Let’s be honest for one minute; we live in a capitalist world, where most of us thrive to make more money to have a better future and buy everything we want. But did you know that the world’s richest 1% hold about 43.4% of the world’s wealth while adults with less than $10 000 make up only 1.4% of the world’s health but 53.6 % of the world’s population? And before you tell me that billionaires worked hard for their money, let me stop you right there; there is no ethical billionaire; most of them made their wealth by not paying taxes, underpaying their staff, and investing in not so legal activities. So, no, the world doesn’t need any billionaires; what the heck are you going do with one billion dollars anyway, and to be more factual, one billion has 9 zeros in them. So, yeah, we live in a world that values the rich and where the poor are at the beating end of the stick. We call it the cycle of poverty; the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer.
What is the cycle of poverty?
According to academia, the cycle of poverty is a global phenomenon. It can be defined as a situation where a family has been impoverished; they lived under the poverty line for more than three generations. As the name suggests, it is cyclical in nature and is very hard to get out of. The cycle of poverty begins with a child born in a family that lives under poverty lines. These families often have little to no resources to create an opportunity for themselves or their families, leaving them trapped in this cycle and might be never-ending. What drives poverty is the lack of assets and obstacles to achieve the same things as others who have more social and cultural capital.
What can break this cycle?
Well, there is always hope that we will eventually break the cycle of poverty. This can be done by giving people access to proper food, sanitation, and proper education. By teaching people how to fend for themselves, we are giving them a better hand in dealing with their predicament. Education and economic empowerment are key in the fight against poverty and its cyclical nature.
One of the biggest components in eradicating poverty alongside food and proper sanitation is education. According to the UN, it is part of our human right to have access to proper education, but many children don’t have access to this because of their country’s lack of facilities or because they had to leave school to help their families. Education is the key to unlocking many doors. According to studies, children who aren’t in school are at greater risk of being child brides and risk exploitation and becoming lower-income families in the future.
Personal thought on the matter of education and poverty
I won’t lie to you when I say that if you come from a low-income family, you are already at a disadvantage at school because you won’t have the same access to things that more affluent kids have, which can make a difference. Though education tends to be a very elitist system, many poor kids find their way in them. I can talk from personal experience when I say I know this struggle; my mother raised my brother and me, single-handed and for most of my life, we lived in a single bedroom apartment in the Bronx, where you could open the fridge from your bed. So, I have been on the struggle bus, but thanks to some dedicated teacher who saw something in me, I was able to make it through college and was even able to attend Brown university with the help of scholarships and my fair share of student loan. All this to say that education is very important and can help us break away from the cycle of poverty.
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