Helping the Poor
When you begin helping the poor, you are providing for someone in a tangible and potentially lifesaving way. Some of the poorest people in the world live in South Asia and Africa.
Consider these options for how to help the poor and needy that are available through GFA World in parts of Asia and Africa:
Give an income-generating gift
Gifts can help people acquire a new income-generation source. For example, when you gift chickens to a family, they will have eggs to sell at the market and eggs to eat. They can also raise more chickens to increase their flocks. When you gift a cow or goat, the family can sell milk from those animals.
Sitara has had a hard life. Twenty years ago, her husband had to stop working due to mental health problems. Then, two of her sons passed away. She had nowhere to turn and no idea how to provide for her family’s needs. Then someone gave her a very special gift—a goat! “When I received the goat, I leapt with joy,” Sitara said. “I shared with all my neighbors … I went and told them that I received a goat. I’m so delighted because I have a means to earn [a living].” Sitara can now provide for her family and send her children to school.
Goats may seem like a strange gift to give, but they can rapidly improve a family’s financial situation. Goats produce milk to sell at the market and manure to sell to farmers. Goats are a great gift to donate to the poor.
Give toward training someone in a new skill
The gift of training in a new skill is also a huge benefit to a family. As an example, GFA often teaches women in Asia the skills of sewing and tailoring. Often, when these women complete the training, they are gifted with a sewing machine and can begin working as a tailor. New skills create new income opportunities.
Sewing machines can do more than mend garments; they can also mend broken lives. Gift recipients can earn a stable income by sewing clothes. “I was really longing for a machine. … I have no words to express my feelings and thanks to the church. … This gift not only helps me to earn a daily income, but also it brought us close to the Living God,” says Romila, a sewing machine recipient.
Invest in literacy
There are over 250 million women in Asia who are illiterate. This is dangerous because they can’t read warning labels that protect them and their children. When adults learn to read, even basic reading skills, they are qualified for more jobs. When they also learn how to do basic math, they are able to be more proficient at the market and able to read and understand contracts. Teaching illiterate women and men to read and write enables them to also learn from books.
To learn more, read what the Bible says about helping the poor.
Invest in community development
Community development projects such as clean water wells, water filters and toilets help increase the well-being of an entire community. Women and children no longer need to walk long distances to access clean water because lifegiving water is easily accessible in their communities.
Invest in compassion services
These services help meet the needs of people in dire situations, often those living in slums and those who struggle with leprosy or other health conditions. GFA’s leprosy ministry, called Reaching Friends Ministry, provides a daily nourishing meal, medical care, and practical help with daily duties.
Give to help widows and abandoned children
These two demographics of people are among the most rejected people of Asia. In some countries traditions widows are believed to be cursed. Widows and abandoned children must fend for themselves—alone and unprotected. GFA helps meet the needs of these precious people by providing shelter, food, income-generating gifts, and compassion.
To learn more, read about Jesus helping the poor.
Helping the poor is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty. Oftentimes, an outside entity is necessary to give a person a way to break out of the cycle—a new skill, an income generating gift, or the ability to read.