Half Full Or Half Empty Essay

1497 words - 6 pages

Bill Cosby, an American comedian, once said, “Is the glass half full, or half empty? It depends on whether you are pouring, or drinking.” Nowadays, when one mentions of Africa, picture of a continent with a vicious cycle of war, poverty and hunger immediately appears in people’s mind. Thus, over the past 50 years, millions, trillions of dollars were sent to aid Africa from developed countries, or organizations. However, poverty and hunger still remain as issues as if nothing has changed. Trying to find the core reasons to this unchanging phenomenon, Good Fortune, a movie directed by Landon Van Soest, explores the disparity between the developers’ and the native’s perspective of needs in ...view middle of the document...

He believes that this is how one solves poverty, instead of creating Band-Aids.
However, the local shares different perspectives than the developers’ and aid organizations’. Arguably, those who live there have adapted to the place they live. Nevertheless, their opinions shed a light on how the problems should be taken care of and how the ideas from highly educated people about the local need deprive from the reality. A midwife in Kibera, Silva Adhiambo, believes “life is good there.” Having a steady income in a poor community and in a world where everything requires money is quite unimaginable. Silva acknowledges that the congestion and sanitation were horrible; however, that impoverished village gives her a chance to earn money. Thus, she is able to support her family and send her children to decent schools. In the eyes of others, Kibera is merely a hopelessly poverty evidence. Yet, to Silva, that is her home, where she has lived, worked and raised her children for fifteen years since she moved from a rural area. Nevertheless, as the experimental slum-upgrading begins to take place, the residents in Kibera know that the life they have is about to be swept away. Despite saying that is only temporary and people will be able to get back to their normal lives soon, everybody knows it is simply a fabrication. According to the United Nations, the estimate rate is triple, quadruple the rent that people are currently paying; there is absolutely no way people can afford to pay for the new buildings. Moreover, the residents have their doubts and distrusts as well. They have heard those promises before. Similar projects ten years ago have resulted in abandoned and rotting empty apartments. The government also demolished a community, which surrounded Kibera, for the same reason, to benefit and reshape residents’ lives. Yet, despite claiming it for the needy, the poor are still left with nothing. Those apartments were sold to government officials as well as wealthy people as luxury apartments. Those residents live in Kibera simply want to make a living, to survive. Meanwhile, the government and the United Nations follow a philosophy that “you need to have a big project to have a big impact.” Like a half filled glass idea, those highly educated only sees the cup is half full; they believe the poor need better housings and better sanitation. The current condition they are living does not fit the norm. Nevertheless, the locals treat their lives as if they are half empty cup; they are satisfied with what they have. What they truly need is not better buildings or improved conditions; they need to survive, to be able to support themselves and afford their lives. And perhaps, they need the government to keep its words as well.
On the other side of Kenya, residents of the country’s poorest region also have to face many struggles, not from government, but from a guy called Calvin Burgess. Holding firmly to a belief that stimulating the local economy and ensuring...

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