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Poverty In Rio de Janeiro: How can we fix it?
Transcript of Poverty In Rio de Janeiro: How can we fix it?
Based on an economy that is doing pretty well, though time, we can develop this solution into a lifesaver. But in order to do so, the children NEED to be educated.
A few buildings in each favela such as a small care center, shelter and a couple schools houses can make a big impact.
Upgrades can help too. By giving children care and education at an early age means that there's not going to be a reason to deal with drugs or crime because they might be lucky with jobs that give good pay. Something that I think will really help everything is rights. They're poor already, just give them some rights, the feel of being noticed. It's hard already for them. Something as little as the ability to attend a festival like the carnival. It's only going to cost a penny and will create a load of happiness. The changes will actually better make this city into a safer and happier place, making better reviews and bringing in more money, improving the economy and in overall doing Rio de Janeiro a bundle of good.
Demographic chart of people living at below $1.25 per day (2008).
The Bolsa Familia program.
So now that you see the problems of poverty in Rio de Janeiro, and my personal opinion for a solution, please consider my thoughts into making further changes.
A favela is a a Brazilian shack or shanty town; a slum. All Brazilian cities have favelas, but those in Rio are the most visible. They jumped in to response to the sudden expansion of the city. Property prices rose high, making it IMPOSSIBLE for a poor family to buy or rent a house in downtown Rio. At the same time, all the open work was in downtown, and it was too expensive for small paid workers to take the buses that were needed to travel. So, families started to build illegally on Rio’s steep hillsides. These homes are nearly broken, as you can see, lucky for them they only have to deal with heat, but in severe weather conditions, there's no guarantee of safety. You can just imagine what these areas look like. Although they are torn apart, Favelas are so commonly known, that they have been a tourist attraction. But the tourists still have to remember, Favelas are not always filled with nice people.
Shanties in Rio de Janeiro
Crime and Drugs
Brazil is placed in the top 20 countries by international homicide rate. It is one of the most criminalized countries in the world. Carjacking and kidnapping are at high rates during festivals or big gatherings such as the Carnival. Also, in Rio's slums/favelas, there are many gangs armed with drugs who can be very dangerous. These gangs are causing many thefts, rapes, homicides, kidnapping...etc. What the city tried to do to stop all of this was to send in police officers to go in and rummage through for any weapons or drugs. Unfortunately it only caused more violence and some bribes.
Crime and Drugs
When that didn't work, they decided to put these slums under a surveillance. As study shows, of 325 CHILDREN that were checked, 44% of boys and 53% of girls were found with drugs. In fact, selling and handling drugs was often for children there. 74% had used marijuana just as a minimum. So, drugs and crime are definitely a big problem in Rio de Janeiro.
The map states that some favelas are in rich parts of the city. Rich areas mean rich people who can afford high prices. A better place for these favelas would be somewhere where the prices are lower, not in downtown.
Average Monthly cost for a Family of 3 with one income (example)
$121.42- Monthly Groceries
$69.17- 50 1 way bus tickets
$118.49- Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage)
$2015.48- Monthly rent for 3 rooms
Not so bad, huh? These are just basic costs and only in Canadian money. In Brazilian Reals, the prices would be almost double.
The prices seem low? Well, so is the minimum wage. Something that almost 50% of Rio would be lucky to earn. Favelas, minimum wages, and prices aren't the only problems. There's one more, this stands out loud. Crime.
Now that we see the problems, we need to find the root. My theory, is education. The reason that poverty is causing crime, drug use and other influences is that all these people, didn't get a proper education or one at all when they were younger, making it almost impossible to get a job that pays minimum wage or over. Without money, their only resort is to make money off selling drugs, stealing, mugging..etc.
The way that i think we can solve this problem is to give younger children and teens some education now, so that later the result would mean lower crime rates and problems. The population of Rio is over 6.3 billion people. There are over 3 million people who live in favelas. If we can get all of the children and teens to become educated, most of Rio’s poverty issues will vanish.
In Toronto, we have a minimum wage of $10.25 as I can lastly recall. In Brazil the minimum wage is $2.35 (translated to Canadian dollars). In Brazilian reals, the minimum wage is $5.10. But, looking at the first 2 numbers already, you can tell what the outcome will be. Anyways, let’s say you are living in poverty in Rio, but still have a minimum waged job. That's okay, you are living by yourself, working for yourself, and paying for yourself, only. Nothing extra. You are just making it by. However, not all people live like this, some may have families, with 1, or if they're lucky, 2 jobs, maybe a single parent with children. You were barely making it by on your own, now you have a couple other people to take care of.
Here's an example:
Poverty is a big problem in the world, as we all know. It affects some countries more than others, some may be full of it, others may only have a bit. But poverty means people, and all of us are. If you’re reading this, weather you have money or not, just try to picture yourself in poverty. Not just anywhere though, a city, in Brazil, it’s called Rio de Janeiro.
To start, Rio has a great economy with many tourists, events and other money makers. It has many open jobs, willing to accept a variety of people. Although, only to people who have been educated, which is about only 60% of it's population. So, if you're living in the slums, or haven't gone to school, the chances of getting a job are extremely low. Education is a need, and if it is not received, money is going to be problem.
Jobs and Education
Did You Know...?
- The difference between the rich and the poor in Brazil is large. The richest 1% of its population earn 50% of its income. The poorest 50% have to live off of only 10% of the country's entire wealth.
- In 1992, a count of 900 children were found sleeping in the streets of Rio.
- 3 times more people killed on average per year by police in Rio de Janeiro than in the entire United States.
- Illegal businesses make over R$ 3 billion per year.
- 80 percent of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. Rio is part of that 80%.
Rural residents are usually low skilled and poorly educated which makes it very difficult for them to find jobs in Rio's city and they end up living in favelas because they are the only places they can afford to live and get work if they're lucky.
Overpopulation can also cause poverty. In countries like China, there is only a limited amount of resources and space which can result to some people having none or very little. These people also exist in Rio de Janeiro. They are the people below the middle class, who have less importance, so the only way to go is poverty (to the slums)
What's The difference?
How is there poverty in Rio in the first place?
Bolsa Familia is a social welfare project which is a major contributor to making Brazil's future 100 times better. What they do is take poor families in Brazil (including Rio) and give the children free education as well as vaccinations, so they can at least have a longer life span. They can only hope that in the future, the children of Rio de Janeiro and rest of Brazil can have a healthier and safer life. And all we need to reach this goal is to make sure that everyone gets this care.
What's being done right now?
Part of a Favela in Rio
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Natalya Kouyoumdjian 8A