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Action to address social inequality

If there is no controversy about something, it is the marked concentration of income in 1% of the population and its inequality to the rest of the population, the 99%. Underscoring the difference, newspaper and opinion articles argue that the wealth of the world's top billionaires could eradicate poverty on entire continents.

The public policy of egalitarianism appears to be distant from our present and certainly outside the scope of this commentary or its purpose. While entry wars are being fought, real people face real problems that require imminent attention and sustainable solutions. Beyond discussing evils themselves, it is appropriate to discuss how we channel help specifically to the most vulnerable within the 99% by establishing valves and adjustments in our society, now.

Philanthropy is not a new thing. Among the people and companies that have spread capital by skill or chance, some have social commitment and channel funds from social need which, according to their vision, is where help is needed the most. As we face new geopolitical challenges, the effective distribution of that capital must be dedicated to bona fide organizations with a track record of delivering results to people in need. It is necessary to establish effective valves to channel redistribution to those people, families and communities with greater complexity of challenges.

In recent times we have seen its evolution with digital media. Donations through crowdfunding platforms gave way to this evolution in the last decade. Notably, GoFundMe for personal causes and Kickstarter for nascent ideas. In Puerto Rico, Antrocket set out to achieve both. These group financing channels gave way to the eventual direct technicalization of the pages and sites of non-profit organizations.

Although these initiatives serve one space, others take different routes. We believe that the approach should be person-centered and aimed at tackling problems at their roots. If we don't put ourselves in the full picture of challenges that a person faces, then we solve a challenge without finding the source of the problem. It sounds like a naively ideal premise. It may even sound like an unattainable utopian goal, but we postulate that at a minimum it is the next step in social evolution.

Social needs, or in other words, the problems that a person faces can have different causes with different origins. Physical challenges such as lack of mobility due to disability, behavioral challenges with a chemical imbalance, social challenges such as access to education in the first four years of age, food instability or loneliness rooted in circumstances, or genetic challenges such as dyslexia may be present. intertwined or aggravating each other.

Philanthropy of the last century would focus on financing assistance for one social cause without addressing the others, while today we can understand the situation holistically. Centered on the person and their environment, we can focus on solutions based on a complete vision to guide them towards well-being. If the challenges of one or the other are challenges that are repeated in those in proximity, then we know that the solution for one is a solution for many. With a person-centered vision, we jump from the steps of ants to the steps of an elephant for the benefit of the individual, the family, the community.

Understanding these concepts by everyone, in the 99% and in the 1%, can have a transcendental effect in Puerto Rico. Creating the correct valves is essential for our Island. Both the effective channeling of funds and coordinated community embraces make this next step viable with viral vitality towards helping one or another, and therefore, many. Bona fide organizations and reliable media are vital organizations to achieve this. Individual and social well-being is necessarily our North.

Diego Loinaz

Graduate and founder of Sociants


Published in El Vocero, Tuesday, December 25, 2021

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