What does it feel like to be poor in the midst of plenty?
I’m just beginning research for a new project on Global Poverty analyzing the implications of this relentless calamity on the people, the communities, the nations and ultimately our collective universe, who experience this daily affliction. Obviously, I’m not the only one with this concern…during my research, I came across the Just Neighbors program. Merely perusing their website makes me want to jump on board. They don’t seem to be the most technologically advanced program; however, their mission captures my heart and inspires me on a very practical level to make a difference.
Just Neighbors is an interactive, multi-media curriculum for non-profs, churches, organizations, schools, businesses and community groups. These groups can go through this program to raise awareness of the root causes of poverty and homelessness, while it gives an opportunity for people to “walk in the shoes of the poor, experience their frustration and learn how to help”. This program provides the first step in establishing much needed community-based responses.
Their mission is “to raise awareness of the root causes of poverty and homelessness. Just Neighbors brings to its participants a deep understanding of the reality of poverty and a deep empathy for people living in poverty. Congregations, nonprofit organizations, colleges, universities, and high schools are using the program to change attitudes, to recruit volunteers, and to empower them as advocates for their neighbors in need. The entire Just Neighbors experience is designed to foster a sense of community among the participants. It is an engaging, thought-provoking curriculum that offers a wealth of resources and materials along with the flexibility to make the program work in the widest possible range of settings and organizations.”
Check out their 5 min video [more so a powerpoint slide show, but it serves its purpose].