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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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

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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.

80 comments on “The Credit Crisis – A Different Perspective

  1. I lived in Tullamore for a year so I know Dublin well. If you can change your life come why not come in live in Costa del Sol where prices are the lowest they have been in a very long time. Andalucia is Ireland with Sunshine.

    Anyone who wants to know more about Spanish property please get in touch.

  2. Quite right. I recently lost my job, and have kept myself upbeat by saying “well, at least I’m not in Kabul”.

    On a separate note, may I say how much the names of the contributors on this thread make me smile? If I received a comment from someone called Making Gift Baskets for Fun or Profit! or free dating I would assume it was trackback spam. But here, I see they are genuine comments.

  3. God Bless You!
    I’m the webmaster of a Catholic web site and I’m very happy to read these words. We have to say we are human not money. We are the true wealth of this world so just stop worrying about sole economy and start taking care of us as persons.

    Thank you.
    Samuele
    Italy

  4. Out here from Ecuador I just registered few days ago to Statscount and feel very confortable even more now reading this. Great to know you are people consciuos about the REAL WORLD…
    ONe thing I will like to add is that ONLY $ 3 BUCKS (EUROS, USD, POUNDS, OR YENS, ETC) is A LOT OF MONEY FOR POOR FAMILIES IN AFRICA, SOUTHAMERICA OR ANY 3RD TO 4TH WORLD AREAS.

    So dont subestimate what you can do donating any cause with say $1 or cents a DAY..this could be live death situation for many kids, moms in the world. They are the future.

    I will make a suggestion I am implementing myself here in Ecuador and can be implemented anywhere in world where there is a Large Beer Brewing Factory (pretty much anywhere). Beer process produces something called “Brewers Yeast”. Maybe you know already. A sour tasting powder when dry. This is so powerful and so cheap. Work with your local brewery and ask for it. try it yourself and feel the power of this natural food. If many people can get this powder to be given to poor kids around the globe, beer drinkers can help save many lives. Just ask any doctor or training sportman, helth advisor, etc, about this product. Or read specs label in Health Food Store.
    We should talk to big Beer Companies to get this product for free to the poor as a nutrient complement.

    Keep up the good work for the poor
    Happy Statcounter customer

    Ricardo Nuñez C
    Ecuador
    galapagosurf.net

  5. A fantastic blog, I really appreciate this perspective very much and find that this view is very much overlooked in favour of greed/panic/gullibility in believing media hype. Well done!!

  6. Actually, be grateful for having the essentials of life is nice, but I hope it doesn’t take the place of the outrage the middle class people should have toward the banks, the governments and the big businesses that managed to create this fiasco. As resources inevitably become tighter, the rich and powerful will squeeze us all further. Next, utility prices will go through the roof, and they’ll say “Oops, sorry, mistake, need a bailout”. Then food prices will skyrocket, and they’ll say “Oops, sorry. mistake, need a bailout”. And it each step will we say “at least we don’t live in Africa”? Fact is Africa’s a mess because the big companies have ruined the lives of people there to a large extent. Eventually, you won’t have to move to Africa, its coming to you.

  7. Great Post from StatCounter Team! The idea of donating the proceeds could really be a good contribution. Definitely! one should look at a different perspective in this difficult time.

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