Hope for Children

Hope for Children in a Hurting World

Poverty, hunger, human trafficking, child labor, political upheaval and natural disasters: These are just a few of the difficulties facing children worldwide. Any one of them can significantly endanger a child’s life, and all of them will most certainly prevent a child from growing and thriving. Nevertheless, there is hope for children facing these dangers.

No one organization can solve the problems affecting children around the globe. It will take a concerted effort by multiple non-governmental organization in tandem with local authorities and officials to recognize, diagnose and treat the ills of our hurting world.

Hope for children begins with seeing and understanding the issues that endanger them. Here are a few of those issues:

Poverty – According to the World Bank, 356 million children live in poverty worldwide. Poverty is defined as living at or below $1.90 per day. That’s one is six children in crisis who never have enough of life’s necessities.[1]

“1 in 6 children living in extreme poverty is 1 in 6 children struggling to survive,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF Director of Programmes. “These numbers alone should shock anyone.”[2]

The World Bank reports in partnership with UNICEF states, “Although children make up around a third of the global population, around half of the extreme poor are children. Children are more than twice as likely to be extremely poor as adults (17.5 percent of children vs. 7.9 percent of adults). The youngest children are the worst off – nearly 20 percent of all children below the age of 5 in the developing world live in extremely poor households.”[3]

Hunger – According to the World Food Programme, “Across the globe, up to 828 million people do not have enough food and 49 million people are facing emergency levels of hunger. Indeed, parts of Yemen, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Nigeria may be close to or are already in the grip of famine.”[4]

For children, the effects of such lack go far beyond just feeling hungry. It hinders their , development and overall health. Without the right nutrients, they won’t be able to concentrate in school and will always be more susceptible to illness.[5]

Child Labor – A staggering 218 million children from ages 5-17 are caught up in some form of child labor, and 152 million of those children are in hazardous work conditions.[6] Most children in this situation are not going to school, are exhausted, and face constant dangers. Children’s mental health issues are also a serious and growing concern for those trapped in labor.

Poverty, hunger and child labor are three of the issues children worldwide face. With these startling and sad statistics, it would be fair to ask if there is any hope for children. Many organizations, including GFA World, believe there are solutions that address several of these issues.

Giving children hope can start with caring sponsors through programs like GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program. One sponsor said, “God placed in my heart to help. We are so blessed to live in a country that has so much more than we ever need. How much do we spend selfishly? Doesn’t God himself say give to the poor, widowed and orphan?”[7] The heart of a Christian overflows with the love of Jesus Christ in ways that lead them to serve, give and help. Because of the hope a follower of Jesus has, they want others to experience that same hope in Christ.

Sandesh is an example of a child whose life was one long struggle.[8] As the oldest of nine children with a father unable to work, he went to school in the morning and worked in the afternoon. His family worshipped local deities, hoping one of them would relieve them of their situation.

Then Sandesh was enrolled in GFA World ’s Child Sponsorship Program. Though he still had to juggle the many responsibilities of his life, Sandesh received essentials such as nutritious food, tutoring, medical care and other vital services. Sandesh obtained hope for his future, and he experienced the practical love of Jesus through the patient care, encouragement and prayers of the program staff.

Sponsoring a child through GFA is only $35 a month, and it provides solid footing for children mired in poverty. Sponsored children receive assistance with essentials such as supplies, tutoring, nutritious food and clean water. Each of these seemingly small things relieves an enormous pressure from their impoverished families. The sponsorship program becomes a lifeline in the storm of poverty, hunger and danger.

When a child is in school and has caring adults in their life, their ability to grow and thrive increases. Also, they are much less likely to get trapped in child labor. Having a solid education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty that so many families are powerless to escape without generous people like you.

Learn more about child labor then and now

[1] “1 in 6 children lives in extreme poverty, World Bank-UNICEF analysis shows.” World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/10/20/1-in-6-children-lives-in-extreme-poverty-world-bank-unicef-analysis-shows. October 20, 2020.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Ending hunger.” World Food Programme. https://www.wfp.org/ending-hunger. Accessed December 6, 2022.
[5] “Global poverty and hunger.” Children International. https://www.children.org/global-poverty/global-poverty-facts/facts-about-world-poverty-and-hunger. Accessed December 6, 2022.
[6] “Child Labor Facts and Statistics.” The World Counts. https://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/child-labor-facts-and-statistics. Accessed December 6, 2022.
[7] “Sponsor a Child with GFA.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/sponsorachild. Accessed December 6, 2022.
[8] “Student Becomes Family Breadwinner.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/student-becomes-family-breadwinner. August 5, 2009.