QUEENSLAND, Qld -- Around 375 million children worldwide -- including nearly one-in-six children in Australia. -- live in crushing poverty, says a new report coinciding with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Oct. 17.
The staggering global number – more than the entire populations of Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand combined -- is revealed in a special report by leading mission agency GFA World www.gfaau.org as the U.N. marks its annual awareness day, aimed at stirring action to fight poverty.
The report -- Fighting Global Poverty With Ideas -- says education and ideas, along with teaching values such as compassion and integrity, can help catapult the next generation out of the jaws of poverty.
“The ability to eradicate extreme poverty is here,” said GFA World founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “Ideas and values together can transform the world.”
A Global Scourge
Grinding poverty is most often associated with developing nations in Africa and Asia, but it’s a scourge in wealthy, developed countries, too.
According to the UNSW and ACOSS 2020 Report (povertyandinequality.acoss.org.au/poverty/), nearly one-in-six children in Australia lives in poverty. The federal poverty line for a family of four is around $49,920 a year, with many living in a ‘poverty gap’ beneath that in deep poverty.
And, the group says, approx. 17% of Australians with a disability lives in poverty.
Globally, millions of widows -- and millions more living with the disease leprosy -- are shunned by their families and neighbours, plunged into extreme poverty and struggling to survive as outcasts in their own communities. They’re seen as cursed, and excluded from the mainstream of life and business.
‘Don’t Deserve Anything Better’
“In Asia -- the world’s most populated continent -- people are often kept in deep poverty by superstitions, prejudices, and the belief that their lives are not important and they don’t deserve anything better,” said Yohannan, author of Never Give Up: The Story of a Broken Man Impacting a Generation.
Children like six-year-old Bir, who scavenges plastic bags for his parents, are led to believe they’re as worthless as the trash they sort through.
“When GFA World’s Bridge of Hope centre opened in his village, Bir and his friends discovered they were created for a higher purpose, and that God loves them,” Yohannan said. “This knowledge sets kids free and completely transforms their lives.”
Bridge of Hope not only provides spiritual hope and academic tutoring for more than 70,000 children living in poverty in Asia, but also models Christian values such as honesty, kindness, and good work ethics -- character traits that can eventually lead to better employment, spark entrepreneurial ideas, and break the generational cycle of poverty.
“It’s critical that this generation does not give up, that it’s empowered to break free from the stranglehold of poverty,” Yohannan said. “Otherwise, countless millions of children will be doomed to a life of misery in the world’s gutters and slums. They deserve so much better than that.”
GFA World, www.gfaau.org is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.
Gregg WoodingM: +0111 972-567-7660
Susan WhitmanP: 0746324131
M: +0111 972-567-7660
Javier MendozaW: www.gfaau.org/
John BolithoW: www.gfaau.org