How Poverty Affects Education

What Do Studies Show about How Poverty Affects Children in Asia?

Many studies demonstrate how poverty affects children. UNICEF indicates that 1 in 6 children live in extreme poverty, most of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.1 Every child experiences poverty differently.


Poverty and education go hand-in-hand because children experiencing poverty are less likely to attend school or complete their education, and without an education, they will most likely continue in poverty.

According to UNICEF,

“South Asia is home to the largest numbers of out-of-school children and youths at 31.8 million, with 8.2 million at primary level (6 to 9 years) and 23.6 million at the secondary level (10 to 14 years).”2

Children who are not in school lose opportunities to learn and grow alongside their peers. Education helps children build reading, writing and math skills, as well as relationships, and it is a gateway to better-paying jobs in the future.

Education also helps children develop confidence, self-esteem and hope for their lives. Education empowers children.

Child labor

Many impoverished families struggle to feed and house their families; sending their children to school feels like a luxury. Parents often need their children to work alongside them to bring in additional income to pay for food, housing, transportation or medical care. Children are often forcibly employed in agriculture, mining or factories, working long, labor-intensive hours with no breaks for minimal pay. Child labor exposes children to hazardous chemicals and materials, crowded workspaces and abuse. Employers can deprive children of food, sleep and even medical care to motivate them to work. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 374 million child laborers experience work-related illness or injury, and 2.78 million child laborers die annually.3

Regardless of the work environment, this labor deprives children of opportunities to go to school, play with friends and develop as they should. ILO studies demonstrate that there are “30 million children in employment, almost 17 million in child labour and 50 million children out of school” throughout South Asia.4

Poverty limits children’s opportunities and hope, so how can you help children experiencing poverty in Asia? One very tangible way is to help people have access to clean water. Children are often the ones chosen to walk for hours to find water. This simple task keeps them out of school. GFA World’s Jesus Wells are a life-saving resource for many families to protect them from poverty, dehydration, lack of sanitation and even severe disease. Please support GFA World in bringing thousands of Jesus Wells and BioSand filters that supply life-giving water to people worldwide. Your gift will bring hope and provide a lasting solution for individuals, families and communities in Asia and Africa. Water wells help keep kids in school.

Share the love of Christ through clean water today!

Learn about how poverty affects education

1 “1 in 6 Children Lives in Extreme Poverty, World Bank-UNICEF Analysis Shows.” UNICEF. 20 October 2020.
2 “Children in South Asia.” UNICEF. Accessed 26 February 2022.
3 “Global Estimates of Child Labour.”International Labour Organization. 2016.—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575499.pdf.
4 “Child Labour in South Asia.” International Labour Organization. Accessed 26 February 2022.–en/index.htm.