Solutions to Poverty
Reducing extreme poverty is a massive challenge, but the strategies and solutions to poverty are equally promising. Today, $1.90 of daily income is the official marker of extreme poverty and around 736 million people are in this group, many of them children.1 The people in this category often lack adequate housing, hygiene, medical treatment and education.
So, what are the solutions to poverty?
Let’s study the impact that positive values and education have on poverty in a society.
First, positive values create a chain reaction that can change a culture.
Consider the following example:
1 – Luis has positive values. Perhaps they were taught to him by a parent, or he learned them from a source outside his family, perhaps from his church. His children are benefiting from his ethical foundation, and he encourages them to attend school and continue learning.
2 – His employer sees Luis’ values and ethics—his integrity, intelligence, and energy. While his coworkers sometimes display negative ideologies, Luis’ workplace benefits from his positivity. His boss sees this and gives Luis more responsibilities through a promotion.
3 – Luis now has the opportunity to treat those under him with integrity. He will not exploit them or use forced labor. His honesty will strengthen the company and his example will boost morale.
4 – Luis and his family are less likely to be influenced by crime. His children, having received an education, will be even less likely to be impacted by crime as they grow into adulthood.
5 – Luis rises out of poverty through positive values and hard work. He can now help others who are in need around him. He’s walked the same path and can help others rise above poverty, too.
Second, education is another key component to elevating someone out of poverty.
God created the human mind to learn, dream, imagine and use logic. When children are given opportunities for education, they are far more likely to break out of poverty. Often, children are not encouraged to attend school or pursue educational opportunities because the family needs them to work. The urgent need for food and survival is much more critical than education. When a family is simply trying to survive the day, education is not a priority. In these circumstances, it is difficult for parents to see education as essential for their children. However, education is key to the alleviation of poverty, and one of the solutions to the poverty cycle.
“Education is fundamental to sustainable development, it is a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health; it enables people to be more productive, to earn a better living and enjoy a better quality of life, while also contributing to a country’s overall economic growth.”2
It is often essential for an outside force or organization to alleviate the financial pressure on the family so that the children can go to school. For example, when a child is taken out of the workforce and sent to school, that family is missing an income. In GFA’s child sponsorship program, children are given hope through access to community development programs like access to education, clean water, and more. Families may also be gifted with other items to help with hygiene and household needs. This takes financial pressure off the parents, which encourages them to allow for education.
The International Labor Organization reports that the number of out-of-school children in South Asia constitutes “a formidable challenge.” The organization estimates more than 25 million boys and girls ages 7 to 14 do not attend school in countries in the region.
Consider how the poverty numbers in those countries could be changed if those boys and girls were in school and learning the skills necessary to break the cycle of poverty. In the rural areas of Indonesia, those who complete secondary education are twice as likely to break the cycle of poverty and their chances of falling into poverty are reduced by a quarter.3
Education is one of the essential solutions to extreme poverty.
How does poverty affect society? GFA World is committed to helping the fight against poverty by using these two solutions to poverty and many more proven strategies. Since 1970, we have been committed to serving impoverished people in Asia, often in locations where no one else is serving. These people have learned that God loves them, and they are made in His image. Recently GFA began serving in Rwanda as well and there are plans to expand into other areas of Africa.
Will you join us in reaching the “least of these” by investing in proven local solutions for poverty?
1 Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018: Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle. The World Bank. www.worldbank.org/en/publication/poverty-and-shared-prosperity. 2018.
2 Schools & Health. The Impact of Education. http://www.schoolsandhealth.org/pages/education.aspx. June 2018.
3 UNESCO. Teaching and Learning: Achieving quality for all. EFA Global Monitoring Report. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002256/225660e.pdf. 2014.