The One Billion Who Live on a Dollar a Day

Bolivia - Alvaro Kalancha Quispe, 9, opens the gate to the stone pen that holds the family’s alpacas and llamas each morning so they can graze throughout the hillsides during the day.

We are re-airing this interview which originally aired on July 7, 2014. 

More than one billion people around the world live on a dollar a day. While the reasons for their poverty may be different across geographic regions and political circumstances, the results are much the same. Thomas Nazario looks at the ways extreme poverty severely limits people’s options in life, and that the cycle of poverty is nearly impossible to break without help. His book Living on a Dollar a Day shares the personal stories of some the poorest of the poor.

 

In an e-waste dump in that kills nearly everything that it touches, Fati, 8, works with other children searching through hazardous waste in hopes of finding whatever she can to exchange for pennies.
In an e-waste dump in that kills nearly everything that it touches, Fati, 8, works with other children searching through hazardous waste in hopes of finding whatever she can to exchange for pennies.

While balancing a bucket on her head with the little metal she has found, tears stream down her face as the result of the pain that comes with the malaria she contracted some years ago. This is work she must do to survive.

( © Renée C. Byer )
In the back roads of Ghana, the women and girls of Nkwanta are often seen carrying overhead large buckets of cassava (a starchy edible root), which they farm and then bring home to their villages.
In the back roads of Ghana, the women and girls of Nkwanta are often seen carrying overhead large buckets of cassava (a starchy edible root), which they farm and then bring home to their villages.

 It serves as a staple in their diet. Subsistence farming is the number one livelihood of the extreme poor.

( © Renée C. Byer )
Kayayo girls in Ghana live in communal settings that require the least amount of rent, often near or on top of the city dump.
Kayayo girls in Ghana live in communal settings that require the least amount of rent, often near or on top of the city dump.

Many Kayayo girls carry heavy loads on their heads and work with babies strapped to their backs. They work six days a week, and on Sunday they tend to daily chores such as laundry, cooking and cleaning. "Everyone is struggling so we can't help each other," said Sharifa Monaro, 23, center.

( © Renée C. Byer )
In Bolivia, Alvaro Kalancha Quispe, 9, opens the gate to the stone pen that holds the family’s alpacas and llamas each morning so they can graze throughout the hillsides during the day.
In Bolivia, Alvaro Kalancha Quispe, 9, opens the gate to the stone pen that holds the family’s alpacas and llamas each morning so they can graze throughout the hillsides during the day.

He then heads off to school, but must round them up again in the evening in the Akamani mountain range of Bolivia in an area called Caluyo, about an hour from the city of Qutapampa. In this part of the world, the highlands of Bolivia, approximately 13,000 feet above sea level, residents live in homes with no insulation, no electricity, and no beds. Their water comes from streams that run off the snow-covered mountains. Their livelihood lies with their animals, for each animal produces about three pounds of fur each year, and each pound of fur is sold for 18 bolivianos, which amounts to about $2.50 U.S. All in all, this family may earn about $200 of income each year from the herd they watch over.

( © Renée C. Byer )
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