14 Jul Breaking Generational Poverty, A Step Closer to Sustainable Development Goal 1
The one thing that most people will think of when it comes to poverty is generational poverty. Like an inherited disease, when the parents are poor so will be their children and grandchild. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people, are trapped in this never-ending cycle. Today, worldwide, the number does not appear to be decreasing as the population grows and the pandemic worsens.
Introduction to Generational Poverty
Generational poverty is a condition where a family has been impoverished for two or more generations. It usually happens when a parent’s poverty has a long-term impact on the lives of his or her offspring. The lack of financial resources in one’s family results in them not having the capability to raise their children’s standard of living. From their education, social needs and more are found to be lacking. According to Live &Learn, poverty stunts a child’s emotional, cognitive, and behavioural development, and children raised in poverty have lower lifelong educational and professional attainment than children reared in wealth.
This situation that the children are in results in a narrow worldview. In most cases, parents do not have the time and energy to invest in their children’s future. Instead, they are concentrated to fulfil the family’s needs for the next few weeks or days, perceiving life as nothing more than a survival game. When children see their parents’ manner of life, they develop a sense of cynicism. They believe they will be entrapped in the same cycle because they have less capability and opportunity to grow than those who are more fortunate.
However, that is not true. Breaking the cycle and mindset might be difficult to accomplish as many failed. Yet, when there is a will, the children can succeed in life despite their family’s financial condition.
How to Break The Cycle?
The question that comes next is how to break the cycle? Various ways can be implemented in order to increase one’s quality of life. Here are some suggestions for simple steps to be taken to help break the cycle of poverty and regain control of one’s financial condition:
One easy way to make sure that the future generation has enough financial resources is through improving education. Access to education should be made easy by improving school infrastructure, teacher workforce and adequate technology. Governments should as well give out scholarships for students who live in rural areas. By improving education, students are given the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and learn more about the world and themselves. By then, they will be more qualified to work in the professional field and compete alongside others who are financially capable.
2. Develop Skills
Companies and the marketplace are in desperate need of unique and specialised skills nowadays. Developing skills does not have to be about something huge; rather, it may be as simple as engaging in hobbies and learning how to do them better so that they can be put to good use. For instance, knitting, singing or even writing. Whether it is starting a business or working with someone, skills are something worth developing.
A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself– Oprah Winfrey
Lots of successful businessmen and public figures are mentored and led by someone their seniors or frankly, someone they respect. Mentorship enables people to attain their best potential. In what way? With their experience, the mentor can provide helpful guidance and open the door of the world to the youngsters living in generational poverty. Non-profit organizations such as Ashoka and Global Mentorship Initiative have been working to empower and mentor young people to be the best versions of themselves. All they got to do is reach out.
Achieving zero generational poverty might be a big dream to accomplish but if all stakeholders are willing to collaborate and help these families, attaining Sustainable Development Goal 1 will be closer than it appears.