What causes poverty and homelessness

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Dear Editor,

The Prime Minister compares the homeless people in developed countries to the Samoan people who are poor. He claims that the homeless people in developed countries are there because they have no families overseas to help them, suggesting that it is the families overseas responsibility to save their kin in Samoa. 

First the families overseas are sending so much money to families in Samoa that this is not the problem for the people of Samoa regardless of what the P.M. says. The problem in Samoa is corruption, an unfair distribution of the country’s wealth, and lack of accountability on the part of the government.

As for the homeless in developed countries, as well as most people in prisons, the majority of these homeless are disenfranchised native people. 

They were so abused by the governments and churches that colonised them, and stole their land, that many of them can no longer function due to the drug and alcohol addiction this has caused. 

The governments of today are spending a lot of the resources in developed countries trying to right the wrongs that have been committed against the first nations people but it is an uphill battle.

Many of these homeless people in developed countries have family living on remote reserves that may as well be like living overseas, but they have no resources either. They are similar to the remote villages in Samoa where it is hard to have a good life because of poor accessibility in and out of these remote places.  Maybe development of good roads in these remote villages instead of more expensive free trucks for government officials and their families in Apia would be a good start. As a result both groups of people tend to head to the cities to find there is little for them there. It’s not that there is something intrinsically flawed in these people but rather what was and is done to them by their governments that has and have caused their homelessness and poverty. If the P.M. wants to compare poverty, social problems, and homelessness in developed countries with poverty, homelessness and social problems in Samoa then he should start facing up to what is similar.  The similar fact is that both groups of people are suffering because they had and have governments that did and do not treat them properly. 

They both then get blamed by their government for what the government does to harm them or doesn’t do to help them which is the real reason their lives are so miserable. Another issue that may come up in Samoa if the Samoan people don’t start demanding their government be accountable to the people is the loss of their lands. Then the people are really in trouble.  As the P.M. pointed out truthfully there is homelessness in developed countries but what he failed to mention was that it’s a direct result of corrupt governments, foreign churches, and the loss of their land that has caused their poverty, homelessness and social problems.


Wendy W.

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