The 5 Whys Getting to the Root Cause of a problem Example Problem Statement: You are on your way home from work and your car stops in the middle of the road. 1. Why did your car stop? – Because it ran out of gas. 2. Why did it run out of gas? – Because I didn’t buy any gas on my way to work. 3. Why didn’t you buy any gas this morning? – Because I didn’t have any money. 4. Why didn’t you have any money? – Because I lost it all last night in a poker game. 5. Why did you lose your money in last night’s poker game? – Because I’m not very good at “bluffing” when I don’t have a good hand.
In Newport News… More than 33% of people in the southeast Newport News neighborhoods have income below the poverty line — $15,730 for a single parent with one child. More than a 20% of the households in those neighborhoods make due with less than $10,000 a year.
Food for Thought… What are some causes of material poverty? You said: Lack of education; geography; family cycle; disability; lack of support network/sense of well-being; economic downturn (loss of job ) What are some effects of material poverty? Depression; illegal activity; violence; cycle passed on; sense of isolation; other psychological problems; physical health decline; food insecurity and/or homelessness What are some common approaches to poverty alleviation? Relief efforts, rehabilitation, development
“If I serve, someone else is being served. If I serve, I act, but the other— the beneficiary— does not. Making ourselves servants, we might also ignore our own legitimate needs as well as be tempted to imagine we already know what others' needs are. In any case "service" seems to create two classes: the givers and the receivers.” —Francis Moore Lappe How can we change our (and others’) understanding of what Community Engagement (and Bonner) is about?
“It is always darkest right under the lighthouse. ” How can I make sure that my work with others in the community does not come at the expense of my own wellbeing and my closest relationships? What opportunity might there be to integrate some of these relationships?
Common belief: “If people work hard they will succeed.” What is success? What other factors may contribute? Did you work hard to get where you are or were you born into privilege?
“Poverty is the result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not for life, that are not harmonious or enjoyable. Poverty is the absence of shalom (peace) in all its meanings.” —Bryant Myers Based on this definition, where have you witnessed “poverty” since coming to CNU? (hint: can be anywhere!)
“While I do believe those who are materially poor are responsible for their choices and actions, I also know there are several powerful and complicated factors at work, and it seems they have so much more to overcome than I did.” —Anonymous To what extent do you agree/disagree with this statement? Why? How might this change our approach to “helping” the materially poor?
“It has become fashionable of late to talk about caring for ‘the poor’. Unfortunately, it has never been fashionable to talk with ‘the poor.’” —Mother Teresa Why do you think this is so? What are some common perceptions or stereotypes associated with ‘the poor’?
Food for Thought: Words and Ideas to convey/avoid You said…. This is NOT about: “ doing service”; “getting hours”; “The Homeless”, “Just Hunger (feeding people)”, “Helping/Feeding The Hungry”, Money, “THEM” (as in, THEY should, could, would) This is about: Relationships; a starting point, not the solution; community engagement; “OUR community”; reflecting/gratitude; The “Weight of Hunger Challenge” is a food drive, which is a temporary relief effort; we also want to move toward asset-based community development.
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