What Is the Cycle of Poverty

How Can Education Break the Cycle of Poverty?

When considering the question, “How can education break the cycle of poverty?” it is important to recognize that children of poverty do not have broken brains or lower intelligence.[1] Their circumstances have often been less conducive to learning and given them fewer opportunities to receive a proper education, resulting in another round of the poverty cycle as they cannot find high-paying work with little to no schooling. Education can reverse that trend and be the way out of poverty.

Divena’s parents often fought, the sound traveling well past the tarp walls of the family’s house. It fell silent when her mom left to be with another man, and three-year-old Divena and her older brother never saw their mom again. Divena’s father was a truck driver, which meant he had to leave the kids at home alone for weeks at a time, only seeing them between driving jobs. An elderly grandmother took care of them for a while, but her age and failing health soon made that impossible. While other kids went to school, Divena, now 5, played in the mud.

Then one day, a GFA child sponsorship program staff worker was visiting her students in the area. She saw Divena and asked about the little mud-caked girl. Upon hearing the story of her and her brother, the GFA worker was moved with compassion. She knew the center where she worked would be able to help them. Divena and her brother were soon enrolled in the program and entered a new world where adults showed up and loved children. They got a meal every day, adult supervision and guidance. Not only that, but Divena and her brother received school supplies and free tuition, making it possible to attend school for the first time. Divena loved playing with her friends every day, too; they sang songs, ran races and even went on field trips. Divena now dreamt of a bright future for herself beyond the tarp walls of her house.[2]

Divena is just one of thousands of children that GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program has impacted since it began in 2004.[3] Something as simple as school supplies and tutoring assistance changes a child’s world from hopeless to full of possibilities. Education opens their minds and provides opportunities otherwise unknown.

Sponsoring a child takes just $35 a month and ensures they receive an education, food, water, love and encouragement to change the trajectory of their lives.[4]

Consider joining in this effort with GFA, not just to answer, “What is the cycle of poverty?” but to help end it.

[1] Birdsong, Kristina. “10 Facts About How Poverty Impacts Education.” Fast Forword by Carnegie Learning. January 26, 2016. https://www.scilearn.com/10-facts-about-how-poverty-impacts-education/.
[2] “Neglected Girl Replaces Mud Canvas with Paper, Pencils.” GFA World. May 2020. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/neglected-girl-replaces-mud-canvas-with-paper-pencils/.
[3] Walker, Ken. “Child Sponsorship.” GFA World. November 18, 2022. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/does-sponsoring-child-really-work/.
[4] “Sponsor a Child with GFA World.” GFA World. Accessed July 6, 2023. https://www.gfa.org/sponsorachild/.