Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Poverty can be categorized into absolute and relative poverty. Relative poverty encompasses a situation where people lack access to the minimum income level that would guarantee that they attain average living standards as defined by the relevant society in which they come from. Absolute poverty on the other hand, is where individuals are deprived basic needs ranging from food, clean water, sanitation, clothing, shelter and health among others. Here, income is not the only factor, but also the access to various services. For some time now, it has become apparent that people living in poverty have continued with the trend for a long period. This is where poverty is prevalent in a certain family for more than one generation. This has resulted to development of the cycle of poverty.

Poverty tends to begin at childhood when a child is born in a poor family by a malnourished mother. Once born in these families, the children are entangled in the cycle of poverty, which might become difficult to break (Martin). This is because such children find it difficult to gain a good education, something that limits them in the job market once they become adults. Access to other services like health also becomes a problem. This situation is likely to continue with their children and grandchildren since the people that came before them did not put a foundation upon which they could build their lives. However, the cycle of poverty can be broken. For this to happen there needs to be an external intervention. This would mean interventions from institutions like the government, NGOs, well-wishers just to mention a few. The strategies adopted should be holistic in order to ensure that the desired results have been attained.

Semuels (1) provides a solution of how to break the cycle of poverty. The approach that she promotes involves a two-generation program focus. The program focuses on improving employment opportunities for parents and improving children’s education at the same time. She arrived at this approach after the assessment of Atlanta neighborhoods. Most of the people hear grew poor and their children seem to be following in similar footsteps. It is more of a vicious cycle of poverty. Lack of quality education has been cited among the main contributors to this aspect. That is why children that are born in poverty are likely to remain stagnant.  High quality preschool seems to give children a better foundation, but it expensive for most parents to afford (Semuels 1). The approach is regarded as “two-generation” since it helps children access this type of education while helping

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