Tuesday, 02 July 2013 08:31

Poverty: to give some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people

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Statement by Matteo Laruffa, President Aises Young(July 1st 2013, Vatican City - High Level Seminar “Poverty, public goods and sustainable development. Global challenges”)


This short document is only the point of view of a group of students who wish to encourage a reflection on poverty not in relation to policies and best practices, theories or models and proposals of solution, but only as regards our everyday life as citizens, men and women.  Therefore it is aimed for calling attention to poverty not only as a tragedy of the world's poorest countries but also as a problem of everyday life in the Western world.   

Our public life is under the specter of a new type of poverty which goes beyond the old phenomena of the homelessness, the growing unemployment rate and the unbearable debt dependence. New sides of poverty have appeared in our countries and they have the faces of a decline of the value of work and the desertification of economic, social and cultural rights.

If we want a future of shared prosperity, we need policies for bringing inequalities down, fighting against poverty, being ready to change our habits as well as alerting to the importance of individual responsibilities and contributions to face these challenges.

Let’s take the example of the role played by woman in society. In almost all countries women as mothers, wives and heads of household feel the crucial “intergenerational responsibilities” to take care of their sons in whatever conditions, also the most difficult ones of a life spent from hand to mouth. Women directly or indirectly, actually or potentially shape the future by contributing to the education and the realization of their sons.

Here it is the gap of a solid conceptual ground of our development perspective which used a wrong and limited idea of economics and politics. Economics cannot be aimed only to increase profit for profit and to achieve growth for growth but it should ask oneself how to make better the economic and social conditions of wellbeing. In the same way politics cannot be the exercise of power for more power but it should be the use of power for improving the opportunity of every human being.

We are not only poorer because of the crisis, we are poorer today than the Nineties because of the absence of the political consciousness. Hence we have to reinterpret our economy and politics at the service of humanity of today and tomorrow, not of a single generation or of a country, not of a part of the world or another but of the humanity as a whole, as individuals and a global family.

The lack of consciousness and the end of trust have created the most dramatic face of  poverty, which is not due to what we have got or we haven’t got but to what we believe in and what we are able to imagine to do. It doesn’t compromise only the material conditions of life but it compromises what is, in the strict sense of the word, the “human condition” of our life. Awareness is half solution of our problem.


                                                                                                                     Matteo Laruffa