The Concept of A Holistic Approach for Poverty and Health
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My definition of poverty before studying public health
My idea of poverty before studying public health is that poverty was based on both family generational poverty (family) and the systematic constructs of the community or country the individual resides. For example, general poverty is when the person is born into poverty and because their parents and family have always been poor, their knowledge on breaking the generational curse becomes harder when systematic construct becomes a factor. For example, the community they live in such as schools is lacking resources, there is continuous violence, and there is a lack of jobs which increases the unemployment rates within that community, therefore, correlating to increased drug dependency.
Poverty alleviation solutions
The focus of poverty alleviation solutions based on my definition is that these communities need funding to increase educational opportunities, such as STEM programs, athletic programs, after school programs, vocational programs, and providing electronic devices, and new school materials. Furthermore, provide an increase in jobs within or near the communities, along with increasing minimum wages and providing health benefits. This way people will be more motivated to go to school, because of the resources, get an education, and could get a job and this will break the generational curse and the systematic constructs that force and keeps people in poverty.
A holistic approach to poverty
Based on personal observation, poor communities tend to have more churches than middle to upper-class communities. These churches tend to have a relationship with the community’s institutions and leaders to create funding and opportunities for resources to help the community. However, materialistic things are not the only contributing factors and solutions to poverty. A holistic approach in terms of addressing and finding a solution for poverty is for individuals to assess themselves and look at their mindset and try to work on their inner well-being and finding strategies and solutions to fix those inner problems. Therefore, it would be easier to solve the outer issues (materialistic things) and break away from poverty. For instance, some people who are born into poverty are trapped with a mindset of what they were taught by family is the only thing they know. That means if their parents were abusive while growing up, they will more or likely become abusive because that is their norm until they learn otherwise. Moreover, spiritually and relationally, the church can be a contributing factor in helping with the holistic approach by providing a support system in helping people change their mindset. According to data, poor communities with church/religious relationships have higher well-being and positive mindset compared to poor communities with non-religious relations having lower well-being rates (Schweiger, 2019).
A solution that integrates a relational definition of poverty
Relational poverty is defined as lacking support (family or community) which results in poverty. Research has shown that relational poverty contributes to poverty being produced and sustained within the family, therefore, contributing to generational poverty. Therefore, a solution that integrates the relational definition of poverty is Guy Feldman, who states that poverty can be reduced and solved if a relationship is formed with social workers using the relational approach to poverty. The idea is that when social workers are working with poor people or communities, their approach can slowly influence the individuals in a positive way (bringing self-awareness). Their jobs will also be to collaborate with the state and legislators to implement policies that would help bring change to the communities as a mediator to break the unjust social relations within the community (Feldman, 2018).
Feldman, G. (2018). Towards a relational approach to poverty in social work: research and practice considerations. British Journal of Social Work, 0, 1-18. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329706600_Towards_a_Relational_Approach_to_Poverty_in_Social_Work_Research_and_Practice_Considerations
Schweiger, G. (2019). Religion and poverty. Palgrave Communication, 5, 59. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0272-3
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