Poverty FAQs

Why is reducing extreme poverty is a massive challenge? Groups around the globe approach the issue in a variety of ways, the most common of which is by providing education. A strong, multifaceted link bonds poverty and lack of education,1 so experts around the globe are attempting to bring education into poverty-stricken areas.

But even with academic lessons and increased school attendance among low-income families, children will be short-changed if in the end they don’t gain the ultimate endowment: ideas and values that empower them to thrive.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”2 According to Aristotle, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”3

E.F. Schumacher writes in his influential economics book Small Is Beautiful,

E.F. Schumacher
Photo by The Schumacher Institute

“The task of education would be, first and foremost, the transmission of ideas of value, of what to do with our lives. There is no doubt also the need to transmit know-how, but this must take second place, for it is obviously somewhat foolhardy to put great powers into the hands of people without making sure that they have a reasonable idea of what to do with them.”

“When people ask for education,” Schumacher continues, “they normally mean something more than mere training. … I think what they are really looking for is ideas that would make the world, and their own lives, intelligible to them.”4

Why do ideas and values matter so much? Because they have the power to transform the world—to uproot global poverty.

Concepts like honesty, diligence, respect, compassion and valuing human life are widely acknowledged as good—yet in many communities around the world these values are not being demonstrated or taught to children. When one individual has a foundation of beneficial values like these, he or she can impact other lives, from their own family to the entire world. 

Schumacher defined education’s primary purpose as being the transmission of values.5 Positive values and ideas make a significant impact on one individual, and global change is impossible without changed individuals.

Generational Poverty

What is generational poverty? It’s a treacherous cycle that goes on for generations. When poverty continues for more than two generations in the same family, this cycle has been initiated. Those who grow up in poverty are more likely to bring poverty into their adulthood.

Adult Literacy

Why is adult literacy important? Adult literacy is a primary factor in the fight against worldwide poverty. When adults are unable to read, it impacts their daily lives. They can’t read medicine bottles, road signs, legal papers, ingredients, menus, and so on.

Poverty Organizations

There are many poverty organizations tackling the causes and results of poverty around the world. These organizations focus on different missions and purposes. While the basic definition of extreme poverty is earning less than $1.90 a day, the economic definition is only a portion of the equation.

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.

Poverty in Asia

Poverty in Asia is a formidable issue. The World Bank states that 766 million people were living in poverty in 2013. Forty percent of those 766 million people live in Asia. That equates to 306 million people who are fighting to survive on less than $2 (USD) a day.

Poverty Mindset

What is generational poverty? It’s a treacherous cycle that goes on for generations. When poverty continues for A poverty mindset is a momentous obstacle to overcome in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Poverty and Education

For many impoverished children around the world, poverty and education are inextricably linked. Education offers an avenue out of poverty, but poverty often presents obstinate barriers to obtaining an education.

Causes of Poverty

Globally, 736 million people live under the poverty line, earning $1.90 a day or less. To address the various issues associated with poverty, it’s important to consider the many causes of poverty.

Solutions to Poverty

Approximately 736 million people in the world live below the poverty line, earning $1.90 a day or less. With destitute living conditions, they frequently also lack hope for anything better. Though the need is great, and the struggle intense, there are possible solutions to extreme poverty.

Bible Verses about Poverty

As the living Word of God, the Bible covers an array of topics essential to life, including poverty and how we should treat the poor. There are numerous Bible verses about poverty that give us insight into this subject.

Adult Literacy

Have you ever wished there was a great miracle cure for poverty? Literacy, especially adult literacy, has been labeled such a great miracle cure! Why? Several factors go into this distinction. The definition of literacy itself gives us several concepts to consider.

Poverty Mindset

In countries where generations of families have been under the thumb of poverty, a poverty mindset can be deeply ingrained and difficult to break. Education has been identified as one of the leading ways in how to break the cycle of poverty.

Causes of Poverty

The causes of poverty must be understood from every circumstance surrounding those most afflicted. Not one factor or deficiency can be wholly blamed for those living in the most desperate situations. If we are to solve the worldwide issue of poverty, every area of life that affects poverty needs attention.

Poverty Organizations

There is no one solution to the problem of poverty in this world. Poverty can be found on nearly every continent and in most countries at some level. Knowing what different poverty organizations do can help supporters choose how to join the fight against this thief of futures and well-being.

Functional Illiteracy

Functional illiteracy means that while an individual can complete basic reading and writing, their reading, writing and math skills are insufficient to navigate workplace and societal expectations. Adult illiteracy affects individuals, their families and their communities.

Numeracy Definition

A numeracy definition provided by National Numeracy is “the ability to understand and use maths in daily life, at home, work or school.” It is sometimes labeled as “mathematical literacy.”

Learn to Read for Adults

Functional illiteracy means an individual can only demonstrate simple reading and writing; their reading, writing and math skills are not enough to navigate jobs, marketplaces or health care. Illiterate adults have limited opportunities and understanding of society.

How Poverty Affects Education

The World Bank estimates that 689 million people (roughly 9.2% of the world) experience dire poverty. Poverty is an extensive, global concern that affects all aspects of a person’s life. Among other things, it limits children’s opportunities for safety and security and exposes them to illness, injury and violence.

Charities that Help Widows

Among the various charities that help widows, GFA World has a particularly vital role for widows in Africa and Asia. One in three widows worldwide are from either China or prominent country in South Asia. In many parts of the Asian continent, widows are ostracized and completely shunned because they are thought to be unlucky.

Global Poverty

Millions of people are stuck in a cycle of global poverty with no access to necessities like food, water, education, medical care or jobs. Poverty affects individuals, families and whole communities that are stuck without hope for their future.

Toilet Poverty

One of the less glamorous aspects of addressing poverty around the world is solving the issue of toilet poverty, the main symptom of which is open defecation. Open defecation (OD) refers to the practice of defecating in bodies of water or other open spaces such as fields or bushes.

Poverty in Africa

Africa is a land rich with natural resources and culture. It should be bursting with opportunity, wealth and hope, but instead, poverty in Africa runs rampant, leaving the people in major need of help.

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. There are various types of poverty and all of them are key factors in the fight against child poverty.

What Is Poverty?

Answering the “what is poverty” question is a bit more complicated than saying someone lives under a certain income. Merriam-Webster says poverty is “the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.” However, poverty is more than that. It also the lack of a many of things such as: health, education, sanitation, etc…

Period Poverty

The term period poverty refers to inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education. Around the world, periods are often associated with shame and stigma, so girls miss school while menstruating due to a lack of access to products and the cultural and social stigma they face.

War On Poverty

Many organizations around the globe are passionate about joining the war on poverty. Though poverty is a massive challenge, substantive progress is being made.

5 Ways to Reduce Poverty

Poverty is a complicated, multifaceted problem, so there are more than just 5 ways to reduce poverty, but GFA World has several tried-and-true methods that are breaking the cycle of poverty for families all over the world.

What Are the Causes of Poverty?

The question “What are the causes of poverty?” may seem simple, but it has many answers. In fact, most cases of poverty are caused by a combination of factors, so solving the problem of poverty must also be a multifaceted effort. South Asia families living in slums due to poverty The global poverty line is considered living on $2.15 or less per day.

Effects of Poverty

Millions of people globally suffer from the many effects of poverty. From poor health, to lack of education and shelter, to vulnerability and violence—poverty impacts so many parts of life.[1] As of 2015, over 700 million people were living below the international poverty line of $2.15 per day. That is 10 percent of the world’s population.

What Is the Cycle of Poverty?

People who are born into poverty tend to stay that way—year after year and generation after generation. If a person is poor, the person’s parents were likely poor too and their parents before them. What is the cycle of poverty? It’s a hopeless, generational pattern that is likely to continue unless an outside force intervenes.

What Is the Cause of Poverty?

When answering, “What is the cause of poverty?” it is essential to remember that there is not one factor or deficiency that leads to people living in the most desperate situations. However, there are some common factors in many impoverished areas:

Poverty Animal Gifting

Extreme poverty remains one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. Over 700 million people worldwide live on less than $2.15 per day, struggling to meet even their most basic needs. Many of these families are trapped in a cycle of generational poverty with little hope of escape.

Global Widowhood Crisis

Widowhood is often thought of as an issue facing only certain developing nations. But in reality there is in fact a global widowhood crisis, with millions facing similar issues of grief, financial struggle, and societal mistreatment. Widowhood transcends borders, cultures and faiths as a global humanitarian crisis hidden in plain sight.

Leprosy Disease Understanding

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. The transmission mechanisms of leprosy are caused by M. leprae. This disease primarily affects the skin, peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract, and the eyes.

Leprosy Medical Treatment

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease, has been a persistent health and medical treatment issue for thousands of years, with reports of the disease dating back to 600 BC.[1] The disease, caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae, primarily affects the skin, peripheral nerves, and mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and eyes.

Spirit of Poverty

Poverty is often defined by the tangible impacts a person can see—a lack of food, housing or other resources. However, there is a side of poverty that is less visible. This is sometimes referred to as the spirit of poverty. When we consider the spirit of poverty and how poverty impacts a person’s mindset, it is often encapsulated by the word “hopelessness.”

1 Psarris, Emily. I. Gospel for Asia. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/solutions-extreme-poverty-line-poor-impoverished/#poverty-line-solutions. November 15, 2018.
2 King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Morehouse College). The Purpose of Education. Stanford University. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/purpose-education. Accessed March 2020.
3 https://heartmindonline.org/resources/kim-schonert-reichl-why-educate-the-heart
4 Schumacher, E. F. Small Is Beautiful. Harper & Row, 1989.
5 Schumacher, E. F. Small Is Beautiful. Harper & Row, 1989.