Poverty and Education

Poverty and Education

The world experiences a self-perpetuating problem with poverty and education. In a sense, it’s a “chicken and egg” type of situation.

Which came first: low education or poverty?

When parents are stuck in a cycle of generational poverty, they often raise their children without education. Sometimes they can’t afford to send their kids to school or they don’t see the benefit of education in their daily struggle to survive. Likewise, when a person doesn’t get an education, poverty is often the result. For that reason, education is a major key to ending the cycle of poverty, but, unfortunately, poverty is still one of the largest obstacles to education.

In order for this self-perpetuating problem of poverty and education to cease, there needs to be something that breaks the cycle. That’s where GFA World comes in!

Dayita is a living example of the impact of poverty and education.

Dayita, a mother of four children, lives in Asia. With her husband ill, she was forced to provide for her family on her own. As an illiterate woman, her job skills were limited. She could do manual labor, but that’s about all she was qualified to do. So, she began gathering firewood from nearby forests and selling it to meet the needs of her family. The work was difficult and made it difficult to spend time with her family. She didn’t earn enough money to send her children to school. She couldn’t teach them basic reading and writing, either, since she didn’t know how to read and write herself. The cycle of poverty and illiteracy was on schedule to continue into the next generation.

Then GFA World stepped in to help.

Knowing the correlation between poverty and education, GFA workers enrolled Dayita’s eldest daughter in our child sponsorship program.1 Her daughter began receiving the support she needed to attend and succeed in school. Her daughter’s joy began to spread to her younger siblings as well. The help Dayita’s family received made a tremendous difference and helped ease the financial burden on the family.

What solutions exist to this self-perpetuating cycle of poverty and education? Here are three proven solutions:

Education for Children

Just like Dayita’s daughter, children in Asia and Africa are being helped through GFA World programs that enable them to go to school. In addition to academic learning, children in school can learn how to dream for their future. Some dream of being doctors, community leaders, business owners and more. Without education, children often don’t have the capacity to see a better future for themselves and their families.

Literacy Training for Adults

When adults learn to read through GFA World literacy programs, they have dramatically improved access to higher-paying jobs and opportunities. Literacy classes also teach basic math skills, which give people confidence in the marketplace. People who can read and understand math are less likely to be taken advantage of in the marketplace.

Vocational Training

GFA World provides life-improving skills training such as tailoring classes. When a person learns a trade such as tailoring, , their income opportunities increase dramatically. When you think of education, you may think of children in school, but don’t forget that vocational training is education that can impact an adult in a dramatic way. Training like this is often out of reach for adults living in poverty, but GFA World provides tailor training free of charge to help break the cycle of poverty for people in Asia and hopes to soon expand this program in Africa. These skills provide adults with a source of income to help feed their families and empower them to obtain financial stability. Vocational education also offers women a sense of dignity because of the opportunities it provides for them to earn an income.

We may not know which comes first—poverty or lack of education—but we do know some solutions. GFA World has been helping people in need since 1979.

Will you consider giving to GFA World’s literacy and education efforts? Through the faithful efforts of GFA World missionaries, we have witnessed the power of literacy and vocational training can have on people’s lives. These programs lift individuals and families out of poverty and change communities for the better.

Learn more about child labor

1 “An Education They Never Dreamed Of”. GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/an-education-they-never-dreamed-of. May 2016.