Kids in Crisis FAQs
Ashima, a young girl from an impoverished family living in Asia,1 received much needed assistance in the form of tutoring, moral lessons, food and school supplies through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program.
“Before coming here,” Ashima said, “I was not able to study seriously because of problems and inconveniences at home, and the financial problem that we are going through.”
Ashima’s problematic home life and lack of guidance led her to skip school and waste her educational opportunities. Sadly, Ashima’s instructor scolded and punished her instead of teaching her the values she needed to succeed.
But then through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship program, Ashima received the guidance she needed to develop positive character traits and values, which enabled her to excel in her studies—and in life. Less than a year later, Ashima’s story of one kid in crisis, was quite a turnaround testimony.
“My future ambition is that I want to become a medical doctor,” she shared. “Especially I want to serve the poor from our society because … once we were very poor, and because we were poor, we were not able to buy many things. It affected us very badly. And now, because GFA World is here, they are helping poor and the needy people like me and my family. I also want to help and serve all the poor children and poor people who are suffering.”
Ashima is an example of one more child being lifted out of poverty because of empowering values—one more life being equipped to help her family escape extreme poverty. But so many other children across Africa and Asia are struggling with significant issues that severely handicap their futures. You can read about many of these issues below.
Around the world, 152 million children are involved in forced child labor, but why is child labor bad? Even the definition of child labor gives us a clue. It is defined as work that “deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.”
The effects of child labor are vast and often have lifelong impacts. When a child is forced to work instead of going to school, they are deprived of more than just education. Here are some negative effects of child labor:
Girls’ education is the cure for many social issues that plague the developing world. Whether it be in addressing poverty, child marriage, child labor, illiteracy, abuse, infanticide, violence or trafficking, ensuring education for children is the key to breaking the cycles that have often raged in the world’s poorest communities.
A child labor definition provided by the International Labor Office is any “…work performed by a child that is likely to interfere with his or her right to education, or to be harmful to his or her health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.” Children are often forcibly employed in agriculture, mining, factories and more.
What should you investigate when considering which girls’ education charities to support? Here are some questions to ask an organization, followed by GFA World’s responses as examples of how an organization might respond:
No parent dreams of their children growing up on a sugar plantation or spinning yards and yards of thread or wielding a machete to harvest cocoa. Yet 218 million children worldwide as young as 5 years old are in some sort of child labor situation. Let’s unravel the complex causes of child labor.
All slavery, including child slavery, may have been officially outlawed in many places, but there are now more slaves in the world than ever before in history. Estimates vary, but one study says that between 2011 and 2018, almost 90 million people experienced some form of modern slavery.
In 2007, a female MIT economist went to a country in South Asia, to see what aspirations parents and girls had for their education. The study highlighted one of the many issues that gives rise to gender inequality in school for girls in South Asia.
This child labor essay reveals the realities of child labor as it exists now, as it has existed in the past, and what we can expect as to its potential for existence in the future. This is particularly important for interested readers who might be unaware of the issues of child labor then and now, or the many others who misunderstand the complexity of the matter.
1 A Drop in the Ocean. Gospel for Asia. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/gfa-world-a-drop-in-the-ocean/ March 2018.