Hope for Children Who Are Living in Poverty
In many parts of Africa and South Asia, hope for children is being offered through many organizations, including GFA World. Sometimes, this hope is delivered through tangible help like clean water wells, education and medical care. Other times, the hope comes through caring adults who help children see a future apart from poverty—a mindset that is sometimes an all-consuming influence.
When a child’s grandparents grew up in poverty, followed by their parents, and now them, there is a poverty mindset that often overtakes them. It’s hard for anyone inside the cycle to imagine a future without the hardships that come with poverty. In a sense, poverty creates blinders that are difficult to remove.
Divena, age 5, was often left home alone with her older brother. Her dad, a truckdriver who was required to travel weeks at a time, had no other options after his wife suddenly left the family to be with another man. Divena’s grandmother was elderly, but she tried to help. She knew her grandchildren would die of starvation if something didn’t change. However, her aging body left her unable to do much.
Divena couldn’t attend school. Instead, she spent her days playing in the mud. That is where Yashimita, a GFA social worker, found her. She was in Divena’s area visiting some of her students when she spotted the little girl likely caked with mud and her heart filled with compassion. She knew just the place that could help Divena and her brother—GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program!
The two children enrolled in the program and entered a whole new world of hope. Divena’s new environment was filled with joy, laughter, peace and adults who cared for her.
Now, Divena’s dad and grandmother are so thankful for the care their family is experiencing. The children receive a healthy meal each day, school supplies and free tuition for the education Divena could previously only dream about. Through the program, the kids learned how to interact with other children—playing, singing songs, participating in games and performing cultural dances. For Divena, this program has been about far more than receiving pencils and notebooks. It has enabled her to dream of a better future.
“I was totally discouraged when my mother left us alone,” Divena shares. “It was very difficult for me and my brother to live without her. We starved many days, and our father also could not look after us. Whenever I saw the children going to school with their bags, I felt very sad. However, today, [the GFA program] has become a blessing to me and my brother.”
Since 1979, GFA World has worked in South Asia. Throughout that time, the organization has developed proven strategies to provide hope for children in crisis:
Sponsors provide the program with financial support, making it possible for the child to receive the help they need. Program staff evaluate each child’s needs and provide him or her with tangible help like nutritious food, medical checkups, access to clean water, school supplies, tutoring and more. Adults can also keep an eye out for children’s mental health issues and intervene when needed. Children in the program are surrounded by caring adults who love them and look out for their best interests. These adults help them look beyond their circumstances and have hope for the future.
Families receive help from GFA World in the form of income-generating gifts like chickens, goats, pigs, sewing machines and so on. These gifts make a huge difference in the income potential of a family. For example, chicken eggs can be eaten or sold at the market. Skills training can also be a life-changing endeavor. When a woman learns to read and write or is given skills training in tailoring, she has new skills to help meet the needs of her family. When financial pressure is alleviated, children are more likely to stay in school and receive the education they need to break the cycle of poverty.
GFA World also helps children through community development. For example, clean water wells improve health and allow children to stay in school instead of walking hours each day for water. Sanitation facilities are also important for children to stay healthy and grow up in a better environment.
Hope for children ultimately comes from God. When children receive this practical love and care, they are learning that God loves them and that they are created with a purpose, it is life-changing. Poverty says, “You are worthless. There is no hope.” God says, “You are made in My image, with purpose and value. There is hope!”
Giving children hope comes through the love of God. Will you join GFA World in bringing hope to children in South Asia and parts of Africa? You can play a crucial part in turning a child from the dejection of poverty to the hope of a brighter future.
Please join us in supporting these initiatives today.Learn more about child poverty
 “Neglected Girl Replaces Mud Canvas with Paper, Pencils. GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/neglected-girl-replaces-mud-canvas-with-paper-pencils. May 2020.