Child Poverty

GFA World’s Work to End Child Poverty

Poverty is already a terrible reality, but child poverty is especially grievous. Children are more likely to experience poverty than adults and are more vulnerable to its effects. The likelihood of childhood death is twice as high for the world’s poorest children as it is for those from wealthy families. One in seven children live in poverty, even in the wealthiest nations on earth. Regardless matter where they are raised, children who experience poverty have poor living conditions, fewer skills for the workforce, and poorer adult earnings.[1]

Children in poverty struggle with more than just money. For example, they may not have the same opportunities as their peers or they may be forced to work alongside their parents instead of attending school. Poverty also greatly impacts mental health. Kids living in debt are five times more likely to be unhappy than children from better-off families.[2] Other children can, at times, contribute to this unhappiness. More than a quarter of children from the poorest families in the UK said that they had been bullied because their parents could not afford the cost of school supplies or uniforms or something else.[3]

Poverty and a lack of education are mutually-perpetuating.[4]

Poor children are commonly unable to get a solid education because they must work, or they are sick, or their school is underfunded. That means they are not as qualified for higher-paying jobs, trapping them in poverty into adulthood and parenthood for another generation’s turn to circle the nightmare carousel. Education is therefore one of the best ways to help children living in poverty. For every year of primary education that a child receives, their earnings as a worker increase by 10 percent.[5] Knowledge of a skill, even the simple skill of literacy, allows earners to find better-paying jobs with better hours. In Pakistan, a person who is literate earns 23 percent more than someone who is illiterate. Furthermore, highly literate women in Pakistan can earn as much as 95 percent more than women who are either illiterate or have low levels of literacy.[6]

How many children are in poverty?

Though there has been much progress in ending poverty worldwide, about 700 million people live under the extreme poverty line of $2.15 a day.[7] Children, despite representing a third of the global population, comprise half of the people under that line.[8] That is an estimated 356 million children living in extreme poverty, and about a billion children worldwide are multi-dimensionally poor, lacking access to necessities like proper nutrition or clean water.[9] Thus, the fight against child poverty is a major undertaking.

Nevertheless, many organizations have answered the call, including GFA World, where there is a deep passion for helping some of the poorest children of the world. Our child sponsorship program offers education and supplies for free to the kids who are enrolled in the the program. We give them hot, nutritious food to combat the education-ending effects of malnutrition and medical checkups to help prevent them from contracting more illnesses, removing another obstacle to receiving a full education. Just $35 a month can provide all of this to a needy child in Africa or Asia.[10]

Neale, for example, lived in a rural village nestled in a mountain range.[11] The 8-year-old relied on a bus to take him to school each morning, but he often could not afford the ticket. Neale’s father spent much of his small salary on alcohol, leaving Neale’s mother to cover all the family’s needs on her meager earnings. Neale wanted to help his mother by finishing school and finding a good job, but every day he missed the bus, that dream drifted further away. Even when Neale did make it to school, he had to play catch-up from what he had missed, so he kept falling behind. If he wanted a well-paying job, he needed to finish his education. Otherwise, he would be trapped as a day laborer struggling to provide for basic needs.

One of Neale’s teachers noticed his falling grades and told his mother about GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program, which was designed for kids just like Neale. The staff tutored him, catching him up in school and showing him God’s love as well as giving him meals and hygiene supplies and training, further easing the family’s burden. As Neale’s grades rose, so did his hope for the future. He began to believe he could find a good job and help his mother, and he had the tools necessary to do so.

You can help a child like Neale who desperately needs it. Child poverty steals so much from kids, but it can be stopped. There are about 2,000 children waiting for sponsors right now. Consider sponsoring a child and changing the course of their lives, giving them the chance to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

Learn more about hope for children

[1] “Child Poverty.” UNICEF. Accessed December 8, 2022.
[2] “What Are the Effects of Child Poverty?” The Children’s Society. Accessed December 8, 2022.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Psarris, Emily. “Solutions to Poverty-Line Problems of the Poor & Impoverished.” GFA World Special Report. November 15, 2018.
[5] Global Education Monitoring Report Team. “Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All.” UNESCO. 2014.
[6] Ibid.
[7] “Poverty.” World Bank. Accessed December 8, 2022.
[8] “Child Poverty.” UNICEF. Accessed December 8, 2022.
[9] Ibid.
[10] “Sponsor a Child with GFA World.” GFA World. Accessed December 8, 2022.
[11] “Keeping His Future Intact.” GFA World. October 2021.