Poverty in Asia

People Overcoming Poverty in South Asia Nations

The largest continent, Asia also presents some of the greatest needs, with millions of people living in extreme poverty.1 Though the region has experienced economic success, it also has some of the highest rates for hunger and poverty.2 But there is good news: There are people overcoming poverty in south Asia nations. Through the help of organizations such as GFA World, there are success stories, and lives are being transformed. Here are a few examples.

Preshti struggled with everyday tasks and easily became confused when she visited her mother in a neighboring village of south Asia.3

She couldn’t read the signs. Growing up in an impoverished family, Preshti was unable to attend school as a child. Instead, she took care of her younger siblings while her parents worked. Education seemed out of her reach.

After Preshti married, she realized the importance of literacy. She struggled to read street signs, pay bills, board the correct bus, check her earnings and count the change she received at the market.

Preshti’s situation seemed hopeless until she participated in a GFA World literacy class. There, she learned to read and write, and her confidence soared. With her newfound skills, Preshti joined other women in a local small business plan, through which she began earning money. Thanks to her new literacy skills, Preshti was able to provide for her family.

Elsewhere in South Asia, Venita’s future appeared bleak.4

The young daughter of a poor, alcoholic daily wage laborer, Venita seemed destined to gain little education and repeat her family’s cycle of poverty. Venita’s father barely earned enough for the family’s survival, much less enough for proper school supplies. Without proper support or study materials, Venita struggled in school.

Then, at the age of 8, Venita enrolled in GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program and her life’s trajectory changed. With careful guidance from GFA staff, Venita soon caught up in her studies. She also learned discipline, manners and morals and participated in extracurricular activities. With the help of the program, Venita not only completed 12th grade but she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Now, Venita tutors children—helping them acquire the tools to achieve a brighter future—and helps her family financially. Destined for greater things, Venita was empowered through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program to rise above the poverty of her childhood.

Taden had also grown up in poverty in South Asia.5

As a father, he worked intense manual labor jobs as a migrant worker, trying in vain to provide for his family of five. He couldn’t afford to send his children to school. He barely kept them fed. Taden was continually frustrated and disappointed at his inability to meet the needs of those he loved so much.

Caught in a cycle of generational poverty, Taden, even as a child, dreamed of a day when he wouldn’t be hungry, when he would have enough clothes, when he could someday give his children a life outside of poverty. But the poverty clung to Taden. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t seem to get ahead.

One day, hope came in the form of a cow, which was given to him by a local GFA missionary out of Christ-like love and compassion. The cow soon gave birth to a calf and started producing milk. Through the income earned by selling the milk, Taden was finally able to comfortably meet his family’s basic needs and start giving them the life he longed for them to have. He was able to send his children to school, enabling them to jump from the path of illiteracy and perpetual poverty to the path of education and opportunity.

Leena, likewise, dreamed of properly feeding her children.6

Her husband’s lowly job cleaning a private bus barely covered the family’s most essential needs. She longed to contribute somehow, to help provide a better life for their children. She inquired about tailoring classes, but she couldn’t afford the fees. Then she learned of a free tailoring class being offered by GFA missionaries nearby, and hope rekindled in her heart.

Diligently applying herself every day in class, Leena learned basic tailoring skills. Equipped with the knowledge and skills she needed to get her family out of poverty, Leena went to work, picking up jobs from local tailoring shops. The final piece of Leena’s dream came true when she received a sewing machine of her own from a GFA World gift distribution. With these tools and skills, Leena has hope for the future and of providing a better life for her family.

These are just a few individuals GFA World has empowered to overcome poverty.

1 Banerjee, Shuvojit and Poh Lynn Ng. “Why can’t dynamic Asia-Pacific beat poverty?” ESCAP. https://www.unescap.org/blog/why-cant-dynamic-asia-pacific-beat-poverty. July 5, 2019.
2 Jackson, Tara. “13 Shocking and Important Facts about Poverty in Asia.” The Borgen Project. https://borgenproject.org/facts-about-poverty-in-asia/. January 22, 2018.
3 “Literacy Opens Business Opportunities for Woman.” GFA World. https://gospelforasia-reports.org/2020/08/literacy-opens-business-opportunities-woman/. August 13, 2020.
4 “Finding Her True Destiny.” REJOICE: Gospel for Asia Newsletter. https://gfa-newsletter.org/issue/18/5/finding-her-true-destiny/. August 2021.
5 “A Father’s Good Gift.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/gift/stories/taden/. October 2019.
6 “Overcoming Poverty: A Dream to Feed Her Children.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/overcoming-poverty-a-dream-to-feed-her-children-wfr21-05/. Accessed November 2, 2021.