Generational Poverty

Definition of Generational Poverty

A definition of generational poverty can be as simple as identifying a pattern of poverty that lasts for two or more generations.1 But it can also be a complex, multi-factor cycle that creates its own downward spiral. Circumstances that contribute to this generational cycle include: lack of proper nutrition and clean water, lack of skills and education and a poverty mindset.

Children who grow up watching their parents and grandparents struggle to meet basic needs are significantly more likely to suffer from poverty.2 Lack of money creates chronic stress, in addition to a mindset of scarcity and helplessness.

Lack of basic resources, like nutritious food, clean water and job skills, further the problem. And, not knowing where to turn for help makes the situation seem even more hopeless and lonely.

“All people are less efficient when they lack something, whether that is time or money. Research shows that they display often self-defeating behaviors that are caused by a lack of bandwidth and inability to think clearly.”

According to Tamra Ryan, of the Women’s Bean Project3

GFA provides life-saving solutions through its programs, which range from education to proper sanitation and medical care to income generating animals. We help break the cycle of poverty by teaching people the skills they need to be self-sufficient.

We bring hope through our ministry. Metaphorically speaking, we don’t just give them fish, we teach them how to fish, so that they can pass their knowledge, skills and inspiration on to the next generation, and the following generations.

You Can Help

When we look at all of the physical, mental and emotional factors that contribute to impoverished families, it can seem overwhelming. Indeed, it is too much for one person. But God reminds us that everything is possible with Him. Generational poverty can be overcome. Since 1979, GFA has been committed to helping Asia’s low-income families. We frequently serve in areas where nobody else is through sponsoring national missionary workers. They minister to people’s most basic needs, both materially and spiritually, acting as the hands and feet of Jesus and giving hope to those who have never known God’s love.

Click here to give today.

Learn more about generational poverty

1 “The Burden of Generational Poverty.” Compassion International. Accessed June 2022.
2 “Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty.”
3 Understanding Intergenerational Poverty.” Georgia Center for Opportunity,