sponsor a child

Poverty mythbusters

When it comes to poverty, there are a few myths which are hard to shake …


poverty mythbusters

In a world of fake news and ‘alternate facts’, it can be hard to distinguish truth from fiction. We think it’s important to be informed so here are some common misunderstandings about poverty:

1. Nothing has changed

Did you know between 2000 and 2015, the number of people living in extreme poverty more than halved? (1) That means that over a billion people were lifted out of extreme poverty. How amazing is that! And yet the myth persists that no matter how much time, effort and money you throw at poverty, nothing ever changes.

poverty mythbusters

The reality is that positive progress has been made in the fight against extreme poverty. There are still nearly 400 million children in poverty which is why Compassion exists. We won’t rest until every child has been released from poverty in Jesus’ name. But until that day, take hope. Change is happening every single day in lives across the world.

2. Poverty is too big to fight

Haiti slum poverty mythbusters

People still believe the myth that the problem is too big and the solution is too small. But that’s not true. We believe one of the most strategic ways to fight poverty is through one-to-one sponsorship. All across the world, children are being fed, educated and lifted out of poverty thanks to sponsors. And we know it works.

Independent research shows Compassion graduates are more likely to finish school, get jobs and become leaders in their communities. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and the journey to beating poverty begins with one child. Which is why we’re encouraging people to speak up for one child through Compassion Sunday in September. Because we can fight poverty, one child at a time.

3. Saving lives leads to overpopulation

We often receive comments such as ‘people in poverty need to stop having so many babies when they can’t even take care of themselves.’ It’s easy to point the finger and say they’re being irresponsible but have you ever stopped and asked why?

family in Kenya

High child mortality rates in developing countries lead to parents intentionally having large families in order to ensure there are children who survive to adulthood. According to WHO (2), a child under five is seven times more likely to die in Africa than in Europe. Cultural expectations also come into play with one in three girls in developing countries married before the age of 18. (3)

Research shows the higher the education a country has, the lower the birth rate. Educated women are likely to stay in school longer, marry later and have fewer children. As more children survive to adulthood and as education increases, the birth rate of a country will decrease.

4. Those in poverty aren’t interested in education

poverty mythbusters

Sometimes we hear the myth that parents in poverty aren’t interested in education, not supporting their children or helping with their homework. But this is not because they don’t care.

Often caregivers are unable to read or write so can’t help with school work. Many of our Compassion-supported children testify about teaching their parents to write and passing on what they have learnt to the whole family. Caregivers also often have to work multiple jobs and long hours in roles where there is no paid leave, leaving little time to spend with their children.

5. Families with few resources waste their money on mobile phones

It can be disconcerting to visit developing countries and see people walking around with mobile phones. But a mobile phone is so much more than just a phone. It’s a lifeline in a world where life is lived on a knife edge.

mobile phone poverty mythbusters

Infrastructure is often lacking in developing countries and without landlines, a mobile phone can provide life-saving support in times of emergencies. A mobile phone can also serve as a source of health information, an educational tool or a way to conduct business cheaply. And the cost of a mobile phone is actually very low in developing countries which is why it’s an important tool for survival.

There are many myths about poverty but the need is real. We’re passionate about fighting poverty and empowering children to overcome in Jesus’ name. If you’re also passionate about fighting poverty, join our Compassion Sunday campaign to find a sponsor for one child. Changing the world might seem like an ambitious goal but we believe we can do it, one child at a time.

Fight poverty

 

Sources: (1) UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2014, (2) WHO Under Five Mortality 2015, (3) UNICEF

WORDS : Roz Walsh

PHOTOS : Compassion International


Article Comments

ARTICLE COMMENTS

Leave a comment

Leave A Comment

Leave A Comment

MORE STORIES FOR YOU

10Nov

Is child sponsorship ethical?

Compassion’s child sponsorship model is effective – really effective. But what about the ethics?


,

13Oct

Why doesn’t Compassion work in conflict zones?

3 reasons why we work in more stable communities.


28Sep

The great-grandpa living in a carpark to provide for his grandson

“My great-grandpa Mateo is the best person I have ever known. He has given me everything.”


14Sep

Why help people in other countries when there is poverty in the UK?

6 things to consider as you struggle through this question.


6Sep

The big poverty quiz: test your knowledge!

Put yourself to the test – how much do you know about the issues facing the world’s most vulnerable children?


, ,

30Aug

7 tips for overcoming the fear of public speaking

Our ambassadors share their wisdom on speaking out for the poorest.


, ,

23Aug

How to teach children about poverty

How can we talk to our children about the sadness and complexities of poverty in an age-appropriate way?


, ,

21Aug

Our history and our heart

On a war-torn Korean street in 1952, God moved Everett Swanson with compassion.


21Aug

In photos: 6 teen entrepreneurs lifting their parents out of poverty

Meet the teenagers changing their families’ futures.


10Aug

Hungry no more

Thanks to one local church and one Compassion sponsor, Lance has overcome malnutrition. He is hungry no more.


7Aug

How do you choose a child to sponsor?

Faced with the photos of many children all waiting for a sponsor, the decision can appear overwhelming. Here are some helpful tips that will make it easier…


28Jul

Meet the mum on a mission to protect children

Ever wondered how Compassion protects children? Meet Derwinte, a Child Protection Officer from Compassion Indonesia.