Being poor can suck the life right out of you. You can feel as if there is no hope. No future. No way out. It feels as if life is just a struggle and it will never get better. But it can get better. There is a way out of poverty and hopelessness and it starts with taking small steps to a better life. Some of life’s big winners come from the poorest beginnings.
Here are some practical ways you can make a difference in your life:
- Keep focused on your dreams and take one step at a time to reach them.
- Stay in school. Or go back to school. Step by step you can get educated, get a job and get a better life. Things don’t change overnight, they change over time if you are disciplined and focused.
- Make good choices – It’s easy to turn to drugs, alcohol or sex when life feels bleak. But these are things that will keep you in a poverty cycle.
- Take a long-term view of your life – There are some quick, easy ways to make money, like hooking up with a sugar daddy, selling sex or favours or dealing drugs. But you want to go places and doing these things is dangerous. You can end up with HIV, get arrested or get sick.
- Use protection – This is no time to fall pregnant. Not when you have a life to live first. Babies cost money, so make sure you use a condom.
- Choose your friends carefully – It's easy to fall into a bad crowd when you have no work. But if you find people who inspire you and lift you up, you can rise about the crowds.
- Apply for a grant. There are grants out there to help you survive. Look out for them and apply.
If you feel you can't cope with your life, speak to someone who can help. Find a counsellor, teacher, church elder, relative or another adult you trust. There are people and organisations out there that can help you. You don't have to suffer alone. 990 - The 990 Talkline is a confidential 24-hour helpline that is available toll free on the Airtel, MTN, and Zamtel networks throughout Zambia. Or check out the list below.