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The Humans of New York Project Fights Extreme Poverty

Humans_of New_York
The Humans of New York project continues to capture the hearts of nearly 15 million Facebook followers all over the world. The next stop on the project’s world tour is very timely in relation to extreme poverty.

A picture project that began in 2002, photographer Brandon Stanton wanted to show the world New York City through the eyes of the inhabitants and their real-life dilemmas.

After touring eleven countries last September to raise awareness regarding the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Stanton visited Pakistan to shed light on the humans living in Pakistan.

What Stanton found within the small villages and towns of Pakistan was eye-opening for the Humans of New York readers. Similar to the project in New York, people in Pakistan have similar, everyday problems: contemplating the future, struggling to pay bills, and even a young boy from Hunza Valley, Pakistan giving the world lifelong advice.

Boy: “The most important thing about swimming is not to be afraid.”
Stanton: “What advice do you have to people who are afraid?”
Boy: “Just don’t be afraid. Or you’ll drown.”

Even micro fashion is found within a country that is plagued with constant war threats and terrorism; a country that is negatively stereotyped around the world.

“When there’s only room in the newspaper for a single column about Pakistan, it’s going to be filled with the most compelling story. And unfortunately, that tends to be the most violent story,” said Stanton.

While the Humans of Pakistan project has shown similarities to people residing in New York, Pakistan has developing world problems including struggling to provide and having access to bare necessities.

According to the most recent figures from the World Bank, 20 percent of Pakistanis live in extreme poverty, living on less than $1.25 per day.

“I just found out we’ve been evicted. Right after you leave, I’m going to start packing up. I’ve got to find my family a new place to live by tonight,” said a Pakistanis woman.

Even though 93 percent of the country has access to electricity, frequent blackouts cause inconveniences for everyone. This causes difficulty to perform basic tasks after dark.

While problems are prevalent throughout Pakistan, Stanton hopes his trip to the country raises awareness about extreme poverty and shows there is more to Pakistan than terrorism and the 0.1 percent perceived to the world.

“You lose sight of the 99.99 percent of the world that’s not scary at all. And living in fear can be a dangerous thing. Because if we’re afraid of each other, we’ll never be able to work together to solve our common problems,” said Stanton.

Alexandra Korman

Sources: Humans of New York, TakePart, The Guardian, The World Bank
Photo: Google Images