Posted by TwitC
Poverty hits children the hardest! Children who grow up in an environment of extreme poverty are more likely to die from a preventable disease, or to suffer from a physical or mental disability, due to the lack of adequate nutrition and sanitation. These children are more open to exploitation, human trafficking, or a life of family labour collecting water, firewood or tending the family livestock. They are less likely to have the opportunity to attend school, or learn marketable skills. They are less likely to fully develop: mentally, emotionally, or physically. These children are more likely to marry young, have children young, and thus repeat one more cycle of poverty. One of the primary goals of development agencies such as ADRA is to make appropriate interventions into impoverished communities to bring positive change to the lives of people and help break cycles of poverty. One strategy that ADRA uses in the communities in which it works, is to make sure that every child in the village can attend school. Every community needs to take responsibility for education. So while it is not the mission of ADRA to run school systems, it often partners closely with local communities, offering a supportive role to teachers and students as well as, in many cases, helping to build or rehabilitate classrooms, provide desks, blackboards, educational materials, water systems, or latrines. In many schools, a hot lunch provided by ADRA helps students concentrate on their studies, and may be the only good meal they get all day! In poor families throughout our world, difficult decisions have to be made. In households where the average income is less than a dollar a day, parents have to decide who will go to school and who will not. Even though elementary education may be free in many countries, the cost of uniforms, books, and supplies is just too much for many parents to send all the children in the family. Usually it is the girls that must stay home and help with the family chores, or worse, be sent away to work in a nearby village or city. This problem is addressed in a number of ways. Firstly, parents and community leaders are led through guided discussions that illustrate the extreme importance of education for all of their children. They are instructed about the potential slavery, exploitation and abuse their children are exposed to when they are sent away to work. Next, ADRA helps the community develop services to reduce the amount of time children must spend collecting water and fuel. When clean water is only a few steps away from the home rather than two or three kilometres away, it is much easier for a child to be able to attend school! Another approach that has been found to be very successful is to help improve family income. Classes that teach parents literacy, numeracy, and basic small business accounting, along with marketable skills can have a dramatic effect on household income. Small loans at affordable interest rates provide parents with the capital to get their new enterprise off the ground. Suddenly, they now have the money they need to send all of their children to school! In homes where these measures still dont bring in enough income, ADRA workers in many countries will seek to find assistance to help children with the necessary supplies to attend school. In some communities where ADRA is working, summer school programs help students catch up to their peers! Through education, ADRA is changing the lives of children. Through knowledge come opportunities for a better life! And yet we cant do it alone! These life-saving initiatives are only possible through partnership with Canadians. Your support helps fuel programs that bring promise and hope!