Jacqueline Novogratz on escaping poverty

Jacqueline Novogratz gives an insight of how lives can be radically altered if we stop looking at people in less developed nations as projects to work on and more like business partners to invest in.

We help others escape poverty by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Practically this means we help them earn money by providing them the capital they need to build their businesses. That capital can be education, equiptment, land, etc. These things give people hope, hope that their lives will be forever changed for the better.

Handouts, on the other hand, are only temporary and create a cycle of dependency on the person giving the handout. That cycle of dependency is bad. We do no one any favors by perpetuating this problem

Now some will say “wait, what about the children?!” Children need strong families. Period. That means we should encourage absent parents to do their jobs, crappy parents to be better parents, and good parents to be better parents. However what we don’t need to do is encourage the brakup of the family through policies that penalize men, women, and children from forming healthy family units.

Yes, poverty has a moral dimension to it. But that moral dimension isn’t the siren call to just provide handouts like we’ve largely been led to believe here in the US.


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