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Mentorship as major cure to poverty


[FILES] 40% or about 82.9 million of all Nigerians are living below the poverty line. Photo: habitatforhumanity

Have you eaten today? If Yes, consider yourself lucky! There are millions of people worldwide who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Food, as well as clothing, shelter, access to clean water and healthcare, are basic human needs. The ability to afford them is often used as a yardstick for the measurement of poverty or prosperity.

Wikipedia defines poverty as not having enough material possessions or income for a person’s needs. It is no doubt that the world is blessed with abundant human resources and others. Yet, poverty remains a global scourge ravaging many individuals, families and nations. The weight of poverty can be debilitating when compounded by other risk factors such as low education, limited skills training, lack of savings, or lack of family supports. Poverty can be as a result of personal struggle, which can be physical, mental, or emotional. Many people experiencing poverty are faced with a lack of emotional, psychological or financial support, changing market demand for skills or labour, gaps in social safety nets, the high costs of education and health, which adds salt to the injury that poverty had already inflicted.


While tremendous strides have been made towards reaching the global goal of ending poverty by 2030; according to World Bank Data, 689 million men, women and children are still classified as living in extreme poverty – surviving on less than $1.90 a day. The achievement of the goal of global poverty eradication by 2030 will be determined by several factors and methods that are being employed. Few lines from now, you will discover a true, tried and tested method that has been effective in solving many of life’s problems. I firmly believe that when it is applied to the problem of poverty, it will become history, and we will hopefully have a world where humans can afford a decent life.

The best way to kill a tree that produces an undesirable or unwanted fruit is to uproot it. The potency of this method will be better appreciated if we treat poverty as an effect rather than a cause.

Why are people poor?
Poverty remained a beast that has ravaged many lives and nations. It is often attributed to unexpected life challenges, health problem, job loss, economic downturn, divorce and many more. All that poverty has been attributed to are not peculiar to any nation or tribe. They are unsentimental life challenges. It is how people prepare for or respond to them that spells the results. Most developed and wealthy countries of the world have gone through a period of health crises, economic downturn, and other challenges often attributed as causes of poverty yet came out stronger and better. Is it not then obvious that most of the generally accepted causes of poverty are the trunk and not the root of the matter?


So, what is the root cause of poverty? – Lack of knowledge, which can also be rephrased as – lack of actionable insights. Knowledge is the bedrock of every human endeavour and requirement for navigating the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life. The explosion of technology, most especially the internet and the massive amount of wealth it has brought to the world is a vivid testimony to the power of knowledge. Knowledge of needs, opportunities to meet those needs and how to meet them releases the ability to make wealth. A method that promotes the acquisition of relevant experience is, therefore, indispensable in the fight against poverty. It can be the knowledge of running a business, closing sales, living healthy, creating value for individuals, businesses and many more. Though precious more than gold, knowledge is readily available to those who seek it. Knowledge can be found in many places; most importantly, it resides in men. The quest for knowledge can be activated by meeting people who have already acquired it. The keyword here is ‘acquired’. Knowledge acquisition is a process that takes time, and it often requires learning, unlearning, practise and feedback. One of the most effective methods that encapsulate this vital learning process is mentorship.

How can mentorship help people overcome poverty?
Despite all the several intertwining factors that can be attributed as causes of poverty, history is filled with stories of great men who have broken free from the shackles of poverty. What do they know? What have they done differently? And how can others learn from them and be delivered from the grip of poverty?

According to Wikipedia, Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored. However, he or she must have a specific area of expertise.
To be continued tomorrow
Osiri is a mentorship awareness ambassador.
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