Approximately one billion children are multidimensionally poor globally, meaning they lack basic necessities such as nutrition or clean water. The pandemic added 150 million children to that enormous number. It’s a number that’s too big even to begin to contemplate. It’s overwhelming. It’s so daunting that we can’t envision ever being able to succeed at overcoming it.

The cycle of poverty begins when a child is born into a poor family. With extremely limited or no resources to create opportunities to advance themselves, these families are stuck in the poverty trap. On paper, the cycle of poverty is defined as a phenomenon where poor families become impoverished for at least three generations.   

But the cycle of poverty is about more than a simple lack of resources. It’s a complex issue that requires examining the root causes to develop sustainable solutions. 

Poverty and its Effect on Children

Children are most affected by the cycle of poverty. Their young age and lack of resources make them dependent on their guardians and unable to pull themselves out of poverty without their help. It condemns children to live in conditions most of us can’t even envision.

Children living in poverty frequently experience:

  • Illness due to unsafe water and poor sanitation
  • Malnutrition
  • Lack of access to education
  • Inadequate health care

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

As insurmountable as it may seem, there is hope for breaking the cycle of poverty. Christian Relief Fund has programs in more than 20 countries to help children escape the clutches of poverty. 

  • Education

Ensuring that children receive an education is one of the most significant contributors to ending poverty. Even the most basic reading, writing, and math—can open doors to the future that would otherwise be tightly locked. Children who are not in school are at greater risk of exploitation and early marriage. They’re also on track for a much lower income once they grow up. It limits their future and the future of their children, which repeats the cycle of poverty generation after generation.

  • Medical Care

Providing medical care ensures that babies have a healthy start in life and that illness doesn’t become an obstacle to a person’s ability to earn a living. Preventative care offers insurance that can eliminate health problems before they begin.

  • Clean Water

Access to clean water is a game-changer. Approximately one in every three people lives without access to clean water. And more than half a million children under the age of five perish from diseases caused by polluted water each year. In addition, waterborne illness interferes with a person’s ability to work and take care of their family.

What Can You Do to Break the Cycle of Poverty?

The cycle of poverty is a desperate trap, but it can be broken, and together we have the tools to do it. There are multiple ways you can provide meaningful support to help children escape the cycle of poverty.

  • Child Sponsorship

Sponsoring a child is an actionable response to poverty. It’s a simple yet powerful way to make a difference. When you sponsor a child, you provide them with access to life-transforming necessities, such as education, safe water, better nutrition, medical care, opportunities for extracurricular activities, and Biblical teaching and spiritual nurturing. 

  • Christian Relief Fund Gift Catalog

With price points from as little as $5 for a Bible to thousands of dollars to drill a well or provide an educational scholarship, our gift catalog offers various options to make a difference.

  • Honor, Memorial Gifts and Planned Giving

There are numerous ways to make contributions that help lift children from poverty. 

For pennies a day, we can begin to mitigate the factors that cause poverty. There are so many ways you can help. Whether you make a cash donation, sponsor a child, or donate to disaster relief, your donation will begin to eliminate the cycle of poverty. Even simply sharing the message with friends, family, and associates can help. Together, we can break the vicious cycle of poverty and empower families for generations.