Most people from well-resourced countries define poverty as a lack of material wealth. In fact, that’s how the Merriam Webster dictionary defines it:
Poverty is the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions
If we view poverty as lack of money and resources, then it follows that our poverty alleviation programs are focused on providing money and resources. However, if the definition is more complex, then our responses must be more nuanced. Further, different definitions lead to different people being identified as experiencing poverty. This has consequences for where poverty alleviation efforts are aimed. Failure to recognise these complexities has resulted in ineffectual programs and dependency in much of the world. In today’s session we explore what poverty is, what kind of responses are encouraged by those definitions, and ask participants to create their own wholistic definitions of poverty.
This course is structured to guide students’ thinking to a re-defining of their definition of poverty. By using students’ prior knowledge of poverty, we engage students from their own life experiences and then offer them an alternative – the life experiences of the poor themselves. Students then go on to critically examine how poverty is measured, leading them to a wholistic definition of poverty.
This course has curriculum links with the Australian Curriculum, providing content for some of the Critical And Creative thinking as well as some outcomes within Level 6 Geography.
How does our understanding of what the Bible says about poverty affect our response to poverty?
How do concepts like “spiritually poor” affect how we view people’s experiences of material poverty?
What effect does a holistic view of the gospel, redemption, poverty and brokenness have on our understanding of our personal responses to poverty?
These questions are explored in this bible study.
This session is available as stand alone workshop or as part of our 2 training package “How do I respond to Poverty?”
These workshops are currently available in Phnom Penh.