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Poverty and I

In: Social Issues

Submitted By hohoavenue
Words 840
Pages 4
The rain beats down on the roof tops and the windows while the heavy clouds drowns the sky, blocking the sun. I’m 16 and aware. I’m back again here in this very place, alone. The same old green tennis court in ISM with the Big Ass Fan spinning round and round above my head, attacking my eardrums with every screech. I stand there, blankly looking out toward the horizon through the green fences and pouring rain. I see the children are still trying to climb the slippery wall with their drenched hands and feet while pushing against the green fence just to take a glance at the glorious turf field they will never be able to enter. As their mothers call, they reluctantly depart from their dreams, and come back once again. Seeing those children again, I wonder: What have I done for those children? What do I need to do? When am I done? These walls of thought close in on me every day, brick by brick; as if urging me to make a change. But what can a 16 year old girl possibly do? I am not Malala Yousafzai, or have the power like her. I am not capable of such task. I feel like I have a hole in my heart, and this missing piece to the puzzle casts a dark, long shadow on my path. I search through that darkness, and I remember...

It’s a hot, humid summer day. I’m 11 and unaware. “Having PE first thing in the morning is the worst!” I nag to Grace while I drag my sinking body up the endless flight of stairs up to the roof. “Hurry up! And yeah I get it already,” Grace stops and twirls around to face me. She forcibly grabs my arm and starts to yank on it as she walks up the stairs. “Well I can’t help it can I? It’s so early in the morning that everyone’s brains are still in bed!”
“Well… Why not look at the bright side? And I mean literally. Look, over there,” as Grace points out towards the light, my eyes trails along to see what she is pointing at. The luminous light blinds my eyes. Soon after, my eyes adjusts, and realises what she was pointing at. No grey buildings or flaunting billboards in the way while calmness took over. As the sun rises from the horizon and lights up the day, I feel my anger float away into midair. I was captured by the beauty. “See? Having PE in the morning isn’t that bad you know?” But that wasn’t it. Of course, I was admiring the sun for a while, but my eyes drifted off to what is lying below the beauty. Crippling shelters made out of scrap wood and metal, young mothers leading their crying new-born baby to the streets to work and malnourished children covered in dirt and dust running around with a missing shoe. Never in my 11 years have I seen poverty right before my eyes. Behind these green fences and the school wall, people are living a life so different from us. People live there? I remember asking myself. I couldn’t imagine how they are able to spend everyday in that filthy, unorganised shelter. ...Can I... do something to help? “Yo! Class is starting! Better run!” I hear Grace calling. I snap my eyes back at Grace and arrogantly thinking: I’m so glad I’m not on that side as I took a step back and ran to where I belong. All this memory rushes into my body as the SAS morning announcement begins.

My day begins when the dawn dusk fade to glittering light. I’m almost 17 and well aware. “Good Morning SAS! Here's….” Not this again… I mumble to myself while I turn around to face the projected screen. I soullessly listen to the monotone morning announcement while thinking about lunch and after school. Urg, so boring. Might as well do work than this. At that moment, a video catches my attention.
Hope gone and darkness rises, all because of a single wall. The boy runs away from his fears with a rose, while coming across various human right issues such as: Gender equality, war, sex trafficking to name a few. A wall huh? I remember the 11 and 16 year old me and the wall between poverty and me. For me, the wall is the green fence and my parents. Thanks to their hard work, I live on this side and not on that side. Thanks to the green fence, I am safe on this side. What have I done? What am I going to do? Me, me, me. All I cared about was what I’ve done. But I’ve come to realise that the wall, that some things are too big of a task for me to do it alone. That some things can’t be solved alone but can be done as a group. Because one equals one, but one plus one doesn't always equal two.…...

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