Children & Poverty – A Global Perspective
What poverty means for children
Children are the best gifts of god; they bring completeness to human beings. They give us a reason for our living. Children create happiness and teach us the joys of living. It is true that not all children are lucky enough to be born to rich and elite parents in this world.
Every parent cannot afford to provide the best comforts to their children. Parents though, spend a large part of their lives trying to do everything their children want.
People from lower sections of society are generally blessed with plenty of children, across different sections of the world mainly because they do not adhere to strict family planning measures.
Awareness on this aspect remains very low with people who are uneducated or live in very poor regions of the country. On account of this, they have a family full of children.
In today’s world it’s very difficult to provide good means of education to one or two children and in such cases, providing a comfortable living to more than 2 children is something that goes beyond our talks.
People from lower income groups do not realize these aspects and do not plan their living in a well fashioned manner.
Increasing costs of the family put undue pressure on the earning member and the inability to cater to every member’s need of the big family leads one to develop a kind of hatred towards their own circles.
Many children are thus living in very poor economic conditions, just because their parents did not plan their lives well.
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Children in poor social conditions are often left to fend for their own, they are sent to beg for food, money and clothes, they are taught unethical ways of living.
They are often not sent to schools because their parents cannot afford educational costs for all their children. Good schools are out of their reach and they employ their children to earn a share for the family.
Due to lack of education and lack of proper value building systems at home, they are often misled by bad practices in the society.
Such children, who lose track of the correct and righteous paths of living often turn to anti social elements and terrorize the society by their unruly ways.
There are others, though belonging to the same poor background, tend to educate their children by providing them affordable education, providing them good value systems and helping them earn a decent living for themselves.
Such parents believe the value of education and rely on their hard work to bring up their children in the right manner and thus are good examples in the society.
Conditions in some of the poorest countries of the world
We will now look into conditions prevailing in some of the poorest countries of the world. Many Asian and African countries are still living in such miserable conditions that they cannot afford a day’s meal by themselves.
They live in terrible and devastating health conditions which lend them no support from the outside world and they are therefore left in isolation.
Many deep pockets of Africa are still haunted by these poor, miserable conditions where people cannot even afford to buy a piece of clothing to cover themselves properly.
Deep and hard hitting cases of poverty, something that we have unknown and unheard of anywhere leave us all in a shroud of ugliness and shame.
We sit wondering from the comfort of our homes, whether we really deserve all the luxuries surrounding us, when there is a totally different kind of world behind us that is suffering deep inside its own misery and shows no signs of coming out of its dark rooms.
Some of the most common factors that they are suffering from are poverty, economic inequalities, biases among men and women, superiority of the male gender, financially weak population, etc.
These countries face what we call as inheritance of poor living conditions from one generation to another and show absolutely no signs of improvement in their ways of living.
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They make a living by getting involved in petty jobs, earning very poor income to satisfy their big family sizes. They hardly have good clothing or shelter for their families and brave the sun and the rain by seeking shelter under trees or thatched huts.
They may even be occupied in underworld trades due to lack of awareness and no education, leaving them in a third world of crimes and wrong doings.
Children further imbibe the same qualities from their parents and lead the same course of sufferings and face ugly biases from the world.
In the later part of the twentieth century, thanks to many worldwide organizations, help has certainly reached the doorsteps of such under rated countries around the globe and has helped them raise their standards of living to a certain extent.
These organizations especially help children, who are innocent creatures, in providing them a means of education, establishing good schools for them, making education affordable for them, teaching them values for life, enriching them with good means of making their own living and leading an independent and systematic life.
UNESCO has been striving hard in this regard to help poor sections of the world to change their lives and since its inception, has conducted various programs across downtrodden regions to simply better their lives.
UNESCO – leading facilitator of change
UNESCO has been spreading its wings on several programs and initiatives, some of them are discussed here:
- Education of children, creating awareness about comprehensive learning.
- Protecting children from child abuse and preventing such acts in its working limitations.
- Aiming for gender equality and providing value based education to children on these aspects.
- Helping mothers during their pregnancies, in downtrodden regions and helping them deliver healthy babies. Pre and post natal care for mothers to help them nurture their babies in healthy ways.
- Helping children with thought based activities and encouraging them to come up with bright ideas of their own. Funding research grants of meritorious students and providing enriching internship facilities for the deserving students.
- Helping each and every child to excel in the field of his/her choice and helping them realize their dreams.
- Providing food for children along with educational facilities to provide nutritious food to malnourished children.
- Supplying essential materials and goods to required regions of countries that are suffering from shortages of food and water and have been living in the lowest social strata of the society.
- Attending to critical situations and making medical care available promptly in case of emergencies.
- Use of technology to gear students with modern educational modules.
Organizations like the UNICEF truly understand the prevailing conditions of low and poverty stricken countries. They study the conditions of people in such countries, understand the reasons behind their impoverishment, know why they are lagging behind from the rest of the world, and try to bring in a change.
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They create region specific programs since each program is to be handled and implemented in a unique way. Different ways of catering to the underprivileged communities and bringing in a sense of support is what they start off with.
When they are able to garner people’s response and get acclaim for their work, they reach out deeper into non-penetrable zones and try their hands at bringing a change in their lifestyles.
They aim to bring in maximum groups into their working activities and change people’s ways of living. They openly tell them about nutrition, the good ways of living, what hygiene means, and basic things every human being should know and then create awareness through programs of different levels.
They reach out to all categories of people and involve technology as the major tool to pool in people and create interest in their working modules.
They communicate with their field and project officers and help to collaborate on projects with strict deadlines and have been able to bring in change in millions of lives. They have empowered children across the globe and have turned them into competitors with other developed nations.
They have given them the confidence to show their talent and realize their dreams. Donations to this noble cause have always been accepted wholeheartedly by this universal organization and their work culture and ethics have always inspired bigwigs around the globe.
UNESCO, which works for child and women welfare, have been focusing on uplifting people in the developing and poorer sections of society and providing them standard means of living. They are provided healthy and hygienic living options and their needs and wants are taken care of.
A good awareness is brought about to help such people understand the prevailing conditions around the world they live in and they are taught to lead good lives.
We should all provide our support and encourage worldwide organizations that help the poorer sections of society to rise from their poverty towards a better living.
We may see the change that we all talk and discuss in forums and become a contributor of this change if we help in our own small ways for the betterment of the society.