Poverty is a symptom of people’s lack of access to life-changing resources such as electricity, water, food supplies, education, markets, transport and technology.
Enabling people to have access to these resources is fundamental to the success of a project in a developing country.
For example, access to electricity enables people to keep food for longer, to keep updated with information via radio or television, particularly during natural disasters, and cuts down the use of dangerous fuel-based lighting within small dwellings. Access to clean, safe, drinking water and fresh food is obviously required to live a long healthy life. Access to education allows people the ability to learn to read and write – to understand medicine labels and chemical warnings and signage and timetables. Health education can help prevent diseases and technical education can skill people up in how to maintain their homes or businesses. Advanced education can give people the opportunity to earn more and provide more resources for future generations. Access to a marketplace for selling local products can increase trade within a community or village, increasing employment opportunity and ensuring the continuation of age-old traditions. Even access to something as simple (to our eyes) as a bicycle can have a myriad of flow-on effects, including giving children safe access to schools which might be far away, decreasing the amount of time spent getting water or going to market, enabling transport of larger items than on foot and encouraging more social interaction. As the globe is shrinking, access to technology is increasing, enabling children from around the world to interact on-line, and allowing whole communities to gain access to a wealth of information.
In our society we probably take access to some of these resources for granted; electricity and water and all the goods you could imagine, available simply at the flick of a button (or swipe of a finger). Enabling access to these resources for all will ensure communities area able to pull themselves out of poverty and enjoy the benefits of our global village.