It has been long told about a successful businesswoman who was returning late home from a hectic day at work. She was tired, hungry, feeling chill and depleted. Sitting at the back of her fancy Jaguar, as her driver drove towards her house out of the city, she rested her sidehead on the car window, her eyes on the nightlife in the rainy streets. Suddenly, she gasped, and her eyes filled with tears. "Oh my God, this is unacceptable!"
There on a dark corner of an alley, sat three kids under the rain, shivering with cold, begging for food. "Have you seen this?" She exclaimed to her driver. "First thing you do after you drop me, run back to these children with food and blankets!"
Naturally, she empathized with these kids, hungry and depleted as she was. Once in the house, the driver rushed to the kitchen, gathered food, asked the housekeeper for blankets, and rushed back to the door with a large bag of food and a bag of three blankets.
"Where are you going?" His boss stopped him at the door. "For the kids, madam, as you ordered," the driver answered, lifting the two bags for her to see.
His boss, who had managed meanwhile to eat and fill her stomach in the warmth of her fancy place, shook her head and said, "Ah, no, no need anymore. Things are fine now. Return these to the housekeeper."
You might have heard this tale and the powerful message behind it. We empathize with others when we live their experience and we tend to dismiss their misery to the back of our mind when, or as soon as, everything is fine with us.
Fact is, everything is not fine with us if others are living in hunger somewhere around us and across our country. We do get affected in a way or another because we are all interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent.
That's as true and as real in our homeland where poverty does exist. We can pretend otherwise but that doesn't change the reality. When we lift others from their misery, we lift ourselves. It is the Quantum rule of human existence.
The reason we have decided to speak up and about this today is that the statistics conducted recently on the poverty in Lebanon is very alarming, and this concerns us all. It does concern each of us, not by expressing anger against our country or despairing, which is totally useless, but by being responsibly constructive in helping out.
Let us show you some figures:
- More than 25% of Lebanese citizens live in poverty.
- 44% of Akkar governorate population live on 4$ on a day.
- 1.1 Million people in Lebanon live on 4$ a day.
- Poverty is a REAL critical crisis in Lebanon.
- Lebanese children are the most affected by that crisis preventing them from their right to have clean water to drink, proper food to eat, good health, a quality education, and even a normal joyful childhood.
As a result of this dire economic situation, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) has stepped in to help end poverty in our country and, as with any initiative that requires a nation (the people) to join hands, a campaign of awareness has been launched on Friday to shed the light on the poverty and poor living conditions in Lebanon.
Since it takes most of us to live the painful experience of others to really feel it and empathize, UNSCOL took that strong approach in the initiation of its campaign, making the 4$/day a REAL life experience for Lebanese individuals in this reality-video:
As part of the awakening campaign, this video was shared across social media platforms to deliver a strong message of how many people in Lebanon live on less than 4$ a day.
This is only a part of a larger UNSCOL's campaign that is aiming at raising the public’s awareness on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ways to achieve them. "Take A Step" is a call to action addressed to all the Lebanese with no exception, highlighting the big impact that small acts of kindness can have in the world around us.
Take A Step, as a whole, aims towards no-poverty, quality education, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, life below water, and peace, justice, and strong institutions. There are many simple ways to take a step and make Lebanon a better place for everyone, and it is on each one of us to contribute his or her part.
In September 2015, 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They committed to a set of important goals that seek to achieve a more sustainable world and they range from poverty to governance, and from women’s empowerment to environmental sustainability.
There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of the 2030 Agenda, setting high expectations for all countries' progress in addressing challenges such as poverty, health, education, women’s empowerment, growth, climate change, environment protection, and governance.
In addressing many issues that are highly relevant to Lebanon and its residents, the SDGs are an important opportunity for our country to develop an ambitious yet achievable shared vision of Lebanon, The Lebanon We Want, for the next fifteen years and beyond.
We encourage you to share this article with everyone around you and take an actual step with your friends or alone. This guide can tell you how.