How Poverty Impacts Education

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Millions of people in the world live in poverty. Entire families go to bed hungry and scared every night—unsure of where their next meal will come from. But hunger isn’t the only setback that poverty brings. It also prevents access to something we often take for granted: education.

In many countries, children—especially girls—don’t get a fair shot at a life-changing education because they are thrust into adulthood far too soon. Every year, 12 million girls are married before they even turn 18, which means that instead of studying for tests, these children are caring for families. Many of these girls don’t even know that other opportunities are possible—because no one has told them.

Research has shown that education is a key stepping-stone to rising above poverty and pursuing a better life. Even in the United States, children who grow up in low-income families face more barriers to education than those that don’t—and this extends the poverty cycle to another generation. Children in other countries who face threats of starvation, kidnapping, and trafficking are even less likely to receive sufficient education, which essentially guarantees their continued struggle with poverty.

Kids across the globe don’t know how to change the story. They don’t even know they’re allowed to change the story. That’s where education comes in.

Equipping children across the globe with the education they deserve is a key step toward eradicating poverty. It is not just about teaching students math and reading lessons. While those things are important, children will not overcome poverty by simply learning how to add. Instead, according to an article in The Guardian, students need to be taught basic life skills such as communication, persistence, and negotiation. This will ultimately help them make long-term decisions that lead to better opportunities.

Kids don’t just need to learn because it’s fun. They deserve to learn because it offers them a chance to live—a chance to literally change the course of their lives.

At Forgotten Children, we want to eliminate barriers to education and fight poverty because we know they are inextricably intertwined. Our programs in our partner countries empower children to live to their fullest potential by educating both their minds and their hearts. Learn more about what we do and how you can get involved here.

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