GFA World is Fighting Child Poverty

How many children are in poverty? UNICEF estimates more than 1 billion children are multidimensionally poor, lacking the necessities like nutrition or clean water, and it’s estimated that 356 million children live in extreme poverty worldwide.[1] There are various types of poverty and all of them are key factors in the fight against child poverty.

  • Education Poverty is perhaps the most detrimental because education and literacy are essential to breaking out of poverty. In fact, literacy has been named a miracle cure to poverty, and education provides doors for children to break through the cycles of poverty.[2]
  • Generational Poverty is when a family lives in poverty for two generations or more. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to bring poverty into adulthood.[3] Unless something breaks through that cycle of poverty, generational poverty will continue into the future.
  • Environmental Poverty revolves around water supply, disease from insects, drought and other environmental factors. When children are forced to journey for hours each day looking for water, it keeps them from school. That water is often contaminated and contains waterborne illnesses.
  • Social Poverty is centered around people groups. For example, a particular people group may possess few rights or have no say in their lives. When a group is oppressed in this way, it is social poverty. Children are victims of this type of poverty. Not only do they have no rights as children, their parents don’t either, making breaking the cycle of poverty very difficult.
  • Health Poverty keeps children out of school and adults out of work. Illness and disease is a perpetuator of poverty. Contaminated water is the catalyst for many illnesses among children as it frequently exposes them to waterborne illnesses.
  • Economic Poverty is perhaps the most widely accepted. This is when children and their parents lack the money necessary for their basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.[4] When children and their parents are gifted with another way to make an income, such as livestock, tools or a sewing machine, their chance of escaping economic poverty increases!
  • Spiritual Poverty is often described as a feeling of worthlessness or even despair. When there is no hope for living, children don’t even know how to hope for something better. God is the hope-bringer to our lives.

GFA World has been combatting child poverty in South Asia and Africa for decades. How does GFA help children in poverty in each of these areas?


  • Education Poverty is addressed through GFA’s Child Sponsorship Program. GFA provides help to families by providing things like tutoring assistance, nutritious food, clean water and help with required school supplies.
  • Generational and Economic Poverty is combatted through many strategies. One key strategy of GFA World is providing income-generating gifts to children and families like chickens, goats, sewing machines, seeds and other gifts. These gifts help families earn more income and pull out of poverty.
  • Environmental Poverty is fought mostly through installation of Jesus Wells and distribution of BioSand water filters. When children and adults have access to clean and uncontaminated water nearby their home, the environmental factors of poverty are diminished.
  • Social Poverty is a big factor in South Asia and Africa where GFA serves. We are committed to making our programs available to all people groups. For example, our water wells are kept free and available to all, regardless of their social class, religion or economic status.
  • Health Poverty is the focus of GFA’s medical ministries. Whether it is caring for people with leprosy, providing hygiene training for kids or providing free medical camps in remote communities, our medical missions is making a difference.
  • Spiritual Poverty is the heartbeat of GFA’s mission. We know that true hope and worth comes from a saving relationship with the one true God of the universe.

GFA World has been fighting extreme poverty in South Asia for decades, and more recently in Africa too. Children living in poverty in these regions are being helped with successful and time-tested strategies for helping people escape extreme poverty.

Will you join us by sponsoring a child in South Asia or Africa? For just $35 a month, you can tell a child you care. Sponsor a child today.

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[1] “Child Poverty.” UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/social-policy/child-poverty. Accessed November 22, 2022.
[2] “Why Education is Key to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.” Compassion. https://www.compassion.com.au/blog/why-education-is-key-to-breaking-the-cycle-of-poverty. May 19, 2022.
[3] “The Burden of Generational Poverty.” Compassion. https://www.compassion.com/poverty/generationalpoverty.htm. Accessed November 22, 2022.
[4] “Poverty.” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. https://jech.bmj.com/content/59/4/260. Accessed November 22, 2022.
* Cover Photo: “United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda.” United Nations. https://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/17430964385/. May 8, 2015.