Arab Spring
The term “Arab Spring” characterized a series of upheavals across the Middle East and North African regions (MENA) in which a surge of citizens defied their authoritarian governments. It all started in Tunisia in 2010 when a man set himself on fire in a demonstration against police corruption. Sudan joined the anti-oppression movement in an effort to eradicate oppression and poverty in Sudan soon after. Now, a decade and a new government later, the country finds itself in an ideal position to begin seriously addressing poverty in Sudan.

A Tragic History

For many years, the Sudanese have suffered the brutal dictatorship of an authoritarian regime. In 2003, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) took up arms against their government in Darfur. These groups launched attacks against government facilities and army facilities in an attempt to obtain more financial and democratic power for the citizens. The subsequent conflict became known as the Darfur Genocide.

Both Sudan’s government, headed by President Omar al-Bashir, and the movements that opposed it were non-Arab. This conflict led to the deaths of around 15,000 people and the uprooting of millions of citizens. Bashir created a country dichotomized into Arabs and Africans, as opposed to a country that acted as a home for all Sudanese people. These conditions laid the foundation for the Bashir administration’s oppression of the Sudanese people. In 2011, the stage was set for the Arab Spring in Sudan. As a result of these protests, violence erupted. Throughout, Bashir retained his presidency.

Economic Challenges

Poverty in Sudan and socioeconomic woes increased following July 2011, when South Sudan gained independence from Sudan after Africa’s longest-running civil war. Considering most oil fields prospered in the south of the country, the most significant price Sudan paid was the loss of oil profits. As a result, Sudan’s inflation went rampant, provoking major upset among the Sudanese. The younger generations found it exceptionally challenging to find a job. Instead of addressing these issues, Sudan used most of its resources for military purposes. Additionally, a drought worsened Sudan’s already restrictive agricultural policies.

The failure of the industrial labor market caused unemployment and poverty to spread. The absence of economic opportunity prompted Bashir to eradicate nearly all civil society organizations. As a result, human rights and labor units shut down. Conjointly, due to Bashir’s Islamic leadership, women experienced extreme restraints. Indeed, Sudanese people experienced their basic rights stripped from them and those they loved, leaving them with exceptionally limited freedom.

Poverty in Sudan prevailed when bread, a basic food, became unaffordable. Violence and economic struggles contributed greatly to the oppression of the Sudanese people. However, the loss of affordable access to the most basic aspect of life, food, triggered the people to rise up and demand change.

New National Solidarity

One catalyst driving the protests was the desegregation of the different factions of Sudan. New national solidarity arose in recent years with the hope of ending Bashir’s rule. It was no longer Arabs verse the Africans. One example illustrating this was the chants throughout the northern and southern parts of Sudan beginning in late 2018. Multi-ethnic protestors chanted “we are all Darfur” while Darfur’s protestors chanted “we are all Khartoum,” demonstrating solidarity across the different religions and ethnicities of Sudan.

As the protests gained momentum, many more joined in hopes of replacing the regime with a government that could recover some of the economic loss. Public opposition groups played a key role in even the poorest communities. This ensured that everyone’s voices were on display despite their economic status. Women also took to the streets to protest the mistreatment they had experienced over the years, proving that all segments of Sudanese society engaged and committed themselves to the revolution.

A Successful Revolution

Sudanese citizens again requested Bashir to resign, but he refused. The government reacted violently, murdering a number of protestors. This only served to further outrage and inspire demonstrators around the country. Finally, the opposition assembled peacefully outside Sudan’s military headquarters in Khartoum, the capital, demanding Bashir’s resignation.

Critically, the revolution attained military assistance despite the military being a fundamental pillar of Bashir’s rule. In the face of the massive scale of the uprisings, the military began wavering in its support of Bashir. Leaders eventually determined that self-preservation was the only choice, and the military deposed the dictator.

Sudan Today

Despite the success in overthrowing Bashir, poverty in Sudan remains a major issue. Some 36% of the population lives below the poverty line. Poverty in Sudan exacerbates other issues, resulting in approximately 1 million children experiencing global acute malnutrition.

Due to its perseverance, Sudan is experiencing rebuilding. Many organizations are addressing poverty in Sudan. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is assisting in the establishment of early childcare programs in Darfur, Sudan. Additionally, the organization is going through an appeal process to raise $211 million to assist in humanitarian efforts. Some of the targeted recipients include 7.4 million children and 2.5 million internally displaced persons. Another organization committed to aiding the next generation of Sudan is Save the Children. In 2020, it helped 374,000 children by addressing poverty in Sudan through nourishment, education, protection and crisis aid. Doctors Without Borders also aims to improve the severely-lacking health care in Sudan.

A Brighter Future

The Sudanese have always fought for human rights and against tyranny. They triumphed due to their tenacity, finally ending a dictatorship that lasted for 30 years. Now, with support from its international allies, Sudan is undeniably on its road to alleviating the effects of poverty.

– Tiffany Lewallyn
Photo: Flickr

War Child
Two filmmakers founded War Child in 1993 after observing the violence that children endured during periods of war. The organization describes itself as “the only specialist charity for children affected by conflict.” With the slogan, “A world where no child’s life is torn apart by war,” War Child works to address the realities children face during war and provide them with prompt support, safety and coping mechanisms. The organization shows children from Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic that there is more to life than the destructive nature of war.

War Child’s Work

Since the traumatic impacts of conflict and violence on children, War Child takes an approach to help children through four key areas: protection, education, livelihoods and advocacy. Armed groups tear children from their families through false promises of education or money while abducting others. This can leave these children with severe and lifelong psychological problems. The organization’s support includes “setting up children’s helplines,” strengthening child justice systems, “rehabilitating and reintegrating former child soldiers” as well as reuniting children with parents.

More than 75 million children ages 3 to 18 are not in school in 35 countries experiencing war. War Child aims to address this problem in multiple ways, including providing children with early childhood education programs and initiating Education in Emergencies initiatives. The organization also provides teachers with training to best support learners in conflict-ridden environments. By incorporating play into learning programs, the organization attempts to remedy trauma. These initiatives give children a sense of normalcy during a period of time in their lives where chaos surrounds them.

The organization also recognizes the need to provide children with humanitarian aid to address their basic human needs. The organization provides cash assistance to communities for people to use according to “their own priorities and preferences.” To strengthen economic resilience, the organization assists people in securing employment or establishing businesses “by providing them with technical, business and life skills, establishing group-based saving schemes and providing small grants making the best out of existing market opportunities. ”

In many crisis-prone countries, agriculture plays an important role. As such, War Child created Peace Gardens. Peace Gardens allow children to develop agricultural skills while increasing food security as crop produce can provide nutritious school meals for children.

Sam Smith’s Role in War Child

Sam Smith’s global impact extends far beyond his role as a singer-songwriter. Smith became War Child’s Global Ambassador in 2017 after conversing with a child in Jordan who, as Smith put it, “said something that will stay with me forever.”

Smith subsequently took to his social media pages, urging his fans to support War Child. For his 26th birthday, in 2018, Smith asked that his friends, family and fans make donations to War Child instead of buying him birthday gifts. After releasing his hit single “Too Good at Goodbyes,” in 2020, he launched a four-city mini-concert tour, with all profits from the ticket sales going toward supporting War Child.

War ravages land and people, however, children face disproportionate impacts of war. Through the efforts of War Child, children living in conflict-riddled lands can look toward a brighter tomorrow.

– Nia Hinson
Photo: PxHere

the-bahamas-challenges-the-children-face
Of the several nations and the many diverse peoples of Central America and the Caribbean, The Bahamas is one of the most beautiful and iconic. Well known for its thriving tourist industry, many U.S. citizens visit this collection of islands on vacation. The Bahamas has continued to rise in GDP and other metrics of quality of life for its citizens due to its successful tourism industry and offshore financing industry. Despite the growth that The Bahamas continues to present, there have been some concerning trends that have threatened this. Specifically, there have been problems and uncontrollable circumstances that the children have had to face. These problems affect the country and its future. Amongst these struggles, external catastrophes hit many of the most vulnerable children hardest, exacerbating child poverty in The Bahamas. This includes Hurricane Dorian in 2018 and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child Poverty Rates

The Bahamas’ poverty rate is comparable to some of its Caribbean neighbors. Studies found that 12.5% of the population is living under the poverty line with under $5,000 a year. Many of these households support children. Additionally, children under the age of 14 represent the group with the highest poverty rate in the country.

Without access to resources and basic needs, these children are likely to have trouble maturing. The lack of food, sleep and time for a developing child who poverty affects will directly affect their performance in academics, recreation, social interactions and other aspects of their life.

Blocks in Education

As The Bahamas has grown its economy and infrastructure its education systems have also grown to match. However, there has been an alarming disparity in the quality and access to education. The literacy rate in people over the age of 15 decreased from 98% in 1995 to 93% in 2020. Many have largely attributed this trend to the difference in the quality of education between private and public schools.

Public state-run schools have a graduation rate of 44% for boys and 51% for girls while the graduation rate is 87.6% for those in private institutions. The reason for this variance is the lack of funding and resources for teaching materials, school supplies, and internet access for those in public schools.

Home Situations

The Bahamas has a very low dual household dynamic. More than 50% of all children in The Bahamas are born out of wedlock and a single parent often raises them. This is a holdover from times when large families lived together, so children did not feel the absence of a parent so harshly. However, the commonality of this has faded.

Children that single parents raise, especially those suffering from poverty, have more developmental and material disadvantages in life. The education challenges and dropout rates among the youth of The Bahamas reflect this issue.

Children are the Future of The Bahamas

Help from NGOs and other countries has been stagnant because of the  COVID-19 pandemic and lack of awareness. Project Hope is an organization that has a consistent presence in The Bahamas, although there are no large organizations. However, Project Hope’s work should receive commendation and undergo replication because they have been instrumental in shedding light on the challenges that people in The Bahamas face.

Project Hope is an NGO that focuses primarily on health care needs and services. They have been bringing aid, resources and expertise to The Bahamas. Beginning after Hurricane Dorian, Project Hope has focused on providing health care services for children, including those who experience child poverty in The Bahamas. This helps the children to further their education.

The Bahamas has been in a vicious cycle of struggling children becoming struggling adults. Rather than beautiful beaches or offshore tax evasion, children are at once the most vulnerable and most valuable resource that The Bahamas has.

John J. Lee
Photo: Flickr

Impoverished Children in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed 18,000 children into poverty, on top of the already large amount of children struggling with unmet basic needs. However, one organization, Share My Super, is working hard to change these statistics and reduce the number of impoverished children in New Zealand.

Impoverished Children in New Zealand

Against the backdrop of New Zealand’s 4.8 million population, more than 235,000 children lived in poverty before the pandemic’s effects. While reducing child poverty is one of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s signature goals, the country has only seen rising numbers of struggling children in recent years.

A recent study shows a 10% increase in child poverty due to the country’s pandemic policies, mostly impacting minority groups such as the Māori and Pasifika. The report lists several main reasons for child poverty in New Zealand including lack of government support, “unemployment and education disruptions” due to the COVID-19 pandemic and “inadequate income support for children.”

Share My Super

One organization, Share My Super, recognizes the detrimental effects of this issue and is working toward alleviating child poverty in New Zealand. Founded by Liz Greive, the organization functions by uniting citizens older than the retirement age of 65 and allowing them to share their leftover pensions with charities that are helping eliminate child poverty.

“I came to the conclusion that the most needy people in New Zealand, where real progress could be achieved, would be with children who were having a hard start,” Greive told The Spinoff, a New Zealand-based magazine. “I was well aware of the poverty that many people experience and how hard it is to raise a family when there is quite simply not enough money coming in.”

Share My Super hand-selects charities that it believes in and trusts for donors to donate to. The organization fosters relationships with these organizations and ensures that there is a variety of organizations, so people can choose to put their money toward immediate needs like shelter or food, or alternatively, they can put their money toward long-term solutions like mentorship or education.

Additionally, the organization receives 100% private funding. Therefore, the full donations go directly to the organization that the person chooses. Users also do not have to be at the retirement age to set up a donation — anyone can donate through Share My Super.

Impact

According to Share My Super’s 2020 Annual Report, the organization raised $294,296 in donations for charities through Superannuants, which refers to retirement-aged people donating their surplus pension through the organization. Share My Super also has benefits both ways: New Zealand’s children benefit and the country’s older population is also able to make a difference for the next generation. The organization also runs a blog detailing the tangible impacts of the charities on the country’s children so that the Superannuants can see the direct impact of their donations.

Although child poverty rates have been climbing in New Zealand, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations like Share My Super are working to help impoverished children in New Zealand through donations, uniting the older generations with the younger generations.

– Laya Neelakandan
Photo: Flickr

Children InternationalThe poverty disparity between adults and children is ever-growing. Children are twice as likely to live in poverty in comparison to adults, according to UNICEF. Globally, one billion children live in multidimensional poverty and approximately 365 million live in extreme poverty. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has pulled 150 million more children, including some from the wealthiest countries, into poverty. For this reason, the work of nonprofits addressing child poverty, such as Children International, is especially urgent.

Children International

Children International, a nonprofit that has worked to end poverty for nearly 80 years, is renowned for its transparency. Its website displays the many tangible positive changes the organization has brought about for children living in poverty. Children International believes addressing the needs of children is the way to end global poverty. Through its unique child sponsorship program, a person from anywhere in the world can fund the health, educational, security and nutritional needs of a child.

Through its Employment Program, Empowerment Program and various health and education programs, Children International works to end global child poverty through sustainable short-term and long-term approaches. These include providing basic health and dental services, boosting children’s confidence and creating post-graduation employment opportunities.

Safe Community Centers

Children International has also created more than 67 community centers to ensure that children can grow in secure and safe environments. Holistic child care in these safe spaces addresses the nutritional, educational and physical needs of children up to age 20. Children International believes that safe spaces and programs tailored to the unique needs of each child will ultimately end global poverty.

Nuanced Attention to Every Child

Children International’s customized programs focus on the individual needs of each child. The child sponsorship program enables donors to choose a child to sponsor, then give directly to that child’s specific needs. This “contextualization” ensures that both “a 6-year-old in Zambia” and “a 14-year-old in Honduras” have their particular needs met. The child sponsorship program focuses on the nuanced needs of every child by truly listening to the children themselves and allocating the necessary resources to lift them out of poverty.

Children International’s customized programs ensure that children are educated, healthy, employed and empowered as they transition into adulthood. The education program also provides children with shoes, books, uniforms, tutoring and scholarships and builds community centers with computers and other useful resources. Nearly 88% of children engaged in tutoring programs from Children International have improved profoundly in reading, writing and math and 71% of those involved in the Employment Program have found employment.

Ending Global Child Poverty

Success stories from four continents illuminate the astounding work of Children International, which has helped more than one million children. Children International is working to end global child poverty and has already taken off immensely in its success.

Nora Zaim-Sassi
Photo: Flickr

education for street kids in AfghanistanThe issue of providing quality education to children in Afghanistan persists. According to UNICEF, approximately 3.7 million children in Afghanistan are not in school, including more than two million girls. Afghan children face several barriers to education. These include “a shortage of schools and insufficient transportation” as well as a scarcity of qualified teachers. Only 48% of teachers possess the “minimum academic qualifications” to teach. For girls specifically, continued antiquated cultural practices, including child marriage in impoverished areas, continues to serve as a significant hurdle. Securing education for children in Afghanistan is important since education is a proven tool for breaking cycles of poverty. Furthermore, providing education for street kids in Afghanistan is especially important because these children are more vulnerable to the impacts of poverty.

The Plight of Street Children in Afghanistan

The term “street children” refers to children who live and/or work on the streets. In Afghanistan, the number of street kids is rising steadily, with at least 50,000 in the capital of Kabul. Endemic poverty and parental deaths caused by decades of war have forced many children into labor. Some of these children are as young as 3 years old. According to Mahboba’s Promise, an Australian aid organization, street children earn an average of less than $2 a day through menial jobs including collecting garbage and polishing shoes. These meager wages are barely enough to survive on. As such, working on the streets has become synonymous with malnutrition, illnesses and even sexual assault. Ensuring access to education for street kids in Afghanistan is paramount if Afghan children are to break free of cycles of abuse and poverty.

Organizations Providing Education for Street Kids in Afghanistan

While the current status of education in the country and the plight of its street kids is lamentable, the work of several organizations on the ground in providing an education for street kids in Afghanistan suggests that not all hope is lost.

  1. Mahboba’s Promise. Founded by Mahboba Rawi, an Afghan refugee, this organization is committed to rehabilitating street kids in Kabul by placing them in “safe houses.” The safe houses provide the children with well-balanced meals and teach fundamental subjects such as English, math and Islamic studies. Partnering with Architects Without Frontiers, Mahboba’s Promise successfully opened the Hope House in 2007. The Hope House is a shelter for women and children living in poverty that comes fully equipped for educational and recreational facilities while serving as an oasis of safety away from the turbulent streets of Kabul.
  2. Aschiana. Engineer Mohammed Yousef founded Aschiana in 1995. He was spurred to action after witnessing the harsh living and working conditions of street kids in Kabul. At its Day-Care Center, Aschiana provides basic education and vocational training for women and children while offering art-based therapy to help children who may have been traumatized by war, among other initiatives. Aschiana also organizes “mobile library units” to improve literacy and arranges legal aid for children charged with crimes. Today, Aschiana operates in seven provinces in Afghanistan and has impacted the lives of more than 150,000 women and children.
  3. The Noor Foundation. Founder Noor Ramazan was once an Afghan street kid himself. However, he broke free from his family’s cycle of poverty and became a successful businessman. He opened a tour guide service, Let’s Be Friends Afghanistan, in 2015. Recognizing the importance of providing an education for street kids in Afghanistan, Ramazan founded The Noor Foundation early in 2021 with the hope of saving street kids in Mazar-i-Sharif from the fate he managed to escape. At present, Ramazan is concurrently working on two projects. The first, Noor’s Nest, will be a shelter for about 30 street kids. It will have comfortable lodging facilities and staff to support the children’s educational and extracurricular endeavors in a “family-type setting.” The other project, The Noor School, will accommodate up to 200 children. Street kids will receive free tuition and priority access. Ramazan intends to start constructing the school by 2022 and has obtained financial support from 264 Education, a German NGO that reached out to Ramazan after hearing about his aspirations through the popular YouTube channel, Yes Theory.

Looking Ahead

Both local and international organizations have managed to make inroads concerning education in Afghanistan. However, the ongoing withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country threatens to undermine current and future progress. As the Taliban expands control of the country due to the power vacuum created by the United States, the future of education for Afghan children, especially girls, remains precarious. Without the continued provision of education for street kids in Afghanistan, there is a high risk of child recruitment by the Taliban. In a land rife with volatility and instability, prioritizing the education of children is imperative to equip Afghan children with the knowledge and tools to create a better and brighter future.

Vyas Nageswaran
Photo: Flickr

Child Poverty In SyriaFor the past decade, Syria has been the center of a brutal civil war. As a result, millions of Syrians face the everyday threats of violence, hunger and disease that wartime poverty brings about. Those most vulnerable to the effects of poverty include Syria’s children. A closer look at child poverty in Syria provides insight into the lives of Syrian children.

10 Facts About Child Poverty in Syria

  1. Roughly six million Syrian children rely on humanitarian assistance. Syrian children are among the most vulnerable groups in the Syrian civil war. The war has affected more than 11.1 million Syrians, almost half of whom are children.
  2. Children are unable to attend school. The civil war greatly fuels child poverty in Syria. As parents struggle to afford to send their children to school, many teachers are unpaid and destitute school buildings are collapsing. Nearly 2.5 million Syrian children are unable to attend school. This number does not include the 750,000 displaced Syrian children in nearby countries who also have no access to education. According to World Vision, the Syrian conflict has “reversed two decades of educational progress.”
  3. More than half of all Syrian children suffer from hunger. An estimated 60% of the nation’s children are suffering from hunger and 28% endure stunting as a consequence of malnutrition. The percentage of Syrian people suffering from food insecurity is currently the highest it has ever been since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. With 6.2 million children currently living in hunger, the numbers are only rising, having increased by roughly 35% from November 2020 to February 2021.
  4. Child labor is increasing. Faced with the threat of extreme child poverty in Syria, many school-aged boys drop out of school to support their families. These boys regularly work in unsafe situations for little pay. The research study “Survey on Child Labour in Agriculture in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon: The Case of Syrian Refugees” provides statistics on Syrian child labor. The 2019 study concluded that about 70% of Syrian refugee “children between 4 and 18 years old” were employed, “with an average age of 12.9 years.” Additionally, about 75% of these children worked in the agricultural sector. In this sector, about 30% of working children have experienced injuries.
  5. Boys are targets for child soldiers. As boys drop out of school to support their families, they are at higher risk of being recruited as child soldiers. With no income to provide for their children, many families resort to sending their young boys for training as child soldiers, believing that it is the best option. In 2021 alone, almost 840 children were recruited as child soldiers, among other roles, with 797 of these children being boys.
  6. Child marriage is rampant. Many families resort to child marriage to solve their economic situations. Sexual abuse of young girls also runs rampant in crowded refugee camps. Desperate to save their daughters from “child trafficking and sexual exploitation” and unable to economically provide for their children, many families arrange marriages for teenage girls. Out of girls aged 15-19, about 3.8% give birth every year.
  7. Weather has significant impacts. Millions of displaced and homeless children in Northwest Syria face brutal winters. Their only shelter from the harsh cold is often a tent or severely damaged and unsafe buildings that serve as emergency shelters. Roughly 75% of all Syrian children killed in 2020 came from this part of the country.
  8. COVID-19 exacerbates poverty: The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated child poverty in Syria. In addition to the 11.1 million Syrians already in need of urgent humanitarian aid, an additional 1.1 million Syrians have found themselves in poverty as a consequence of the pandemic. COVID-19 has also caused the gross domestic product to fall by up to 15% in the nation’s nearby countries, meaning that Syrian refugees seeking refuge in neighboring countries have fallen further into poverty.
  9. Infrastructure is failing. Only 53% of hospitals are currently in service, greatly adding to child poverty in Syria. Since the start of the war, more than 25,000 children have been killed, a number that is only increasing due to limited healthcare services and lack of access to clean water.
  10. Children are vulnerable to diseases. Poor sanitation caused by a lack of infrastructure, resources and clean water makes Syrian children vulnerable to cholera and other diarrheal diseases. The lack of accessible healthcare means many children miss their regular health checkups. Extremely cold weather in the northwest part of Syria also makes children susceptible to pneumonia.

Addressing Child Poverty in Syria

To address the issue of child poverty in Syria, UNICEF has sent humanitarian assistance on the ground. UNICEF’s efforts focus on children’s education, health and sanitation, among other goals. In 2020 alone, UNICEF “screened 2.6 million Syrian children and women for acute malnutrition,” improved water services for 3.2 million people and vaccinated roughly 2.6 million children against polio. UNICEF also “supported 2.2 million children with education services in formal settings.”

While the conflict in Syria continues, vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected. The efforts of UNICEF ensure the protection and well-being of millions of Syrian children, reducing child poverty in Syria.

– Caroline Bersch
Photo: Unsplash

Streamer TeoOn July 30, 2021, streamer and YouTuber TeosGame raised $60,000 for Save the Children, a 100-year-old nonprofit focused on addressing child poverty around the world. The Swedish gamer Teo used unique challenges and milestones to raise more than $50,000 from his online community during the course of the 11-hour stream, with an additional $10,000 contributed by those who watched the highlights on YouTube. The money raised will allow thousands of children to get the medical and educational help that they desperately require. Streamer Teo provides an inspiring example of how to use gaming and streaming platforms for the greater good.

The Stream

Raising money for charity is a difficult task that requires creativity to inspire individuals to contribute. Streamer Teo used a variety of entertaining games and fun milestones to incentivize people to help the cause. “Marble Run” was the first video game on the stream, a game that simulates marbles going down an extreme track of twists and turns. Each marble was labeled with a donation incentive, such as “Teo donates $100” or “Chat (referring to the stream’s viewers and commenters) donates $1.” The gamers with the first few marbles to finish would need to donate, making the donations exciting and unpredictable.

As the game went on, individual viewers requested to have their own marbles added with various donations ranging from $50 to $1,000. Another incentive that Teo used to raise money for Save the Children is donation milestones. For every $5,000 raised, Teo would spin a wheel with various punishments, such as him eating a hot pepper or getting hit in the face with a cream pie. This incentivizes galvanized contributions: whenever a milestone was in close reach, the rate of donations would rapidly increase. The creative events that Teo invented are intrinsic to the success of the fundraiser.

The Results

After 11 hours of streaming, Teo and the stream’s viewers had donated more than $50,000 to Save the Children. More than 2,800 individuals donated and more than half the money came from donations equating to less than $100. The genius contributions by Teo and his community allow Save the Children to aid vulnerable children in several ways. On Twitter, Teo posted an infographic detailing the statistics of the charity stream and the results.

According to Save the Children, the $51,000 raised during the stream can treat more than 18,000 children for pneumonia, provide more than 2,900 children with malaria pills and fill 79 bookshelves for children living in rural poverty. Alternatively, the donations can go toward building learning centers for 1,250 children who do not have access to education due to civil conflict. With humanitarian crises across the globe in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Lebanon and Syria, Save the Children is providing life-saving services to millions of children in need.

The Value of Charitable Streaming Events

Even though many do not have the same platform as streamer Teo, the success of his fundraiser serves as a great example of how creativity can generate the enthusiasm needed to raise money for charity. Interactive games and other mediums that people feel they have a stake in can make donating feel more salient and easier to justify. Random events such as Marble Run encourage people to increase their donations as individuals do not know whether or not they will be the ones chosen to donate. Increasing engagement and incentivizing people to donate through fun and entertaining live events is a great way to raise money and impact the world in a positive way.

– Will Pease
Photo: Flickr

Child Poverty in FijiFiji is an archipelago or chain of islands. Many tourists worldwide know its remote beaches as a tropical paradise. While Fiji’s geography makes it a popular vacation spot for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Tony Hawk, its geography has adverse effects on the children living there. However, organizations are taking steps to combat child poverty in Fiji.

Child Poverty in Fiji

Child poverty in Fiji is widespread throughout its rural areas. The United Nations released a report that displays rural child poverty rates at 40.92%, almost double urban rates of 22.22%. The extent of the discrepancy between those living in rural and urban areas is clear. There is a similar difference in the ages of those experiencing poverty in Fiji. The United Nations report highlights that 32.1% of children younger than the age of 14 experience poverty.

Poverty in Fiji has an unparalleled effect on young children in rural areas. This has led to a stunting rate tallied at 7.5% among infants and young children in 2004. Infants and young children are not the only ones affected by malnourishment as 22% of adolescents in Fiji were underweight as of 2005.

The Effects of Geography on Child Poverty in Fiji

In Fiji, there is a clear connection between poverty, geography and education. Fiji’s remote location impacts the price of uniforms, books and transportation. Although education is free up to the second level, the secondary costs of education present additional barriers for children living in poverty.

Even if rural Fijian families scrape together money for their children’s education, underdeveloped road and sea transportation prevent easy accessibility. Children often have to travel through three or more towns on foot to reach the nearest school.

Furthermore, children do not receive consistent protection against violations and abuse. Many children work as domestic servants and face domestic or sexual violence. Authorities underreport these conditions, and oftentimes, local authorities dismiss the crimes with little supervision from the country’s federal policing system.

Solutions to Child Poverty in Fiji

Many efforts are in place to help combat child poverty in Fiji. Several Fijian children in poverty reside in rural areas where the lack of access to quality education perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Understanding this issue, the Australian High Commissioner administered the Australian Direct Aid Program. The program seeks to help improve educational opportunities for these children. This project gifts items like new furniture, library books, water tanks and dormitory renovations that provide better education resources to students in rural Fiji.

Similarly, help from volunteer groups such as the Peace Corps, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross and student initiatives, such as Rustic Pathways, greatly impacts these Fijian communities. For example, the Peace Corps states that close to 90% of the communities improved in livelihood security and sanitation.

Another significant step in combating child poverty in Fiji occurred when Fiji joined the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership. The partnership made access to clean water a constitutional right. This led to 70.1% of Fijian households having access to clean water. Increased access to clean water means children can go to school and receive an education instead of spending time collecting water for the home.

Moreover, the World Bank has approved the Fiji Transport Infrastructure Investment Project. It awarded the Fijian government $50 million to make improvements to land and sea infrastructure. The expected outcome is easier and safer travel, which in turn, allows children facing poverty in rural areas of Fiji better access to education.

The Future of Poverty in Fiji

Fiji’s geography negatively influences impoverished children within its borders. Through improvements to the education system, increased sanitation, access to clean water and better infrastructure, children facing poverty in Fiji have a greater opportunity to attend and complete school. Through education, children are able to break cycles of poverty.

– Lily Vassalo
Photo: Flickr

Children In Tanzania In 2016, estimates determined that three out of every four children in Tanzania experience poverty or are underprivileged. This means that most children in Tanzania do not experience high-quality living conditions. For example, children in Tanzania frequently lack access to healthcare, education and basic necessities such as food, water and shelter. They may also experience domestic violence.

Of adolescents, the age group hit the hardest are those aged 5-13. In this age group, 73% of children experience deprivation in three or more dimensions. Dimensions are categories that classify different types of poverty. These dimensions are sanitation, protection, housing and education. Poor access to sanitation affects this age group the most (77%) followed by limited protection, housing and education, all lying in the high 60% range.

The Future Stars Academy (FSA)

Future Stars Academy (FSA) is a nonprofit organization that began in 2009 and works out of Arusha, Tanzania. In 2019, the organization had 200 members and saw its members’ school attendance increase by 15%. FSA prioritizes education with the understanding that education is a way out of poverty.

FSA makes an impact by combining a passion for sports with a strict education policy. Education is one of the most important factors in ending global poverty. Education leads to outcomes that positively impact poverty. Some of these outcomes include economic growth, lower income inequality, reduced infant and maternal deaths, decreased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and reduced violence at home and in society.

Many people all over the world support and participate in soccer, sometimes referred to as football. For FSA, soccer is a way for underprivileged children to develop mentally and physically, giving them the opportunity to live sustainable and healthy lives. The organization believes that soccer can inspire underprivileged children and help them develop into productive citizens with the opportunity to escape poverty. The organization focuses on three core activities: training, education and competition. It works with children aged 6-20, targeting the age group hit hardest by child poverty.

FSA gives youth the opportunity to refine their soccer skills and compete competitively at a certain level. This gives children something to strive for and encourages healthy lifestyles in order for participants to succeed in the sport. Coaches at FSA use the children’s passion for soccer to hone in on other important life skills and values such as teamwork, dedication, discipline and confidence.

FSA’s Success

For FSA, the combination of fun and education has, so far, been successful. The policy of “No school – No play” keeps children in Tanzania on track to progressing toward a better life. The FSA has provided dozens of senior players with the opportunity to play for top tier soccer teams or earn coaching positions where they then have the ability to help children in similar situations.

Education is an extremely important tool for reducing rates of poverty in Tanzania. Many organizations, such as UNICEF, believe that instilling education at a young age is the most effective way for it to be a tool in helping underprivileged children escape poverty. FSA is one of many organizations working to promote the importance of education for children in Tanzania.

– Haleigh Kierman
Photo: Flickr