Child Poverty: What Is It & How Can We End It?

April 12, 2023

Did you know that more than half of the world’s poorest people are children? Poverty disproportionately impacts children—even though they make up only 30% of the global population. Many of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, where families tend to have more children and, as a result, face more barriers to sustaining a living wage. But it’s easy to understand this information. The real challenge is putting child poverty into a context that does its urgency justice.

In the United States, people are considered to be in “deep poverty” if their household income falls below 50% of the national poverty guideline. In a household of four, this would equate to living on about $10 per day for each person. On a global scale, people are considered to be living in poverty if they live on $2.15 per day.

Want to know how many children in Africa live under that poverty threshold? More than 228 million. In India, it’s 18 million. Nepal is home to an estimated 10 million. (And those are just the places where Forgotten Children Worldwide has partners.) In contrast, the number of American children living in such dire circumstances hovers somewhere around 2 million.

If all the impoverished children in Africa, India, and Nepal lived in the United States, they would make up 77% of our country’s entire population. Eliminating child poverty starts with Africa—followed by eastern countries like Nepal and India.

The solution to child poverty isn’t just more evenly distributed wealth. Instead, it lies in long-term sustainability initiatives designed to not just fund and feed families, but provide resources that equip families to break the cycle of poverty altogether. How can we do that? (Hint: Forgotten Children has done some of the heavy lifting already—so all you need to do is join forces!)

At Forgotten Children, we focus on three core practices to eliminate child poverty: protection, empowerment, and love.

Protect: By providing access to food, water, shelter, clothing, and wellness resources, we ensure children’s most basic needs are met—without having to displace them from their villages or hometowns. The long-term road to success begins with simple solutions that go a long way toward reducing and eliminating child poverty.

Empower: We believe everyone deserves access to upward mobility—and people can’t overcome barriers with just our warm wishes. Through education programs, self-sustainability initiatives, and counseling services, we equip children to rise above their circumstances and chart a course for a career that will keep them out of poverty for the rest of their lives.

Love: While we serve people from all religions and all backgrounds, we also want to disciple children toward the redemptive love of Christ. We build relationships with the communities we serve, following the lead of indigenous pastors who know the best ways to love local children and meet their needs.

By combining those three functions of our mission, we’re working toward an end to child poverty across the globe. Someday, we hope we’ll even work ourselves out of business. Until then, we need more people to join the mission—and we have a simple, fun way for you to get involved: child sponsorship.

For just $38 per month, you can provide a child with access to clothing, nutrition, education, medical care, spiritual development, and mentorship. Plus, you can write letters and share your own life with them, while also hearing about what’s going on in their home on the other side of the world. The kids in our partner homes have caring house parents who love them—but they treasure the letters and photos they receive from their sponsor families.

You can’t end worldwide poverty—no single person can. But together, we might be able to do it. Will you join us today? See our kids who are still waiting for sponsors.

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