Thursday, 18 August 2016


By Emmanuel Acquah

The want of needs and the need of wants is an appropriate epithet for defining poverty. Poverty condemns 92 million children to die (between 2000 and 2010) and is the reason why 3 billion people live under $2.5 a day.

It hurts to know a bite from a mosquito can end the life of an innocent child. Political upheaval, unfavorable government policies, irresponsible individuals and human exploitation are some of the reasons behind the sudden increase in the level of poverty. Yet whether relative or absolute, it can be alleviated using different approaches; through environmental, political and economic perspectives.

This is the reason for joining a game changer like International Citizen Service (ICS). Quoting the words of Mother Theresa,"Poverty is not created by God, It is created by you and me when we don't share what we have." This is to assert the claim that poverty can be alleviated when one has something important to share. Not only money but knowledge as well. Knowledge about the problem and knowledge on how to solve that same problem. 

Working with other volunteers from the United Kingdom allows me to take part in a culturally diverse team and develop my personal skills to be an ambassador for change. Task based skills for the realisation of my goals; and an in depth understanding of Globalisation and related issues. A lack of confidence has been replaced with self -assurance and my leadership skills are properly designed to address the woes of the world. I stand tall to share now. I feel brave to embrace development because I have been involved in a series of trainings and a certification program from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to empower others economically through working with a 1500 strong Shea Butter cooperative called Pagsung.

In 2015, a report by the Ghana Poverty Mapping indicated that the three Northern regions (Upper West, Upper East and Northern Region) were below the poverty of incidence with an astounding amount of GHC1,314 (£250). This is a scary situation that prompted the attention of many as plans were set out to reduce this menace.

One plan which has set the pace is a project called Pagsung which I work on as a volunteer which aims to bring light to many. As it name rightly suggests, it has it origin from Dagbani (local language in Ghana) and is interpreted as " Good woman". This organisation is aimed at empowering women and assisting them to be financially stable. Consider the effect of having to train 1,500 women in the case of PAGSUNG on Shea butter processing and production. This bridges the gap of inequality and aims to increase poverty alleviation, something which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) seeks to address.

Be a part of the new set of transformational leaders to make our world a better place. Help increase the human development to change the status quo. Do your best to relieve the Millions of humans locked in the knots of underdevelopment and let us join hands and relentlessly fight for sustainable development. Duty demands this from us.

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