Helping Rural Areas

FundaKohli Philanthropy for Rural Area

A common misconception is that the costs of health care are cheaper in rural America, when in fact the reality is that they are more expensive and more difficult to access.
Blanche Lincoln

With the primary concentration of philanthropic efforts in the urban sector, we often tend to overlook the problems surrounding the rural sectors of our society. Rural areas face a long list of challenges in terms of job opportunities, education, medical care and other basic amenities of life.

Rural philanthropy offers multiple benefits to a large section of people, irrespective of whether they live in a rural place or not. Since rural philanthropy begins largely from the grassroots, it serves as an effective tool to bring communities together and build a positive future.

Whilst the primary focus of many philanthropic bodies is the noble one of alleviating poverty and lack of opportunity in large urban centres, the unique challenges surrounding rural poverty are scarcely mentioned, but are no less important for it.

Without the wide-scale infrastructure of cities, the struggle to survive can all too often prove a losing battle for those who live in country areas.

Lacking even the most basic facilities, those who are young and motivated to better themselves soon leave their village or small town, in search of work elsewhere – an ‘elsewhere’ which usually means the capital city of their country, or some other highly-populated city.

This drift from rural to urban areas causes huge problems for those left behind, since this drain of skill, talent and youthful vigor can have devastating consequences, not least when it comes to planting and harvesting crops from this multitude of agricultural areas. With little or no harvest comes the prospect of lack of nourishment, and the consequent diseases which occur.

However, with the right mindset and a little creative thinking, a solid and sustainable rural infrastructure can be created, without it costing a fortune. Models, moreover, which tap into the philosophy of self-actualization through consistent action

For example, instead of a highly-skilled doctor leaving his rural community and working in a large hospital, he can provide low-cost health services – reflecting the socio-economic circumstances of his patient base – to the local population.

The same can be said for potential agricultural laborers, whose skills need not be lost to the rural workplace and who, with the adoption of certain entrepreneurial skills, can soon be meeting and exceeding the food production needs of their local community.

Such working arrangements benefit entire nations in two ways:

1) The skill base in the countryside is maintained, producing a more balanced distribution of talent and labour and avoiding its concentration in heavily built-up areas.

2) There is less pressure on already highly-strained large city infrastructure, already stretched to breaking-point by the influx of low and medium-skilled workers from rural areas.