Thursday, 05 March 2015 22:45

The Real Causes of Childhood Poverty

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Dr. Michael Omidi is co-founder of No More Poverty, among other charities. Here he discusses the true causes of poverty among the world’s children.

What are the root causes of poverty among children? The online publication Poverty Living notes 10 key reasons for the phenomenon of starvation among children, especially in the U.S.

You might notice a common thread that runs through the following list of causes, namely the breakdown or absence of the family unit. That said, here are the 10 causes that the admittedly unscientific analysis came up with, in no particular order:

• Being born into a low-income home: This seems almost too logical, but when low-income families have more children than they are ready for, the cycle of poverty becomes stronger.

• Pregnancy when the parents are not married: An international phenomenon, unmarried parents are more likely to become impoverished than married parents.

• Being born into a single-parent home: Single-parent homes are the most common site for impoverished families.

• Families in which neither parent is educated past elementary levels: Education is seen as the key to poverty elimination all over the world. Education means skills. Skills translate into jobs, and jobs into money.

• Children born into families where the parents are unemployed: Children born to unemployed parents put an even greater strain on financial resources.

• Expenses above and beyond the basic necessities: Many families live just at the breaking point, where a single emergency can break the bank, or what there is left of it.

• Teen parenthood: The younger the parents, the more likely that the family will be, or become, impoverished.

• Drug and alcohol addiction: Needless to say or analyze, when parents are drug abusers, their children are almost guaranteed to suffer in numerous ways.

• Family breakdown as a result of a tragedy: Whether it is a fire, a divorce, a flood or the death of the sole breadwinner, a tragedy often can propel an entire family into poverty in a matter of days.

• Hereditary poverty: While not all those who live in poverty pass the situation on to the next generation, many young, uneducated parents become role models for their own children, who see family units as worthless.

While there are no easy solutions to these problems, identifying the underlying factors that contribute to poverty can help us focus on long-term goals that can end the cycle.

Educating ourselves and others is the best way to effect positive change in the world. With all of us together, we can work toward a world where no child has to grow up in poverty.

Yours in health,

Michel Omidi

The Omidi Brothers, Julian Omidi and Michael Omidi MD, are dedicated to the elimination of global poverty. No More Poverty was co-founded by the brothers.

Read 1144 times Last modified on Friday, 06 March 2015 00:12

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