During the firs session the class discussed poverty in general terms, where we find poverty in the world today and we also tried to find definitions of what poverty is.
We also had time to watch a TED-talk by Anna Rönnlund Rosling explaining Dollar Street. After that students took a closer look at Dollar Street. We compared people in different countries and wrote down some observations and reflections.
A)From the things I’ve seen on dollar street in this lesson I’ve realised that the countries I compared (Thailand and Sweden) were both different and indifferent at the same time. Comparing the two countries I have seen that the households in Thailand were overall poorer than the households in Sweden. But things as walls and roofs of the houses differed a lot. Some things differed between the Thai households too. For example, in one of the poorest households that represented Thailand, I found walls made out of scrap metal and plastic. They were very dirty and it looked like the wall had been put together piece by piece. But in another household in Thailand, I saw the outer structure of a house that was built in wood. The wood had been painted in different colours such as blue and green. Even though the outer structure of the houses differed some things were the same such as the roofs.
Things such as toothbrushes or toys didn’t differ that much except the quality (the toothbrushes in Thailand were more worn down than the toothbrushes in Sweden).
Something I saw that was common in Thailand was toilets that were built into the floor. To flush most of them used something that looked like a small restricted area with a plastic bowl that they pour water with. In Sweden we are used to having toilets that you can actually sit on and flush with a button.
From this experience, I’ve learnt that households can have many things in common but many differences at the same time. Looking at this has made me see a gap between these two countries and I know that this isn’t even a huge gap. Some countries are even poorer and richer than what I’ve seen and compared.
Comparison of the Burundi family and the Howard family
The Burundi family has an income of 27 dollars a month and live in a 2 bedroom house, compared to the Howard family who has a monthly income of 4650 dollars and live in a 4 bedroom house, that’s very little. Some things the Howard family has that the Burundi family haven’t is a Computer, phones, a tv, a car, washing machine, music instruments, a big sofa, a big wardrobe, a dishwasher, running water, a source of heat and cold, a trampoline, a shower and a toilet.
The Howard children studies in a fancy school but the Burundi children can’t study because they need to work every day, and that’s also the main reason why they are poor because they can’t afford a proper education.
The rich family is soon planning to buy a car for their 15-year-old daughter and the Burundi family has a dream to have a real house someday.
With our teacher, we organized in december a donation in our school for a French charity Les resto du coeur, after meeting a volunteer. His main activity is to distribute food packages and hot meals for poor people. This association is no only for homeless people, but it’s also for peole with low income (young adult, old eople with a lowpension, etc.). This association wasmade by Coluche in 1985, based in Paris. There are 2027 centers in France and it offers 9 meals per week for eachperson, and they also give addresses of other associations that can also help them (to get a place to sleep for example).The people who are part of the association need to be at least 18 years old. In winter, people who earn less than 700€ can be helped by getting money from the resto du coeur. And hey can also go to the association, everyday for one year,if they can’t afford anything to eat.The volunteers of the association often say that they are part of it, because the like helping, and they give their time forpeople in need. In return, what counts for the volunteers is their smiles and they really appreciate it.
If you read the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the first time you might think you had accidentally grabbed a worldwide wish-list. Shouldn’t a set of goals, written by the most important international instance and signed on behave of some of the most powerful men and women in the world be some kind of realistic? Isn’t it quite useless to write down some great imaginations? How, for example should the countries be able to achieve economic growth while keeping an eye on climate change?
But are these goals really this unrealistic? Yes, some of them might sound like wishes but others don’t. This doesn’t mean everything is possible. These goals are a bright hope, yes they are imagination, but not completely. They are a glimpse of what could and can be possible in the future. And how could one achieve anything great if the aim wasn’t great to? E. g. the example of China showed us how it can be possible to have a fast growing economy and industry and still being able to start thinking of how all this might be maintained while the impact on the environment is reduced. It will not be easy, but much is possible if we start realizing the urgent danger we and the whole world, with it beautiful lands and nature, are in and keep believing in us and in what we can do together. And together is the keyword, it is not only the 17. goal, partnerships, but it is also how we can resolve the problems of these times and how we can make it possible to think of a bright future again. To make it together, that’s the key. When we hated each other, bad things happened, wars were fought and people were killed. But when we started to work together, not only as a country, but as a whole species, a community of nations, amazing things happened. The United Nations itself are an outcome of that. We just have to think of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such a futuristic document giving all people around the world equal rights, just three years after men, women and children had been slaughtered to death just because they were slightly different, just because they believed in something different others couldn’t understand. But what do we do with that, these great sentences
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights“ 
if it’s not the truth. It’s great to write down that everyone is born in dignity and it’s certainly a very good start, but for sure it’s not enough. We have come to a point were we have to start to really change the things so people stop starving on the streets, because that can’t be a way to live and die in dignity. And the SDGs are a very good roadmap for that because they mention most of the problems we and the world currently face and they also include most of the world, 193 states who have singed this paper. As mentioned before that’s the jumping point, it’s great if just a few countries want to change things, but it won’t work, the industrial countries have not the most problems and the developing countries have not the power to solve theirs. And exactly that is the special thing about the Sustainable Development Goals, the affect all of us and they include every country. They are a roadmap into a brighter future!
Goal No. 2 Zero Hunger
In the following I want to take a closer look on the second Sustainable Development Goal, Zero Hunger. Following this goal the world shall be without hunger by 2030. To achieve this the current problems we have with hunger, malnutrition and inefficient farming have to be faced. In 2015, when the goals were set, 748 million people were undernourished. In 2019 this number has already grown up to 821 million and if things keep going this way there will 2 billion by 2050. There are 3 million children starving each year and poor nutrition causes half the deaths of children under five. No wonder that 66 million primary school aged children go to school hungry if there are 100 million children in developing countries underweight and one if three is stunted. As you would expect the main problems are not around Europe but in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, where the most hungry people live. But there are also growing problems in industrial states like the United States or many countries in Europe. There the problem is not about how much the people and especially children have to eat but what they eat. This danger, called malnutrition, hidden hunger, overweight, obesity or sometimes even under-nutrition is a growing thread in the countries you would expect it the least. A growing part of the society, mainly in America and some parts of Asia, but in recent times also in Europe is hit by all forms of malnutrition. The problem is not that there is not enough food, it’s rather about what than how much the people eat. Junk food is a big problem, because the ingredients might make you feel full but they won’t give you the vitamins, roughages and all the other things necessary for a healthy and fit life. These fast, cheap and easy to get fast foods and their outcome are the changing face of malnutrition. They result in stuntedness, overweight or in its worst form, obesity. But sometimes the lack of nutrients is so bad that it can result in a real under-nutrition, the opposite of what you would expect.
But malnutrition is not only a problem in countries in which there is too much food. It can also be a companion of undernourishment. In many parts of the world where there is too few food there is often also just one nutriment. So the people harm themselves by eating while they try not to starve.
But let’s get back to the main problem in most parts of the world: under-nutrition. As written above there are many numbers which show how desperate the situation is. How many children and parents die because they have simply not enough to eat. And the Problem is not that there is not enough to eat.
“There’s enough on this planet for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed.“
That’s what Mohandas Gandhi once said. And it’s true! It’s clear that, at the moment, the planet would be able to supply every person on earth with enough food to live a life in dignity, a rich life. So it’s our choice, the choice of everyone on earth who has got some power, because as Gandhi said, there is not enough for everyone’s greed. But instead of questioning the way the entire economy on earth works we could start by asking ourselves what can be done now and fast. The problem of insufficient food supply around the world is causing many conflicts, countless regimes and governments have been overthrown because of a hungry population.
But what are the solutions for all these problems? The second goal provides some hints:
Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries.
Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round.
Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility.
These three paragraphs include much information but it’s quite hard to get to the core. Let’s simplify and explain them: • 2.A says that there has to be more money for developing countries. This money should be used for improvements to the infrastructure, because it is vital for a working trade system, without roads and railways there can’t be any transport of goods. Agricultural research and extension services are also important because only research can improve the productivity and efficiency of farmers, which is important because there are less farmers who have to produce more food for a growing world population. Extension services are also important because the knowledge which is produced in these research facilities is worth nothing if it is not spread to all the people who can make use of it. In this case research does not mean that highly specialized new chemical substances are made but that simple but effective new ways to grow plants and make the ground more fertile are developed. Technology, including gene banks, is also mentioned as important. Today’s problem is that there are more and more people moving from the country to the cities in hope of better workplaces while more and more people are born. It’s been already a few years since the first time when there were more people living in cities than in the countryside. This is a huge problem because in developing countries this manpower (and womenpower, later more to that) is desperately needed. In first world countries with highly developed technology this would not be such a huge problem because there farming is a nearly completely industrialized process. So since it is nearly impossible to get all these people who are so desperately needed back to the farms there are two things which can be done:
1. Get the technology from the industrial nations to the developing countries and especially the least developed countries. That’s a process in which the UN is very important because one of her most important tasks is to get countries in touch and to enable a free flow of information.
2. Bring all people who still live near the farms to work. Mainly this means to make it easier or in some cases for the first time possible for women to work at farms or to found their own farms. The numbers speak for themselves: The number of hungry people around the world could be reduced by up to 150 million if women farmers had the same access to resources as men. Isn’t that fantastic? But it sounds easier than it is. It’s not the problem to provide banks where women in particular could lend money or to make it easier for them to buy seeds, even if that’s still hard. The real problem is that such changes would affect the whole society in these countries. The whole way women are respected in some of these developing countries. This changes will come but the movement of the suffragettes and suffragists in early 20th century England e. g. showed how hard it is to make these changes and in the end only a world war made them possible. So these changes will come in all countries around the world and they are already going in most but it’s still a long way to go while the situation is increasingly desperate and we need quick solutions.
2.B speaks of preventing and correcting trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets. This means that there should and has to be more free floating trade. Because the exchange of goods with other countries and economies is one of the most efficient ways for a developing country to develop and get money to the people. Trade restrictions being used as a weapon to harm certain people, governments or entire countries shows the power they have and the damage they can cause to an economy. But trying to avoid trade distortions means also that the people who work for a product should get the money earned by the product. This is also a huge problem many developing countries have with their food production: The farmers who really work on the field to grow the plants we and all people around the world eat often earn just extremely small parts of the money produced by selling the goods within the country but in particular by selling the products to other countries. But if these farmers earn nearly no money how could they invest in improvements for their farms in order to make them more efficient? There are also mentioned trade subsidies which are suspected to function similar to trade barriers in some cases. E. g. if the product of one country is preferred to another’s by trade subsidies the other country’s product will be bought less likely. But that isn’t even the biggest problem: If there are export subsidies in a country were there isn’t enough food the farmers will ship their goods to other countries instead of selling them within the country. The Doha Development Round is also mentioned referring to that, this was a conference in 2001 in Doha were these problems were discussed.
2.C wants to ensure that the prices of food stay as consitstant as possible because countries who depend on selling or buying food need to be able to trust in food prices which don’t change to much. The countries were the people are hungry are in some cases also the countries which have the potential to produce most of the world’s food but they are hit very hard by fastly changing prices. It’s also important that the people and countries which sell food are able to know the current prices at the world market. How could a farmer sell his plants for a good price if he doesn’t know how much they’re worth?
So there are many ideas for improving the situation but why are things getting worse again? While there has been a significant reduction of the part of the population which is affected by hunger and undernourishment in the last decades there has been an increasement in recent years again. The shrinking number of hungry people is mostly due to the enormously growing economy in China. Now this process has come to some sort of an end but the population is still growing and the situation in most parts of the developing world is not improving. In the parts of Africa were the situation is the worst
there is a huge political instability. The frequently changing regimes and governments are preventing a real improvement of the situation. There are also economical interests of some big companies conflicting with the need of more food for the country: These companies want to plant food which they can sell for good money in industrial countries. So the farmers produce this food and there is no food the population in the country can consume. Climate change is also and increasingly damaging factor. In countries where there already are droughts and other environmental crises this catastrophes will become more frequently and more harming.
After all you can say that the aim of eradicating hunger till 2030 is very challenging and probably won’t be possible but it’s definitely worth a try and there has been some great progress in recent times. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a huge wish-list but that has not to mean that that’s bad after all. It’s certainly a good thing to write down what you want to achieve and to try to do so even if it’s not realistic. There has been some great progress!
 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations
In Karlsruhe there are many organisations fighting against famine and poverty. Here are some of these organisations.
The Karlsruhe Tafel e.V
is a non-profit organization. The goods that they pass on for a small cost contribution are donated to them by sponsors.
They are around 95 volunteer women and men who collect excess food and pass it on to people in need. They are a non-profit and charitable association.
They collect food such as fruits and vegetables, baked goods, dairy products, canned goods, ready meals, pasta, juices, confectionery, tea & coffee, meat, sausages and fish.
They support people who live on the edge of the subsistence minimum and therefore cannot eat enough. These can be single parents, low-income families, pensioners and other people in need. They also supply social services that take care of these people. These are day meetings, accommodation centers, advice centers and charitable institutions.
The department “Shops and Services” in the Diakonisches Werk Karlsruhe
It works economically. The aim is to generate profits that are used for diaconal tasks.
In the thrift stores there are:
Jacket like pants Kashka department store Déjà-vu
Above all, people with small budgets can shop in a pleasant atmosphere.
The Diakonia shops are guided by the following principles:
– worthy shopping for low-income people – Opportunities for recycling – Used things are recycled – Supporting social projects with the surplus from proceeds
Well received donations: dress, laundry, household, records, books, dishes, shoes, jewellry, toys.
Worldwide there is hunger. Nearly everywhere the need of food is subject of discussion. And the people in countries suffering from famine are protesting for a better environment and agriculture. Through the global climate change the world got more and more intense in nature catastrophes, diseases and illness. The human is suffering like the nature, that can’t regenerate himself, and everything is going downhill through the wrong use of the nature. The humans are chopping down too many trees, and what is remaining is a vast land, without any sight of life like plants or humans. A very big problem, which damages the green lung of our earth. The world needs to change, but the politicians are without a clue what to do about the global illness.
Not only continents like Africa, Asia or South America are suffering from the climate change. Slowly the change is attacking countries, that were actually countries with no problems with hunger or agriculture in the last 3 years from the year 2018-2019.
The climate change has got very powerful, even Germany is slowly suffering from it. Germany got attacked by a big heatwave in 2019 which cost lives and fields full of food.
Especially countries in Africa that lie near the equator are suffering the most. Unfair politics and nearly no changes belong to their daily lives, also crimes and hundreds of deaths.
The main problem are the insecure governments, which do nothing about the miserable working conditions, the people are suffering from. The income disparity in border or construction-lands is worldwide very low, and the income is not enough to pay for food or the rent of the apartment.
Acute hunger (famine) means malnutrition over a definable period. It is the most extreme form of hunger and is often associated with crises such as droughts caused by El Nino, wars and disasters. It often meets people who are already suffering from chronic hunger. This applies to almost eight percent of all hungry people.
Chronic hunger is a condition of permanent malnutrition. The body eats less food than it needs. Although the media mostly report acute hunger crises, chronic hunger is the most widespread globally. It mostly occurs in connection with poverty. Chronically hungry people have too little money for a healthy diet, clean water or health care.
Hidden hunger is a form of chronic hunger. Because of a one-sided diet, important nutrients such as iron, iodine, zinc or vitamin A are missing. The consequences are not necessarily visible at first glance, but in the long term the lack of nutrients leads to serious illnesses. Children, in particular, cannot develop properly mentally and physically. The risk of death is high. Worldwide, two billion people suffer from chronic nutrient deficiency, including the industrialized countries. Hidden hunger not only harms the individual, but can also inhibit the overall development in the affected regions because the performance and health of the people decrease.
How much people suffer from hunger in the world:
Here you can see how many people suffer in the areas
11% of the world population suffers from hunger. This is 821milion people.
Hunger in Germany:
In Germany there is not as much hunger as in other areas in the world, but there are a lot of people who can`t eat healthy food.
A German said the following: “With us, nobody has to go hungry. – unfortunately this sentence is incorrect. Although chronic malnutrition is extremely rare in Germany today, the human rights organization FIAN has observed that an increasing number of people in Germany are unable to “eat adequately and with dignity”. Children from Hartz IV households, pensioners and refugees are particularly affected. The plates celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. It is a sad anniversary. “It’s not just about getting full, it’s about staying healthy,” says nutritionist Hans Konrad Biesalski from the University of Hohenheim. “Many Germans suffer from hidden hunger.” A lack of important nutrients can lead to poor concentration, growth disorders and diseases. The physical and mental consequences are often irreversible. This harms not only those affected, but also society as a whole, because productivity drops and the need for social benefits increases. Biesalski criticizes: “The poverty report of the Federal Government mentions the problem of unhealthy child nutrition, but does not discuss it further.”
1 in 3 women of reproductive age is anaemic because of hunger
13% of people living in developing countries are undernourished
821 million people suffered 2017 under hunger
45% of deaths of under 5 year olds are because of hunger
2 billion people are expected to be chronically hungry by 2050, if nothing is going to change.
That´s the reason why zero hunger is the second goal of the UN global goals. By 2030 all the goals, including hunger, are supposed to be vanquished. But these goals can only be achieved if every single country works together to fight the hunger with all their resources.
Does Germany fight with all its resources?
As one of the most developed countries, Germany has within the power to make at least a bit of a change to the current situation.
How many people suffer from hunger in the world and in Germany today?
Hunger in the world is very widespread. 3 continents are affected by famine and over 800 million people.
There is less and less arable land because there are more and more people who need to be fed. In addition, fresh water is scarce, fortunately there is vertical farming. It is very helpful to save on the valuable sweet water as well as other important resources.
We have to change the global food and agriculture system instantly if we are to nourish the 821 million people who are hungry today. We also must take into account the additional 2 billion people who are expected to be undernourished by 2050.
Thank you for your attention!
Vertical Farming: Edeka lässt Salate und Kräuter direkt im