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While many people recognize that surviving on a dollar a day is a struggle, very few understand the nature of poverty. In addition poor people are often not recognized for the creativity and resourcefulness they possess.
"A Dollar a Day" is a poignant six-part international series of 50 minutes programs that shows what it means to live under the poverty line. The series revolves around themes of "Access" - Access to Capital, Access to Basic Needs, Access to Markets, Access to Jobs, Access to Healthcare and Access to Good Governance.
These programs illustrate that while poor people may lack money, education, security or healthcare, they do not lack creative and courageous initiatives, knowledge and willpower. The world is full of stories of those desperately poor who transform their lives and living conditions.
The films of "A Dollar a Day" are an excellent resource for individuals and groups that want to learn more about the causes of poverty and what can be done about them. This episode includes downloadable "discussion guides" and features question and answer segments with experts from the Center for Global Development, a non-partisan "think-tank" working on development issues.
Perhaps the greatest value of this series is that you get to know some people who live on a dollar a day. They become real human beings and not just "the poor." In knowing them you discover that they are not so different from us.
In "The Price of Cotton" we meet cotton farmers Ibrahima Coulibaly from West-Africa and James Machan and his family from Texas who are in competition with each other on the world market.
Ibrahima Coulibaly, is a representative of the farmers union of Mali and feels 'trapped,' not only because the market is unfair but also because it was imposed on him. We follow him from the field of his dusty native village, to the village of Molobala where he meets with the poor cotton farmer Sdou Dembele. Sedou is an average Malinese farmer of his region. Since cotton is the only available cash crop, Sedou is lucky if he actually makes his one dollar a day.
In the USA we meet the Macha's. At first they seem to be the opponents of Coulibally. Felix and his wife Monica are retired cotton growers in Texas. Their sons Steven and Jim, who took over the 3000 acres of cotton from their father, live next to them. We visit their irrigated fields and huge cotton picking machines. They also are angry and frightened. Their argument is that their costs are higher and therefore they need some compensation, to stay competitive. They say they need the subsidies to stay in business.
Other episodes in the series include:
The New Silver Made in China
The Strongest Link
The Tunnel and Other Lies
You can buy the series at: http://www.createspace.com/248270
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