– January 2 2020
The poverty cycle can be broken
The one-room mud house which Malike currently shares with his brother, sisters and parents has a gaping hole in one wall which lets in the cold and rain. The ceiling is made of cardboard, and the air is stuffy and hard to breath. As the youngest, Malike shares the family’s only bed with his parents, while his siblings sleep on a mat on the dirt floor.
This was not the life his parents, Anwini and Anamas, envisaged for their children. When they moved to Kumasi from northern Ghana six years ago to run a cocoa plantation, they were optimistic about building their own home and offering their children all the opportunities they missed out on at their age. But their meagre earnings from the harvest meant their home never grew beyond one, dilapidated room.
The couple were barely teens when they left school. The death of Anwini’s father meant he had to work to support his mother from a young age, and Anamas’ parents were keen for her to marry young. Their lack of education has led to a life of poverty. Now they can’t afford to pay for their children’s education. Malike and his three brothers and sister look set to follow in their footsteps.
Although education is free in Ghana, compulsory items like books, stationery, uniforms and the funds to support school infrastructure can make it impossible for poorer families to send their children to school – trapping them in poverty.
Malike’s 12-year-old sister Christie dreams of becoming a nurse so she can “make sick people feel better again”, but her parents fear that won’t be possible.
“I lay awake most nights because I am not able to take good care of my children, as a father should,” Anwini told us desperately.
The sad truth is that poverty is often passed down from one generation to the next in a lack of education, opportunities, health and hope. But we know this cycle of poverty can be broken. Supporting parents is key to bringing about lasting change.
Our local team in Kumasi in Ghana have identified 250 vulnerable families in their community whose lives could be transformed if offered the right help, including Malike and his family.
Over the next five years, our project will offer the families the skills and support they need to increase their incomes, start their own businesses or develop their careers, so they can build a stable future for their children. This will mean Malike, his siblings, and hundreds of other children can stay in school and access the healthcare and good nutrition they need to grow into their potential – breaking the cycle of poverty that has many in the community trapped.
You can help us break the cycle of child poverty worldwide by making a donation today.