Vinod Shah

by Vinod Shah


Who are the poor?-Redefining poverty for Community development initiatives

Poverty is an issue that should interest all Christians especially physicians working in mission settings in charity hospitals and also physicians working in public health doing development work. Poverty is often understood in monetary terms. The Millennium Development Goal team has defined it as less than 2$ a day. This presentation seeks to understand poverty in “wholistic” terms. Poverty cannot be eradicated merely by economic empowerment unless other factors are also looked at such as:
• Social exclusion or stigmatization,
• Lack of access to decision making,
• Fatalism or paralysis of the “status quo”,
• Gender discrimination and
• Dependencies (caused by excessive funding) are other important factors that aggravate poverty.
Scriptural support for a broader understanding of the poor will be presented from both the “Nazareth Manifesto” in Luke chapter 4 and also from all the engagements Jesus had with different kinds of “poor” individuals.
Finally evidence will be presented about how broad based approaches to poverty have impacted development positively.


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