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How the other half lives

High School Essay

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Whistler Secondary

"How the other half lives" is a phrase that is sometimes used to describe poverty. How the other half lives is sometimes beyond our wildest, or our worst, dreams. Everywhere there are people who live in terrible conditions, but few of us know of the suffering of people in Third-World countries. It’s like they live a world away from us. We may have heard about how these people live in the news, or read about it in magazines, but we still don’t realize how much these people need help. We live in an "80-20" world – twenty per cent of the world’s population gets eighty per cent of the resources and the other eighty per cent of the people get twenty per cent of the resources.

While we buy another purse or bottle of wine, or when we buy another cell phone, or buy ourselves endless bags of chips and junk food, we give no thought to the fact that somewhere, someone doesn’t even have a place to live or a bite to eat. That somewhere people don’t even have the basic elements of life – food, shelter, and safety. That people are dying all the time of things that we could stop so easily if we weren’t so selfish ourselves.

Things like starvation never cross our mind as a threat; we will always have enough food to sustain ourselves. However, in other places, starvation is a common risk. While we stuff ourselves full of unnecessary foods, someone is wishing they could have just one full meal; a meal that will actually stop their pangs of hunger.

We can make that wish come true by sacrificing a few things that are of no need to us whatsoever, to help. All we have to do is share a little of our wealth with those who don’t have enough. It is as simple as sharing a pizza, or a pie – I don’t think you’d feel very good if someone else got all of it and you got none, even though you had every right in the world to have some.

A very good cause to donate some much needed money to is UNICEF. This organization has over 7,000 people stationed in 158 countries. They help children by immunizing them, protecting them from HIV/AIDS, helping those affected by the disease, helping the persecuted, supporting girls’ education, and creating protective environments for children. These children deserve proper care just as much as children here.

For example, one of their more recent projects was building new schools for children in Angola after most of the schools there were destroyed in its civil war. The number of children who don’t attend school from Grades one to four has dropped ninety per cent. Just imagine how many lives that improved. Now those children can have a chance to get somewhere in today’s world, where an education can be vital.

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