CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK
We’ve been taught that donating is our duty and it’s the best thing we can do for others in times of need. Donations after catastrophic events, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, are essential for short-term disaster relief. However, development aid, which includes food donations, clothing donations and other types of in-kind donations, distort local markets, devastate local farmers and entrepreneurs, and further undercut the economy of the impoverished communities they are intended to serve. In addition, foreign aid is often rendered through the donating government’s own contractors and charitable organizations rather than local workers. The means the grassroots efforts developed within the affected communities and designed to build local capacity are abandoned in favor of short-term projects with quickly measurable results but no lasting impact.
A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM
The inability to clothe, house, or feed a family is only a symptom of the real problem– extreme poverty. Development aid and in-kind donations don’t solve the issue, instead acting as a Band-Aid for a system in need of long-term solutions for economic development. Our neighbors need a different kind of help. There are 1.4 billion people living in poverty, and a full 70% of them are women who face inequality and injustices throughout life.
They are smart, talented, and want an opportunity to create their own prosperity.
The truth is we know how to end poverty– through health programs, access to education, and economic development. The Lovin’ Soap Project is putting gender issues and the cycle of poverty front and center, offering a solution to the problem by empowering women through teaching the micro-business of soapmaking.