Poverty trap or structural poverty 

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Poverty is a crime against humanity. (Smith 2005:3) says it is “the systematic exploitation, theft, and abuse not only by the rich but by the government officials ostensibly there to help: the poor must pay larger bribes, as a share of their income, than the rich just to survive”. Because of poverty people have to live a life that they do not want. It puts them at the mercy of abuse, violence and oppression. It leads to a life of fear and anxiety (Pieterse 2001:45). Every nation of the world should fight against poverty and its causes. Erasmus (2005:143) stated that “in pre -democratic South Africa the ideology of apartheid protected the interests of the minority white Afrikaner people of the national party”. The majority of the people of South Africa were forced to live in poverty. After the first democratic election people were politically free but economically still living in slavery (Nieman 2006:597) stated that “Martin Luther King promoted the concept that freedom without economic empowerment and access to socio-economic opportunity and a resource was not freedom”. Pick et al. (2008:165), “The millennium Declaration pledges to free men, women, and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty”. This is one of the goals set by the United Nations to be fulfilled in 2015. Poverty is a crime because it causes so many social ills in the world. “Poverty is still the gravest insult to human dignity” (Kane & Kirby 2003:42). In Luke 4: 18, it is written “the spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…” Jesus declared that His ministry was to focus on poor people. He came to set them free from the shackles of poverty. Jesus valued those people who were not valued by the systems of the time. Furthermore, it can be put it this way, “Poverty was seen as denying people adequate food, housing, education, and health care, and being responsible for forcing people to lead an undesirable lifestyle, such as child prostitute”( Delton et al.2008:498). Poverty removes dignity from the human being created in the image of God. There should be a multi approach in the fight against poverty. I do not think it could a uni-approach in a battle against poverty and its causes.
The ANC-led government inherited poverty and inequality in 1994. (Nieman 2006:597) says almost half (48%) of South Africans live in conditions of extreme poverty. The chances and opportunities do not exist to lead a long and healthy life with the freedom to enjoy a decent standard of living with dignity, selfrespect and respect for others. A major concern for the African National Congress led government was how to deal with the main issues though there have been many interventions through creating policies and programs of action not enough has been done. How can a church community get involved in helping the poor people and assist in working for equality for all people.

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Definition of poverty

The question is what do we mean when we speak about poverty? Poverty remains a difficult phenomenon to ben defined because it could be defined in many ways depending on the context people live in. “However, poverty with its complexities has remained a major challenge both to the church and the governments of the world” (Christian 1999:1). Poverty is a complex phenomenon and it is not easy to define but I will look into different meanings from literature and from my co-researchers Understanding the meaning of poverty can help us to declare a war against poverty.
Poverty could mean the following: “the inability of individuals, households, or entire communities, to command sufficient resources to satisfy a socially acceptable minimum standard of living” (Pieterse 2001:30; cf. May 2000:5). Here the poverty has been defined as an economical challenge. People cannot eat, dress, have a house, and go on holiday, as they wish. People who live in poverty lack sufficient resources to satisfy the minimum standard of living. The World Bank describes poverty “in terms of income and consumption levels”(Mubangizi 2008:175; Alcock 2006:64). One cannot afford to buy food and clothing. Children go to school without proper breakfast, which will make it difficult for a child to concentrate in class. I remember, going to school without breakfast and during the break I used to drink only water. “A logical starting point for any analysis of poverty is that essentially it is a lack of resources” (Christian 1999:19). Poverty can also be divided into two categories: extreme poverty this is where the income falls below the threshold and less extreme or moderate is where the income falls between the extreme or moderate poverty and the upper poverty threshold. People in extreme poverty are always hungry and the people in less extreme poverty can only afford an unbalanced died (Saha 200:268). From my own experience, I have learned that there is nothing more stressful than as a father you more than fail to provide for your own children. Every time they needed something, as a father to have to say I do not have the money. On their birthdays, you cannot buy them a present or to take them out to lunch or dinner. You feel like crying, it is so stressing. One of my co-researchers put it this way: “Failing to provide for my family as a parent causes stress and sometimes you feel pains on your body” (Mr. T.) According to the Oxford advanced learner‟s dictionary seventh edition poor means “having a small amount of something”. Poverty means a “state of being poor”. Poverty is a condition in which people find themselves. Most of the time poverty is beyond your own choice.
Kane & Kirby 2003:44 put it this way about poverty, absolute poverty is a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. The poorest people have been deprived of their life necessities.

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Chapter 1: Positioning 
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Motivation 
1.3 Research gap 
1.4 Research problem
1.5 Biblical perspectives on identity formation
1.6 Research objectives 
1.7 Paradigmatic approach 
1.8. Social constructionism
1.9 Theological positioning 
1.10 Narrative theory, Recoeur and hermaneutics
1.11 Social constructionism and postfoundationalism 
1.12 Ethical positioning 
1.13 Research design 
1.14 Profiles of my co-researchers
1.15. Journey of my life story 
1.16 The context of Nellmapius
1.17 Outlines of Chapters 
Chapter 2: Description of the problem 
2.1 Introduction 
2.2 Definition of poverty 
2.3 Global poverty 
2.4 Poverty trap or structural poverty 
2.5 Africa 
2.6 South Africa
2.7 African mind 
2.8 Measurement of poverty 
2.9 Describing poverty, biblical perspective
2.10 Globalization 
2.11 Impact of poverty
2.12 Conclusion 
Chapter 3: Community transformation
3.1 Introduction 
3.2 Transformation as an action
3.3 Development 
3.4 Developing and empowering the community 
3.5 Transformational development 
3.6 Community story 
3.7 The story of development agent 
3.8 The role of the spirituality in social transformation in South Africa 
3.8.1 Spirituality-the spirit‟s way in social transformation 
3.9 My own reflection
Chapter 4: Experiences are listened to and described
4.1. Introduction 
4.2. How did I choose them? 
4.3. How did I collect the data 
4. 4 Language used 
4.5 Mr. JR‟s view on poverty 
4.6 Mr. T‟s story 
4.7 Mr. TN‟s story 
4.8 Mr. S‟s story 
4.9 Mrs. Z‟s story 
4.10 Researcher‟s view on poverty
4.11 The themes identifies in the context and conversing with literature and other disciplines 
4.12 Conclusion
Chapter 5: Description of experiences, thicken through interdisciplinary Investigation
5.1 Introduction 
5.2 Postfoundationalist or interdisciplinary 
5.3 Interdisciplinary conversation
5.4 Mr. Lekola‟s view (Education) 
5.5. Pastor A. Spaumer‟s view (Church) 
5.6 Ms Freeman‟s view (Social work)
5.7 Ms Magakwe‟s view( Nursing)
5. 8 Researcher‟s reflection on interdisciplinary
5. 9 Reflection on God‟s presence 
Chapter 6: Alternative interpretation pointing beyond the local context 
6.1 Introduction 
6.2 Postfoundationalism or interdisciplinary 
6.3 Voices involve in creating the new story 
6.4 An alternative story
6.5. Suggested outcomes for community transformation that can be taken beyond specific
6.6 Community transformation strategy
6.8 Equipping the poor people with skills for community transformation 
6.9 Poverty has a negative impact on identity formation 
Chapter 7: Reflection
7.1 Introduction 
7.2 How did feel before research project
7.3 How did I feel during the research project 
7.4 How did I feel after the research project 
7.5 Positioning
7.6 Narrative approach 
7.7 Excitement of the new story 
7.8 Identity formation and poverty 
7.9 Empowerment 
7.10 Conclusion 


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