Across the world, children are suffering from the pains of a prison called poverty. Children are crying out in hunger and desperation because they happened to be born into an unfortunate situation.
On their own, they have no hope of escaping the cycle of poverty. They cannot get the nutrition they hunger for; they cannot get the water they thirst for; they cannot get the education they long for. And orphans fare even worse since they are completely at the mercy of the people that surround them.
Here in the modernized Western world, we’ve insulated ourselves fairly well from poverty. We haven’t stamped it out, but we have eliminated all but the smallest pockets of poverty. The plight of hundreds of millions of people in another continent can seem so small and far away. But the impact of widespread poverty still affects us.
Imagine for a moment if everyone had easy and open access to at least a decent grade school education. Knowledge of basic math and science would give people a footing by which to understand how the world works; health education would teach how to prevent many common, but debilitating diseases and afflictions like AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and the Guinea worm disease; and language education would erase illiteracy and enable communication on a much larger scale.
By educating just one child, he now has the chance to rise above the pack and be more than another hungry beggar. That child grows up and is able to be more productive than his parents. He may have picked up a skill such as agriculture and now he’s not only able to feed himself, but his family and some of his neighbors as well. Now, when that child eventually has children of his own, he will pass his knowledge on to them and immediately they will have a better start than he did.
By educating one child, you set off a chain reaction that begins to change everything around him for the better. Soon, poverty is being stamped out from within. And all it took was a relatively small investment in education. It all boils down to the proverbial phrase,
“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”
How To Help
- Ask a church – My church has partnered with a number of ministries to help feed and educate children in Honduras, the Philippines, and Liberia. For less than 50 cents a day, a child can go to school for a year. I’m sure a church in your area is working to sponsor children in third-world countries.
- Go and Teach – By joining up with the Peace Corps, you can go into the heart of the poverty-stricken area and effect change yourself. While this isn’t for everyone, it’s a great way to ensure that your efforts go directly to the children who need you the most.
- You Tell Me – What other reputable ministries and organizations are out there that strive to teach children so they can lift themselves out of poverty? Please tell me in the comments and hopefully we can get a huge list together that everyone can use!