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Transcript of Poverty
It is the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor.
Poverty is everywhere, it does not affect only one country.
According to UNICEF, about 22,000 children die each day, one person every 4 seconds.
Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than US$2.50 a day.
Nearly a billion people entered the 21st Century unable to read a book or sign their name.
“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able
to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read.
Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time.
Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been
described in many ways. Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So
poverty is a call to action -- for the poor and the wealthy alike -- a call to change the
world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to
education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their
Is poverty only bad?
Global Key Players
Wider Income Gap
Singapore Government has not defined the poverty line; do not know who is considered poor.
Seah Kian Peng said “I think it is not clear whether having a poverty line is effective in aiding poverty alleviation. People who falls below the poverty line may not require assistance as they might have other avenues of support."
However, Laurence Lien believe that a poverty line "Helps focus attention on the degree of poverty here and track how it is tackled."
According to the United Nations (2013), Singapore has the second-most unequal economy in the developed world, behind Hong Kong.
More than 17 % of households have at least S$1.2 million in disposable wealth, whereas 10-12 % of households earn less than S$1,250 per month (unable to meet basic needs)
Income inequality indicates that the poor are being left further behind.
Spends the least social spending for Singaporeans.
The Government is not focusing on helping the poor.
The poor are not receiving sufficient help; become poorer.
Poverty in Singapore
According to a new study by the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Social Work Department, the working poor in Singapore is defined as someone earning less than S$1,500 every month.
Poverty rate increased by 12%.
Increase in median income over the years.
In 2002, working poor refers to people earning less than S$1,000.
But in 2013, it was increased to S$1,500.
Poverty in Singapore
Despite being a highly developed country, Singapore's poverty rate is as high as one of the poorest countries in the world (Cambodia).
Recent Happenings in Singapore
"Broader financial support doesn't mean more students are poor " - published in The Straits Times 9 Jan 2015
Student poverty exists in Singapore.
The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund helps more than 10,000 students each year.
The Government has deliberately extended bursary support to both poor and middle-income students.
The Ministry of Education's Financial Assistance Scheme in schools has been extended to households with income of $2,500 per month, from $1,500 previously.
The bursaries are a lifeline to some as without it, they would have to abandon their studies or work part-time.
Key Players (SG)
Education, medicine and cultural activities; helping the poor; and assisting victims of fire, flood and famine
Negative Effects on Children
Deprived of education and knowledge
E.g. Mohammad Hirwan (Singapore)
Positive Effects on Children
Psychological (Determined Attitude)
Effect on Singapore Government
Budget 2014 (kindergarten fee assistance to more households)
A Singaporean story :
“ Despite the burden of her family circumstances, Vidya is driven and disciplined in her learning. She dutifully revises her studies by herself and enjoys watching science-related documentaries. The bright student does well without much tuition. ”
Lee Foundation donated over $400 million to charities
E.g. Methodist Welfare Services
MWS was presented with the Charity
Governance Award - recognition for their excellent contribution
E.g. Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Mendaki, Sinda
Aid academically weak students from lower income families.
CDAC assist > 5,000 students and 10,000 low-income families annually
Organisations we worked with:
Shan You Counselling Centre provides a meal service programme to meet the 3 daily needs of the beneficiaries. They also provide families with milk, rice and canned food.
Children's were mentored to enhance their physical, emotional, social and spiritual lives.
The Salvation Army ensures that the needy have sufficient money to pay off rental fees through donating the money collected from the sale of donated items.
Our group has come out with a newsletter to spread awareness of the poverty in Singapore. We also provide information on how we can volunteer to help the people that are affected.
The organisations have a website that talks more about the people in poverty and how they help them.
The organisations also created events like the ‘Kindness Space Surprise Charity Bazaar at Wellness Community’. Where they sell new and used apparels to the community to raise funds and also spread awareness.
Challenge Faced (Group)
Difficulties in finding organisations to volunteer at as they only wanted maximum 2 or 15 volunteers.
We split our group into pairs and volunteered at 2 organisations.
Poverty do exist in Singapore.
Measures by organisations to tackle issue of poverty are not effective.
It is the society's responsibility to help bring the children out of the poverty cycle.
Poverty Line - 2008
Undernourished - 2012
Story of Creativity and Poverty by David Wadhwani
Photograph by: Sam Mohan https://www.behance.net/sammohan
Carving out a sustainable life despite living in poverty
Muhammad Yunus gave a small scale money to some families
Received the money and bought the 3 equipments above for her son.
For someone who had so little...
Based on Religion
Based on ethic group
1.Many of the youngsters in Singapore were oblivious to the smaller organisation.
2. Youngsters does not have enough time to help them since they are busy with their lives.
3. Not enough help from the community. The money from the sponsors might not be enough for the people they are helping.
4. The organisation could not reach out to more people if there is not enough manpower.
Worsen after 10 years.
Increasing cost of living and stagnant wages.
Bursary is not effective in solving income disparity as poverty class is increasing rapidly.
The Government will need to implement more measures.
1) Government sponsored job creation schemes.
Provide direct employment for the people. This also help the poor to earn money and also providing them with skills.
2) More labour market policies.
Increase employability, such as re-training schemes.
This help build opportunities for them to be self sufficient, thus coming out of the poverty cycle.
Disabilities or Illnesses
Banks lending out money to people who have none.
Finding out ways to make it from one day to the next with a positive attitude, when they virtually had nothing.
They only had what they needed to survive that day, and hopefully the next.
Artists helping to bring a voice to those who have none
UN Food & Agriculture Organisation
World Food Programme (UN)
Physical Rehabilitation Programme
Tenth Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC X)