For the past few days I have woken to a full buffet breakfast with a view of the Swiss Alps. I have spent fun-filled days skiing, broken momentarily by lunch and concluded with a steamy gluwein and a gourmet dinner. Contrary to how it may be perceived, I am not telling you this simply to make you green with envy. I acknowledge that I am in an extremely privileged position and for that I am incredibly grateful.
What I have been pondering over the last couple of days is the unequal distribution of wealth. Everyone around me is enjoying an indulgent week away while millions around the globe will go to bed hungry. This is not okay but I know that feeling guilty about my privileged position won’t change the situation of the world’s poorest. I know now that I could still enjoy a lovely ski break even if there was more of a balance. Because there is more than enough to go around.
Did you know that this year UK households will throw away over a billion Pounds worth of food when almost a billion people will go to bed hungry each night? Or that one child dies every 3.8 seconds from hunger or diseases that we already know how to prevent and cure? How about the fact that women perform two-thirds of the world’s working hours yet earn less than 10% of the world’s income?* This all sounds pretty dire, but what you might not have realised is that you CAN influence a change in these statistics. It can be as simple as buying fairtrade, holding local governments to account or lending a small loan to a farmer in a developing country.
I started this blog to raise awareness because I truly believe that it is a vital component in the fight against extreme poverty. I am currently in a tiny village at the top of a mountain in Switzerland yet I am still able to communicate with friends and family around the world. Modern communication has made the globe a much smaller place which means that our lives are more connected than we realise with those living in poverty. I am so quick to report trivial updates to my Twitter and Facebook friends. What then if I used my connections to occasionally inform others of something that actually matters? We expose ourselves to so many news reports of things that really don’t change our lives in any way but what if we took notice of the stories that could change someone else’s? So, today, I am using my social media for something that matters. And you could too, by re-posting this or something else that you think is important. It’s just a small change that could have a wider impact.
And now that I have done my little bit for today I am off to enjoy a day of skiing followed by a steaming hot chocolate. Au revoir!
*stats courtesy of 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation