June 2020 Newsletter
Issue #40
Living in a Garbage Dump
Some 15 million of the world's poorest people live and work in municipal rubbish dumps around
the globe.

These people scavenge for food and things to sell. Waste pickers make around $3.25 a day selling the items they find to ‘agents’ and scrap dealers who then sell it.

People don’t leave the dumps because they can’t afford to.
  • Families get trapped in a cycle of generational poverty because the wages offered by recycling are not high enough to cover their most basic needs.
  • Most garbage dump communities don’t have access to schools. Without access to formal education or jobs that offer enough money to relocate, those living in the dumps cannot afford to live or work elsewhere, or save money to invest in the future.
  • Living and working in the dump often leads to sickness, disease, or serious injury, further trapping generations of families.

Garbage dumps are incredibly dangerous. The minority of deaths in garbage dumps are natural. Dangers include:
  • Methane gas buildup causing spontaneous combustion
  • Getting swallowed into garbage landslides and suffocating
  • Illness from contaminated food and water, toxic air, and lack of sanitation
  • Serious and/or gangrenous injury from glass or shrapnel
  • Being run over by garbage trucks/crushed by contents
  • Disease and disability caused by medical waste dumping
  • Gang violence and blackmail based on region
  • Trauma and mental illness related to severity of the conditions
          International Samaritan

30% of infants born in a dump will die before reaching the age of 2 .
The average life expectancy in these communities
is 35.
For more on Poverty , click here.
Small Steps Project
Dedicated to supporting children around the world who live on rubbish dumps and survive from scavenging. Raises awareness, through film, of the unacceptable hardships that they face. They also deliver shoes, hygiene kits and emergency aid to protect children in the dump environment, followed by sustainable solutions to enable children to take small steps off rubbish dumps and into education. Learn more.
For more on Poverty , click here.
Waste Atlas
A resource from D-Waste providing a free crowd-sourcing access map that visualizes municipal solid waste management data across the world. Includes data for: countries, cities, sanitary landfills and dumpsites. Many of the dumpsites also list an informal estimate of the number of people living there. Learn more.
For more on Poverty , click here.
On Earth As It Is in Heaven: A Faith-Based Toolkit for Economic Justice
By Eric Atcheson. By critically examining biblical texts, Church history, and present-day events and experiences, offers pastors, activists, and concerned citizens a faith-based toolkit for understanding and addressing the economic disparities present in their communities, as well as ways to initiate hopeful conversations. Learn more.
For more on Economic Justice , click here.
Responsible Wealth
A project of United for a Fair Economy, Responsible Wealth is a network of business leaders, and inheritors in the richest 5% of wealth and/or income in the U.S. that believes that growing inequality is not in their best interest, nor in the best interest of society.

They take responsibility in examining and changing corporate and government policies that widen the economic gap and speak out — in Congress, in the media, and in corporate boardrooms — for progressive taxes and greater corporate accountability. Learn more.
For more on Economic Justice, click here .
Our World in Data
Provides research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems such as: poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality. The goal of their work is to make the knowledge on these problems accessible and understandable. Their Data Grapher is a free, open-source tool to store and visualize data in many different ways. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Pacific Institute
A global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts to develop sustainable water policies. Priorities include: climate and water, safe and affordable water, corporate water stewardship, healthy aquatic ecosystems, water-smart cities and sustainable agriculture. Learn more.
For more on Water Access , click here.
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
Features a "red list" of endangered species -- one of the world’s most comprehensive information sources on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species.  Learn more.
For more on the Environment , click here.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights   
A California organization with national impact, made up of diverse immigrant families and individuals who act as agents of social change to achieve a world with freedom of mobility, full human rights, and true participatory democracy. Works to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants by organizing and serving individuals, institutions and coalitions to build power, transform public opinion, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights. Learn more.
For more on Immigration , click here.
Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States
A resource from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), this short video highlights the discrepancies of life expectancy between groups of people at the highest and lowest income groups as well as other factors such as gender, race, age and locality. Watch now.
For more on Health Care , click here.
Justice Action Network
Expands and drives forward the building criminal justice reform effort in the U.S., turning national momentum and widespread support into concrete action. Played a critical role in passing more than 120 laws across 20 states, and helped lead the fight for the landmark federal First Step Act and Fair Chance Act. Employs a wide range of education, advocacy, and mobilization efforts to pass bipartisan reforms that make the criminal justice system smarter, fairer, more efficient, and more effective. Learn more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System ,
Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships
Helps communities form their own unique organizations to combat human trafficking. Provides information on some of the key players such as federal and local law enforcement, U.S. Attorneys and state equivalents, churches, non-profit organizations, human service providers, service clubs and media. Learn more.
For more on Human Trafficking , click here.
U.S. Mass Shootings: 1982-Present
A resource from Mother Jones, updated on a regular basis, that lists every location, date and summary including the total number of deaths and injuries from gun violence in the U.S. Learn more.
For more on Gun Violence , click here.
Minimum Wage in the United States
A resource page from Wikipedia, that offers information related to the minimum wage in the U.S. including history, legislation, historical trends, economic effects, commentary, polls, a list by jurisdiction, large corporations & low-paying occupations. Learn more.
For more on the Minimum Wage , click here.
Beyond Hashtag Activism:
Comprehensive Justice in a Complicated Age
By Mae Elise Cannon. Calls on the church to respond substantively to the needs of the poor, the realities of racial inequity, and the mistreatment of women and the marginalized through a range of strategic avenues―spiritually, socially, legally, politically, and economically. Helps readers understand and put into action what it means for the church to be a place of peace, justice, and hope. Read more.
For more Public Witness resources, click here.
The Myth of the American Dream: Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety, and Power
By D. L. Mayfield. Looks at four central values of the American dream to see if they are compatible with Jesus' command to love our neighbor as ourselves. Asks us to pay attention to the ways they shape our choices, and the ways these choices affect our neighbors. Questions where these values come from and how they have failed those on the edges of our society. Examines how we might disentangle ourselves from our culture's headlong pursuit of these values and live faithful lives of service to God and our neighbors. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Prayer for Those Living with
Poverty and Hunger

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1

Our Loving Creator God, We bring before you this day the burden the whole world carries as it endures extreme poverty and hunger in every land. Stretch out your loving arms, we pray, to embrace the suffering women, men and children whose bodies, minds and spirits are shrinking before our very eyes. Help us to look, really look, with clear eyes and open hearts, to see the pain and hopelessness in their bewildered eyes. Kindle within each one of us a flame of love and purpose, and then Enable us to channel our love into action in every way possible and impossible. For this we pray. Amen —

Mimi A. Simson
Important Dates This Month
Individuals Honored This Month
June 1st
In my empty cell, I experience a growing awareness of the communion of saints -- and of the possibility of a world where the vast chasm of violence and injustice enforced by torture and war is bridged and transformed.
June 4th
The media seems to think only abortion and gay marriage are religious issues. Poverty is a moral issue, it's a faith issue, it's a religious issue.
June 8th
If there is no friendship with the poor and no sharing of the life of the poor, then there is no authentic commitment to liberation, because love exists only among equals.
June 12th
Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.
June 28th
Even today we don't pay serious attention to the issue of poverty, because the powerful remain relatively untouched by it. Most people distance themselves from the issue by saying that if the poor worked harder, they wouldn't be poor.
June 30th

Killed in El Salvador in 1980 with 3 companions by members of the military for her work with the poor.
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