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Social justice: a better hobby than golf? Journalist Mark Kramer gave up months of his privileged, Western culture to live amongst the world’s urban slum communities, with the intent of personalizing and sharing their plight with those who have the means with which to fight social injustice. Through his interviews with families in these communities, we get to know the faces of the poor: rather than nameless millions across the seas, we see that they are our dear friends, neighbors, sisters, brot...
There's something so amazing about reading real stories about people you know in a book about global poverty. Kramer does a great job mixing hard data (UN documents, statistics) in with personal stories of people in Cairo, Bangkok, Mexico City, Nairobi, and, of course, Manila. However, it took a while to get through the book due the sheer information. Nevertheless, it's well worth it, if for nothing but Chapter 7, in which Kramer gives some solid practicals for identifying with the urban poor. Y...
Dispossessedsynthesizes statistics and first-hand experience of slum communities in the global South. With each community, he discusses a hallmark issue of poverty -Manila - urbanizationNairobi - colonialismMexico City - land rightsBangkok - informal economyCairo - slum living conditionsEach chapter is ~30 pages. I appreciate that he writes about his interactions with host families in the slum communities with dignity and respect.
What is a slum? What is life like there? And what can happen to change it? This book really gets in to all of those questions. Plus some of my friends are in it!
Read in preparation for my trip to Kenya.