Poverty simulation is an experience which clearly shows people the truths regarding, poverty, difficulties of navigating ways in which governments in the world provide services to the people. In the simulation process the participants take up functions of different families which may up to twenty-five which are encountering poverty. The importance of this poverty simulation is to identify the reasons why it appears that some families find it hard to liberate themselves from poverty. It also helps to assist people who have always wanted to help but have no idea how to do it (Crisis assistance, 2012). It helps people to get a good understanding of their communities.
I was assigned a family scenario in a suburb near North Carolina to look at the reasons why the lives of those families have not changed over a period of time despite the fact that they were located near a civil service estate comprising of upper middle class Americans. One of the biggest questions I had before I had started this task was why the rich neighbours had not come to their aid despite the fact that most of the poor persons worked for them in their homes.
As a family we faced numerous challenges. These challenges ranged from low income to single parents taking care of their children in an environment marred with inadequate resources, conflicts, inadequate social amenities such as schools, hospitals. Lack of enough and nutritious food, water, electricity and proper sewerage system (Settersten R. A. 2011). These challenges were so diverse until I felt that one month was like two years. Each day kept me wondering whether people know that place as their only home. The children were trained and adapted to make ends meet with less. Children also learn to fend for themselves at an early age because the parents cannot cater for their needs in totality. Institutional context alleviated my overall experience of poverty stricken areas because I learnt that how to live with less and to consider others in moments of abundance.
It was however amazing that some poor people appeared to have accepted their fate and even train their children knowing that they are poor and are supposed to remain that way forever. Well in her book shows how their mother trained them not to admire others. In this book Well’s parents appear to do very little to improve the live of their family. The parents are very clever but appear to missing the point by telling their children about myths which are non-existent. It appears that there are some truths they do not tell their children. I also learnt that family members can be contributing factors to the poverty their families face. Walls remarked that her parents were believed in “nonconformist ideas” (Walls, 2005). Some parents do not settle and they force their families to lead nomadic lifestyles. The mother for instance does not care much about her motherly role while the father is busy drinking and once drunk he is a dishonest man. One wonders where he gets the money to drink and why he cannot use these monies to improve the status of his family. This made me understand that some families are poor out of choice.
It was also clear that parents who may appear as failures in a way are seriously concerned about their children’s behavior as it appears in Wall’s book that their mother could always caution them against making fun of others. Perseverance and work is one of the virtues which can liberate a family from poverty. This means that parents and the society have a role to play to assist the growing generation to become better persons (Luxton, M. 2011). This can only occur by encouraging provision of affordable services such as education accessible by the poor. It is important to note that there are structural factors which contribute to individuals’ poverty key among them is the family structure. Failure of one person to discharge his or her duty may have far reaching effects up to many generations to come. Many institutions I understood pretend to be helping people to liberate themselves from poverty but this is not the case since some of them have hidden agendas key among them to benefit themselves financially.
My conclusion on this matter is that in the society there are three categories of people. The first category comprises of those who are genuinely involved in exterminating poverty. The second category consists of those who create poverty by not caring about the others and only thinking about themselves. The last category includes those who do not do anything to improve the situation. This group consists of some of the poor people and those who think it does not involve them. My challenge to all these people is to act quickly to ensure that poverty is a thing of the past.
Crisis Assistance Ministry (2012). Retrieved on 26th July 2012 from: http://www.crisisassistance.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=PovertySimulations&category=advocacy
Luxton, M. (2011). Changing Families new Understandings. Retrieved on 26th July 2012 from: http://www.vanierinstitute.ca/include/get.php?nodeid=164
McMullin, J. A. (2009). Understanding social inequality: Intersections of class, age, gender, ethnicity, and race in Canada. Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press.
Platz, M.(2005). “The Glass Castle“. Gathomist. Retrieved on July 26th 2012 from: http://www.conncoll.edu/AcademicsDocs/Platz_Walls_TheGlassCastle.pdf
Settersten, R. A., & Angel, J. L. (2011). Handbook of sociology of aging. New York: Springer
Walls, J. (2005)The Glass Castle. New York: Scribner.