Many communities living in extreme poverty experience the trap of generational poverty.
Disadvantages, inequality, lack of opportunities, ineffective systems, and poor outcomes collectively work against individuals making it virtually impossible to break the cycle of poverty for themselves, their children, and future generations. Generational poverty is said to impact at least three generations. That means that children who are born today, may be subject to a life of poverty along with their children, and so on, unless the cycle is broken.
But poverty is nuanced and is more than just a lack of resources. It requires deeper thinking into developing sustainable solutions that can break the cycle for those who are affected.
When families are affected by poverty for generations, it can lead to overwhelming feelings of desperation, apathy, and an inability to see past the needs of today.
The Effects on Children
When a community’s children look at their parents and can’t imagine a different life for themselves, they’re unmotivated to continue their education, press on when they’re faced with obstacles, and dream for brighter futures. Their vision never develops– hope is a foreign concept.
- Approximately 264 million children and youths around the world are not attending school.
- UNESCO estimates global poverty could be cut by 55% if all children completed secondary education.
Kijabe Town, Kenya is no Exception
The economic opportunities are limited and the challenges are great in Kijabe Town. The community relies on agriculture, but extreme flooding and droughts have affected the harvest. The closest town is 8 miles away, so even when families are able to produce a crop, selling it is often unaffordable and impossible.
There are limited options for education in Kijabe Town. Many parents lack the resources to educate their children and without any meaningful activities to participate in, the community’s youth often spend time in the streets and begin abusing alcohol at a young age. The youth are often unable to visualize any career or jobs outside of professional athletes or doctors, and since those options seem so far removed from them, they give up hope.
Leaving Kijabe Town
Many parents who desire more for their children are desperate for a way to get them out. Many young people leave in search of new opportunities and don’t often return to share their resources and knowledge due to a lack of job opportunities. So the community is left in a cycle of poverty generation over generation.
Representation + Hope
Mission ONE, alongside our partners Kijabe Town, have been working on a multifaceted approach that supports both physical and spiritual development for the community. After much planning, learning, and collaboration, our partners created an opportunity to end generational cycles of poverty through fair and dignified work via a profitable pig business.
Kijabe Town is now building sustainable income with the resources, skills, and opportunities in their own backyard and slowly but surely seeing the fruits of their labor.
But the project is having a deeper impact that extends beyond the practical daily needs of the community. The project is restoring representation of a future and most importantly, hope.
This pig farm is also providing space for children and young adults to see that their town and families do have something to offer after all. Thinking beyond the primary needs of food, shelter, and water means that the youth can look ahead and acknowledge they can be successful within their own community. When they see that Daniel and John, who work for the pig business, can provide for their families without having to leave Kijabe Town, it encourages them to see past their current circumstances and dream for what’s next. It gives them hope for their town and allows them space to create a future for themselves.
This is a clear pathway to a long-term vision that will impact a multitude of generations to come.
If communities who live in poverty can set a pathway filled with hope and promise for their families, children will be inspired to make their best efforts in school, find good jobs, reinvest in their homes, and if they do leave to go to school, they’re more likely to return and use their skills to further develop their community, meaning that Kijabe Town will likely escape poverty because of the community of people who live there.
Your support of Mission ONE means our partners have resources to transform entire communities, not just with access to resources, opportunities, and connections, but with the deep and profound restoration of hope, vision, and promise for the future.
Kijabe Town is looking more and more like the Kingdom each day.
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We created a unique coloring book to share the story of “The Prodigal Son” with your family - designed to help you interact with the children in your life and teach them more about how much they’re loved.