Poverty & PTSD: Children Born Into a War Zone

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Poverty | Comments Off on Poverty & PTSD: Children Born Into a War Zone

programs20130531100800217It is said that children who are born into poverty and those who are born into a war zone are both prone to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, why would anyone want to make such a claim? Well, it is not a claim, but more of an actual fact despite the differing circumstances of their living conditions.

Yes, children who are born into poverty may live differently from those who were born into a war zone. Their living conditions are so much in stark contrast to each other that it is somewhat crazy to conclude that they both can develop PTSD. For example, a child living in poverty can still walk safely to school whereas a child who was brought up in a war zone may fear going outside because of the inherent danger that war poses.

It’s because those who are living in poverty do not always need to be living in really poor neighborhoods. There are varied classifications of poverty, and sometimes it is more of a financial situation rather than a situational one.

A child who is brought up in a war zone experiences the threat of death and destruction each and every day. They are in constant lookout when the next fight is going to erupt, and merely being at home won’t even keep them safe because disaster could easily spill into the comforts of their own dwelling. They are constantly exposed to the sounds of gunfire, screams, and are also exposed to the smell of death each and every day.

As you can see, the picture painted shows that they very much differ, but both are very much prone to develop PTSD. You might think that those in the war zone may be greatly affected because war in itself is quite traumatic. But living in poverty, especially generational poverty, has ways of affecting your way of thinking and being that will lead you on the path towards PTSD as well.


The basics of PTSD

What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear that someone is suffering from PTSD? Do you visualize them having been abused? Do you imagine them having been involved in some terrible accident? Do you think about them as a victim of a violent crime?

More often than not, the situations above are the ideas that would form in your head when you’re informed that a person is suffering from PTSD. However, that is not always the case. Those who have PTSD are not always victims of rape, domestic abuse, car accidents, and other “single blow” traumas. In fact, PTSD can be associated with long-term exposure to “chronic traumas” such as childhood abuse, living in a high crime area, experiencing domestic abuse, and yes, living in extreme poverty.

Trauma is a subjective experience when talking in the context of PTSD. It is an event in which a person feels cognitively, emotionally, or physically overwhelmed. In fact, an event can be traumatizing for one person but have no effect on the other. There are also cases when just hearing about traumatic events that happened to another person is enough to cause PTSD.

Think about it this way: when you are in danger, it is a very natural to feel afraid about what will happen. This kind of fear triggers a lot of split-second changes in your body to prepare it to defend against the danger it is about to face. Or, in other cases, your body changes so that you are prepared to avoid any sort of danger. It is a “fight-or-flight” response and is a very healthy reaction by the body so that you remain protected from harm.

However, in the case of having PTSD, this kind of reaction is changed or damaged. Those who are suffering from PTSD may be the person who is harmed, or the harm was done to someone they love, or the person was a witness to a harmful event that happened to a loved one or even a stranger.

You would most likely hear PTSD associated with war veterans, but rest assured it is a phenomenon that can result from a variety of traumatic incidents as well. Victims of mugging, rape, or torture are prone to experience PTSD. Not only that, those who have experienced being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, and bombings can all develop PTSD. Furthermore, even victims of natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes are prone to develop PTSD.


Living in poverty

 What does “living in poverty” really mean? Some would define it as the lack of financial resources to support a standard of living. Examples that would fall into this category include not being able to buy a supply of food for your family, not being able to provide for the purchase of vitamins you and your kids desperately need, or not being able to have enough money to buy a certain standard of housing. Basically, this kind of definition refers to not having enough for the basic standards of living.

Others would define poverty as a social condition. One good example of this would be to look back at the past. For instance, many years ago, a man would be ashamed to walk out in public without having a decent shirt put on. In other words, poverty as a social condition is not having enough money to buy what society expects you to have. For example, if you live in an affluent neighborhood but your family doesn’t own a car and you commute to school, others might perceive you as poor because you don’t own what most of your community owns.

Some would also define poverty as the impact of prolonged unemployment. Let’s just say you graduated during a recession, meaning you couldn’t secure a job that actually related to your profession. What this means is you have to search for other job opportunities so far out from what you majored in just so you could put food on the table, pay rent, and pay bills. Then when the economy seems better, you find it hard to secure a job related to what you studied because you don’t have the needed experience in that particular field.

There are also times when employers just stay stuck looking at the number of months or years you’ve been unemployed rather than your experience as a whole. They will pass you over even if you have all the skills that is needed for the job because you have not been in the work force for quite some time.


Living in a war zone

634704611697280125-iraq-children-of-war-seriesWhat are the living conditions of people in a war zone? If you are the type to watch the news on TV, listen to the radio for current events, or even read up about what’s going on in the world on the internet, you already have a vague idea of what the situation is like in war-torn nations.

One of the most common themes that exist is that violence is everywhere. Not a day would probably go by where a death isn’t reported. In other words, those who live in a war zone have a very high chance of being casualties of war. A better term for this would be the innocent victims of a war they didn’t ask for.

Everyday, there is always the chance that you feel loss and death. What’s worse, you even have not recovered from mourning the previous day and suddenly another atrocity happens. In short, living in a war zone is a constant struggle with emotions and pain that would surely leave a dent on any person, young or old.

Those who are living in a war zone are constantly thinking about ways to leave, but just couldn’t find a way to do so. Their everyday thoughts are filled with what it would be like to live in a better world so that future generations would not have to suffer. However, all these positive thinking will be promptly interrupted because there would a gun fired here or a grenade exploding there. In other words, people living in a war zone, are in constant fear for their life.

What’s even tougher is that they have to live through it as if it’s just a normal way of life. They still have to go about what they do, but with an added fear that anything can happen once they step outside. It is a daily reality for them, especially if they live in a not-so-affluent part of a war torn country. Yes, the rich can be affected by having war in their country, but they do have more privileges compared to those who live in poor conditions.


The connection between poverty and PTSD with children born into a war zone

As you may have noticed, there is a definite contrast between children who were born into poverty and those who were born into a war zone. But despite that, their situation is analogous to each other because both of them have not lived a normal life. Yes, a child from a poor family can still walk safely to school but he doesn’t have the things that his other classmates have. A child from a war zone may still go to school but is surrounded by death when he steps outside his door.

All of these traumatic experiences can build up and turn into early warning signs for PTSD. As mentioned earlier, merely being a witness to a traumatic event is enough to trigger PTSD. This being said, children born into war zones also have the tendency to exhibit violence later on in life just like a child in a poor household who is constantly witness to domestic abuse.

What’s even worse, children who live in a war zone may also take a different path in life like taking up arms and joining in a fight. It’s a sad reality, but it’s one that is not unheard of.


Studies on living in a war zone and PTSD

A couple of studies have been made into the connection between PTSD and children living in a war zone. One of this was published in the Journal of Muslim Mental Health which looked into schoolchildren from the Hebron area. The students were asked to complete the Child Post Traumatic Stress Reaction Index as well as the Gaza Traumatic Event Checklist. The results showed that 77.4% of children living in Hebron showed symptoms of moderate-to-severe PTSD while 20.5% met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for chronic PTSD. It clearly showed that the traumatic events of war were the culprit in the development of PTSD in children, and that they needed help to get through it.

Another study that was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry also looked into the effects of war on the behavior and emotional well-being of pre-school children. The study involved children between the ages of 3-6 years were selected in the Gaza Strip and were assessed using the Gaza Traumatic Checklist, Behavior Checklist, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The results showed that pre-school children were exposed to a wide range of traumatic events, and these were closely associated with behavioral and emotional problems in the children.


Parting thoughts

 There is a clear connection between PTSD and children born into a war zone. It even affects part f their being, both physically and mentally. To illustrate that further, there is a part of the brain called the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex (vmPFC) which is responsible for regulating stress levels. However, when it is compromised – such is the case with PTSD – this region shuts down and ceases to become an effective component in stress management. And the prevention of this is the primary goal here at Helping Ourselves Win (HOW).

We strive to eliminate generational poverty through the teaching of young children about how to empower, educate, and train their brains into thinking like entrepreneurs and agents for social change.



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Why How? Looking Outside Your 1% Bubble

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Bridging and Awareness, Poverty | Comments Off on Why How? Looking Outside Your 1% Bubble

Looking Outside Your 1% Bubble

Financial comfort is one step up from knowing that you possibly can make it through difficult times. Once you have attained financial comfort, what’s most likely to set out is the temptation to create your own comforts and conform to the system because it seems that the system is finally working for you.

By falling into the trap of financial comfort, you start buying more, wasting precious hard-earned money on affordable short-term entertainment and disposable commodities. Many end up squandering the products of their hard labor, thinking that what they are spending are “extras” anyway. After shelling out a few hundred on brand new clothes, if the math still looks good, there’s a vacation to consider, a brand new car and many other good things that money can buy.

Upholding financial comfort while avoiding to become a victim of consumerism is, without a doubt, difficult. Our culture has simply been set up in a way that enforces and further encourages mindless spending. Everyone is made to think that they have to be the prettiest at their high school reunions, that they have to always keep up with their new found friends, or that they have to give every single thing their children ask for. All of these are false and are actually only distracting people from the fact that the whole game is fixed and that nobody is supposed to really win.

As harsh as it may sound, you are not supposed to be rich. But if you do reach the stage, it is crucial that you do not give up. Don’t fall into the traps of comfort. Most importantly, don’t give in to the numbing repeat thoughts that you can stop now or that you have to get yourself a reward all the time. Else, you can stay caught until God-knows-when. And with your money continuously burning, you’ll eventually end up to where you first started, or worse, hungry and in debt just for the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to.

So What Should You Do?

Enjoy the things you have.

A lot of people are so caught up with getting the life they want that they fail to notice each passing day of their lives. Many of us eat in front of the television, commute without looking at each other and spend summers wishing for another week off to spend.

If you are one of the lucky ones who no longer have to worry about making ends meet, then learn to enjoy what you have. Help your relatives, your neighbors or friends. Make time for yourself and for everyone you love. Visit new places and go out for an adventure. Instead of spending your money trying to impress other people, why not invest in projects that can benefit your community? This way, you are building wealth in every sense of the word.

Keep in mind your financial plans.

Find balance between momentary gratification and long-term goals. Reevaluate your lifestyle if you need to. Take into consideration new experiences and learnings as you re-strategize or revision your financial plans.

Always resist consumerism.

With the media culture always promoting consumption, resisting consumerism can be pretty vexing. Our economic principle glorifies consumerism as showcasing rational self-interest. If you refuse to go by the latest fashion, style, car, movie or even color, people will think there’s something awfully wrong with you.

So, to help you in this endeavor, surround yourself with people who value smart spending and simplicity. After all, you are now choosing a path that will stack the decks in your favor in the near future. Find people who, like you, favor minimalism. As much as possible, prevent yourself from buying things you don’t need.


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Post Traumatic Ghetto Stress

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Poverty | Comments Off on Post Traumatic Ghetto Stress

ghetto povertyGhetto is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as “a part of a city in which members of a particular group or race live usually in poor conditions.” On Dictionary.com, the term “ghetto” is defined as “a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.” As you might have noticed, the key feature that stands out from both definitions is the prevalence of an impoverished environment.

People who live in an impoverished environment are exposed to all kinds of dangers from the moment they are born until they grow up. Crime is a normal occurrence they hear about. Theft is most likely something they witness almost all of their lives. Now, these kinds of scenarios that occur almost every day can have adverse effects on the brain. In other words, it leads to people developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Yes, although PTSD is most likely associated with war veterans, having been to war is not the only trigger needed to develop PTSD. While it is a fact that traumas such as accidents, rape, or a violent crime are major contributors to people developing PTSD, those who have suffered chronic traumas such as being subjected to child abuse, living in an area with a high crime rate, or living in an area with extreme poverty are also prone to PTSD.

In short, people living in adverse environments have a high chance of developing PTSD. Each and every day, their lives are filled with uncertainty. What happens when they walk out of their door? What will happen once they get home? Will they meet some sort of unfortunate event on their way to school or work? Questions about safety and security usually linger in the minds of those living in poverty.

Apart from that, there’s also the question of financial and job stability. People living in a disadvantaged situation are always going to wonder whether they will have enough money to get by the next day, whether they will have sufficient money to pay for bills, and other finance-related matters.

On the employment front, they are faced with not being able to secure high-paying jobs. That is not even the worst part. The worst part is that their employment status will always remain a question. Who knows how long they can hold on to their current job? What if the store they are employed in is shut down for some reason? This will leave them jobless, and all the more important, add more stress to their current difficult situation.

One of the worst things about living in absolute poverty is that some people actually turn to violence as a result of all their experiences and frustrations. Not only that, there’s also a huge chance that they will turn to drugs as an escape. This is absolutely the thing you don’t want for any of your family members. This is why it is very important to understand the first signs of PTSD in your friends and family. This way, you’ll be able to get all the help they need so their lives can make a turn for the better, and not the worst.

The question is: what if they are already diagnosed with PTSD? The answer is that help is still very much possible. Recovery from something as serious as PTSD can be achieved as long as proper help is given. Although their brains are already wired to the negative, this can be re-wired to think about more positive things.


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Justifying the Daily Struggle of Poverty

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014 in Poverty | Comments Off on Justifying the Daily Struggle of Poverty

povertyMost people think of poverty as this distant concept that’s only worth discussing in Time magazines or political debates.  But here’s the harsh truth; poverty is not just a word in the dictionary that you occasionally use, it’s a situation that we all struggle with every single day.

Let’s start with the most basic, nutrition.

A common issue that arises with poverty is malnutrition. Of course, it only makes sense. If a person does not have enough means to support himself and his family, it also goes to say that he cannot provide good food on the table to make sure that his brood stays healthy.

This is the most basic struggle of a person with low means because malnutrition then leads to other problems. For example, when you’re not healthy, you often get sick, which means you’d have to go to the hospital often. Hospital visits mean hospital bills. Hospital visits means doctor’s fees and prescription drugs. Worse yet, sick days ultimately lead to loss of salary. The significant factor here is for minimum wage workers whose every daily salary counts. A single day’s worth of loss could mean a LOT for his/her family.

Another consideration besides nutrition is emotional and psychological health. It’s not uncommon for rich and spoiled heiresses to suffer from depression and substance addiction. But a huge percentage of people who are depressed or suicidal come from the poverty line.

It can’t be expressed by words but the emotional pain and grip that comes from having less or no money is only something you can relate to if you’ve been there. It’s not just about feeling helpless, but feeling hungry, tired, and emotionally drained at the same time.

But perhaps the biggest struggle of belonging in the poverty line is that, through all your hard work, through every sweat and blood you’ve put through just to make it through the day, you still won’t get out of that poverty line.

How so?

The most pressing concern for people in poverty is that there’s around 40% chance that they’ll stay poor or get poorer. That’s not a very good motivator, yes? Why work when there’s a big chance that you’ll only have enough to make it through the day? But then, you DO have to work to feed yourself and your family, pay for your home, pay for school and a good life, etc. So where do you strike the line?

As heavy as that burden feels, it’s an even bigger struggle when you’re drowning in debt. Poverty makes your financial activities so difficult that you’re forced to apply for loan after loan. Soon, you’ll be drowning in a vicious loan cycle, struggling to keep track of your income that’s being deducted for interest rates alone.

Debt cycle is the biggest daily struggle for people in poverty, as far as finances go. It encompasses every living expense, from auto loans, student loans, housing loans, down to personal and hospital loans. Every single loan a person takes out digs him deeper into a deep poverty grave. And mind you, this is not an easy situation to get out of.

The depressing reality of poverty is that it breeds more sociopolitical and environmental issues. It is not a single problem that’s isolated from other problems we face today. Poverty, that is modern poverty, has crippled many countries from development and hindered many businesses and industries from thriving.

Poverty isn’t just an embarrassing set of statistics you see on newspapers. It’s happening daily, it’s happening right now. The question is, what will you do about it?


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The Desperate Mind of Poverty

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in Poverty | Comments Off on The Desperate Mind of Poverty

What’s surprising is that most people perceive “poverty” as people wandering through the streets in greasy clothes, puffing on cigarettes, carrying signs, begging for pennies, and ignoring the faint hum of hunger on their bellies.

The Desperate Mind of Poverty

The Desperate Mind of Poverty

But the stark reality is, poverty doesn’t just exist on the busiest streets of our cities downtown. It’s scary that it’s such a prevalent situation in most countries. It doesn’t just incorporate “not having money”, but it includes “minimum wage”, “malnutrition”, “famine”, “depression”, “lack of social mobility”, and a cornucopia of other sociological problems that equate to what we now know as poverty.

It’s not just a singular concept, but multiple ideas. How so?

Minimum wage is a big problem in most developing countries (a kind euphemism for third world countries) because families are distraught and suffering from lack of sufficient income. Earning less than 20% of the amount you’d need to feed your wife and children in a day is not just an issue for a single family, but for millions.

The alarming part is that economies are going from bad to worse, at least some of them. In a gist, employers are having a hard time channeling their capital and reaping profits while employees are less stable in their careers. Minimum wage in jobs is just the cream of the crop.

Malnutrition is another concept that branches out from poverty. Basically, when you don’t have enough money to sustain and feed your family, family members go hungry and essentially become malnourished. You can’t purchase good, organic, nutritious food, that’s the main problem.

It’s part of the academic program in most primary education institutions that children be made aware of proper nutrition and exercise. But regardless of being aware of what’s healthy, it’s about putting healthy food on the table. Often, the parents/providers don’t have enough on their pockets to put that kind of food on the table. It’s simple mathematics: money =  good food = nutrition

Famine is the more crucial issue when discussing poverty. It is such a sensitive topic, even discussed in guilty whispers and contrived communiqués. But while unequal distribution of resources is another issue, we can’t deny the fact that a single night of food leftovers in Las Vegas would be enough to feed South Africa for a year.

In fact, famine is as big an issue as poverty, the two both simultaneous and coexistent. One cannot exist without the other; poor people are essentially hungry and hungry people are essentially poor.

Lastly, depression and lack of social mobility go hand in hand in finalizing the seeming death blow of poverty. The phrase “money can’t buy happiness” is a tad bit of a ruse. After all, you can’t be happy when you’re starving, or sick, or helpless, or homeless. Your children won’t be happy when they’re laboring to put food on the table instead of enjoying their right to go to school. More to the point, poverty spells a lack of social potential. Unfortunately, communities run on classes, it is how our societies work. Different caste systems, but all have two common factors: the rich and the poor. It’s the lower class individuals that have less social mobility, meaning if you’re poor, there’s a 42% chance you’ll stay poor.

This desperate and almost hopeless state of poverty is not just a problem in a single country, but the entire human population. It’s alarming that with so many resources in our midst and impressive technologies within our reach, we have yet to solve the BIGGEST issue we’ve faced since civil war eras erupted.

We can’t keep worrying over statistics and reading articles and not do a single thing about it. In the end, modern poverty affects us all.



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The Detriment of Generational Poverty

Posted by on Jan 18, 2014 in Poverty | Comments Off on The Detriment of Generational Poverty

The Detriment of Generational Poverty

The Detriment of Generational Poverty

By: Philippe SHOCK Matthews

The word “poverty” produces different images in a person’s mind. One could look at it as a financially difficult situation while others will define it by how and where one lives. It doesn’t even help that the definition of poverty in most dictionaries refers to “the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.” (Merriam Webster)

In short, there is no clear definition of how someone can be considered “in poverty” because there are a lot of scenarios to consider. For example, the US Census Bureau establishes different poverty thresholds depending on family size. In fact, being considered poor in one state in the US might not hold true in another state. That being said, giving a real definition of poverty is a tough thing to do.

However, poverty can be broken down into different types, and one of them is generational poverty. This is defined as having been in poverty for at least two generations. It is also associated with several key factors such as:

  • Hopelessness – When people think that their life could not get any better, they tend to lose motivation which eventually leads them to believe they’re hopeless. In a worst case scenario, people who have lost hope may even turn to shady means just to survive.
  • Surviving rather than planning – Whether it’s finding money for food or looking for a place to live, those living in poverty have an attitude of survival. They think in a daily process of surviving the day, rather than mapping out their future.
  • Counterproductive traditions – Sometimes, those who were born into poverty inherit” the situation of their ancestors. For example, someone might not get the chance at an education because that has been the case in their family. Instead, they settle for looking for jobs to survive.

What causes poverty?

The cause of poverty cannot be pinpointed to just one factor as there are a lot of things that can lead to this type of situation. In fact, there are some causes that are reversible, but there are others that are just hard to get over. And this is speaking for both developed and developing nations across the world. That being said, here are some of the causes of poverty:

  • economic situation of the country
  • lack of education
  • overpopulation
  • epidemic diseases such as AIDS and malaria
  • environmental problems

One could also make a case for disasters as a cause for poverty. Take the devastating effect that typhoon Haiyan had on the Philippines. The natural disaster resulted in people losing not only their homes, but their means of livelihood as well. This has led some people to live in absolute poverty because they no longer have a roof over their head, no place to buy food, and almost no room for getting an education.

What are the effects of poverty?

It’s not a secret that the effects of poverty are serious, and one of the most affected is the health of a person. Those who grew up with absolutely nothing suffer more severe health problems than those who live comfortable lives. Not only that, they suffer them more frequently.

Those born into poverty are more likely to have a low birth weight, which is sadly associated with mental and physical disabilities.

Those who were raised in poverty have a tendency to miss school because they are almost always sick.

Those who are living in absolute poverty, meaning having no homes, don’t receive proper nutrition and immunization which leads them to develop health problems.

Apart from health issues, other effects of poverty include:

  • crime
  • hunger
  • illness
  • illiteracy
  • unemployment

What are the consequences of poverty?


It’s a sad thought that crime is one the most negative consequences of poverty. This happens because a “culture of poverty” develops among families who struggle just to meet their basic needs. People develop beliefs that their chances are limited for future success. And one of the most disheartening things people turn to is crime as an alternative to getting employment.

It’s not even a secret that there is a direct link between poverty and crime. What’s even worse, wherever you find poverty, surely you’d find crime as well. Citing data from the hard times in Europe from 1975 to 1995, it was found that there was a big tendency for theft and violence among the uneducated youth who were also unemployed.

However, this isn’t the case when people are given the opportunity to stay in school. It shows that there is a lot less violence the more time is spent at school.


Another consequence of poverty is the lack of education. In fact, there is a huge link between the two. When children who live in poverty start school, they are less developed compared to those who grew up in a family with a high income.

Of course, factors such as poor health care, an unsafe environment, limited access to good nutrition, and the scarce availability of books definitely have a big impact on the development of a child. In particular, their cognitive development and ability to learn is heavily affected.


It’s a sad thing when people start to hate themselves for the situation they are in. It’s not hard to blame them when they start hating themselves because they couldn’t get out of the bad place they’re in. This is why it’s important for everyone to get an equal opportunity so no matter what their status is in life, at least there is hope for success.


One of the worst consequences of poverty is not being able to provide food for the family. Without earning sufficient money to feed a number of children, it’s no wonder why children are starving. And even worse, it is no wonder why people turn to stealing and other malicious activities just to put food in the bellies of their family.


The job market is particularly difficult for those living in poverty. As mentioned above, there is a lack of good jobs for those who live in poverty. This fact makes it hard for them to climb out of being at a disadvantaged situation. Even worse, the absence of good employment opportunities will most likely ensure a cycle of poverty. What’s even more disappointing is that the cycle will continue on until the pattern can be broken.

Mental health issues

Another area that can be severely affected by poverty is mental health. Living in a difficult situation is a stressful situation. People who live in poverty are more likely to see a fair share of job loss, drug addiction, and death. All of these can lead them to feel anxious or depressed about their situation. Even worse, when they experience all these negative things as a child, it can carry well onto adulthood.

One of the problems with children brought up in poverty is the amount of time their parents can spend with them. Since mothers and fathers are struggling to make ends meet, they often cannot attend to their own children and leave them elsewhere – be it day care or with a neighbor – just so they can look for money to put food on the table. The lack of quality time with parents leads children to have low self-esteem and have difficulties forming relationships with others. Moreover, children who continue to spend time with other individuals instead of their parents leave a negative impact on their emotional health.

What can be done?

Generational poverty cannot be ignored. It’s tough for someone to live in poverty and then have to see their children live in the same situation. That being said, it’s not hard for those living in this situation to blame society and the government for the state they’re in. However, their complaints seem to fall on deaf ears leaving them to think of other ways to survive.

So, what exactly can be done to get people out of a slump or at least give them opportunities so they can build a better future?

  • It all starts with the government

The government should have programs that address poverty. There are lots of things that can be done, especially when speaking of health and nutrition.

When it comes to nutrition, the government can provide programs that help young children get access to good nutrition. Not only that, they can also help pregnant women get the right nutrition to ensure they have healthy babies.

Another thing that can be done is to provide affordable health insurance for those living in poverty. This way, they at least have something to fall back on in case any of their family members falls ill or needs medical attention.

  • Help from non-profit organizations is useful

Over the years, a lot of these groups have been really helpful in giving aid to those in need, and their help in whatever way possible is always appreciated. They can help in terms of education, health, and overall development.

For example, let’s use the program of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The organization works hard to help children realize their potential and build their futures. They do this by doing a lot of mentoring between an adult and a child. They have been doing this for over 100 years as well.

Another organization that has been helping low income children is the Salvation Army. They have several offerings such as camps for at risk children. In these camps, kids can learn a lot of things in various fields, including arts, crafts, music, and sports.

  • Help from fellow citizens

Of course, it’s also important for fellow citizens to help whatever way they can. First, they can offer a little bit of money to different organizations that help the less fortunate. Whatever amount that can be contributed will be able to help a particular organization drive their cause forward and help more people.

Second, they can spread awareness. It’s not a secret that social media is a very big thing with everyone these days. And simply sharing information about a cause through Twitter or Facebook is enough to generate attention. Even though this is a very simple way of helping, getting the word out to as many people as possible is more than enough help.

Third, they can offer their time and volunteer. A lot of organizations look for volunteers to help them with their cause, and donating a little of one’s time whether it be over the weekend or summer will be very much appreciated. Volunteering can be as simple as participating in feeding programs, teaching kids how to read, or helping them learn about sports.

Final words

If the continued lack of good jobs for those living in poverty persists, it will be tougher for people to climb out of the situation they are in. Nonprofits such as the HOW Movement and ordinary citizens can help all they want, but unless problems such as insufficient access to education, food, and employment are properly addressed, the problem regarding poverty will continue to exist. When this happens, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when people turn to illegal means as a way to stay alive.


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