Tag Archives: poverty

“The most wonderful time of the year…”

December is Kampala is odd. Go into the supermarket and you’re surrounded by Christmas trees, lights, commercialism, Christmas music etc. I could almost be tricked into thinking I was back home.

Step outside, and hit 30 degree heat. Meet everybody going about their lives as normal. Even in school, to date, not one of my children has mentioned what they are getting for Christmas. In fact I don’t even think the word ‘Christmas’, ‘santa’ or ‘presents’ have even been mentioned. We are marking the occasion with a ‘celebration of lights’ party next Friday as being an International School we are not encouraged to ‘celebrate’ religious festivals.

It’s odd.

There are of course things that I miss- I can’t wait to get home in a few weeks time and get wrapped up in my winter woolies, sit by an open fire surrounded by Christmas decor, spend quality time with my friends and family and eat my weight in food.

However a part of me is also glad to be missing part of the Christmas ‘rush’. It’s given me time to sit back and actually think.

It seems crazy to me the amount of money spent over this ‘religious festival’.

Children in Northern Ireland have an average of £115.89 spent on them at Christmas.

According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. There are 2.2 billion children in the word. 1 in 2 of these are in poverty (below 1 dollar/day)

A Christmas dinner will cost on average £118 per family. One in ten adults will eat a monumental 7,000 calories due to eating two Christmas dinners on December 25 to keep their families happy.

1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

The consumer’s total average spend for Christmas DAY in Northern Ireland is an astonishing £619.89.

80 percent of humanity live on less than $10 a day.

Statistics, to most readers are just numbers on a page. And this post is by no means a guilt trip. Speaking for myself, I’ll probably finish writing this and go back to finishing my Christmas shopping online, return home in a few weeks and spend crazy amounts of money ‘celebrating Christmas’.

If you’re reading this, you are therefore among the 5% of the world’s population that own a computer and have access to the internet.

I truly do wish you all a wonderful Christmas. Have fun, be merry and be grateful for what you have.