities.. we had lots of things that others don’t in some poor country.

  11. Being a PLAN sponsor already I fully appreciate what you are doing and would like to thank you for reminding me that a letter to my sponsor child is long overdue. Thank you and well done.

  12. We applaud you for sponsoring a child via Plan Ireland……..if each person would take on a similar cause this would be a better world !

  13. Yes! We live like royalty really. More than half the world´s population does not have the privilege of living with all our luxuries (all of which we take for granted). Thank you for a very compassionate post.

  14. A most excellent perspective on the financial crisis. If more people would first live within their means and then seek to give to those less fortunate we would all be much better off. Thanks for this post!

  15. I’m delighted to know that StatCounter has decided to sponsor a child in Togo. I visited the Plan Ireland website and discovered that it is part of

    I didn’t participate in Blog Action Day, although I have covered issues I feel strongly about in my StatCounter tracked blog. In July, I wrote an article about Children’s welfare in Africa. Did you know that Togo has a government minister for Social Promotion, Women’s promotion and Child Protection? In Togo the average number of children born per woman is 4.85 and life expectancy at birth is 58.28 years. There’s lots of work to do. Here is the article:

    Children’s welfare in Africa.

    I also wrote an article about the first 20 countries to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Togo was the 19th country to do so.

    Ratifications the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

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