Q&A: Lifting Children out of Poverty

Q&A: Lifting Children out of Poverty


Regional director for World Vision International

Q: Our research and others’ consistently highlight links between well-being and education. Beyond being more learned, what are some of the benefits of education that you see, particularly for children who grow up in poverty? 01

For a person whose identity has been marred due to the hard experiences brought about by living in poverty, education brings huge benefits. Education—and, I believe, especially religious education—has a way of opening a person’s heart, mind and eyes. Children open their eyes to see the world of possibilities. As they get jobs and opportunities, they tend to move from being isolated to being brought into the center of life decisions. Education gives them a sense of identity, helps them build a vision and lead their own lives positively. Educating the poor for life means expanding their options in life. However, not all poor people who get access to education end up being helpful in society. Education without good values tends to produce greedy people whose agenda is to acquire more at the expense of the poor. Faith provides the right grounding in producing a generation with values and respect for each other.

Q: When asked what they believe are the greatest problems facing the world’s future, “extreme poverty” consistently was mentioned in the top five. Christians especially see global poverty as a primary issue. How do you think faith factors into helping solve the issue of poverty? 02

In many communities that we serve, we equip churches through Empowered World View, a faith-based approach that addresses not only material poverty, but also the poverty of heart, mindsets and relationships. It reaches deep into people’s core beliefs, transforming their view of the world so that the cycle of chronic poverty and hopelessness can be broken. It helps people find value in their own identity, create a vision for their future and nurture family and community relationships while demonstrating compassion. A richer understanding of their faith changes how they see the world and their ability to have an influence on their own circumstances. With this approach, we move beyond merely meeting physical needs to accompany individuals on journeys of transformation.

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