Embarking on Change: A New Year’s Resolution to Address Child Poverty Through Volunteer Engagement

The global advancement of development has been impressive in the last few years. However, severe poverty still affects millions of people. Poverty is not just the absence of money; and people facing poverty often encounter several challenges, such as social marginalization, prejudice, and restricted access to opportunities. Compared to adults, children are more likely to live in poverty. Also, they are more prone to its effects.

What is Child Poverty?

If a child has little or no access to the basic needs of life, they are considered to be living in poverty. Children who have grown up in poverty sometimes suffer more than other children because they lack access to food, clean water, health care, and education they need to thrive. Any country’s future lies with its children. However, there is a large number of impoverished children in the Philippines.

What is the Main Problem of Child Poverty?

Children suffer the most in societies where poverty is a daily struggle, since they are the most vulnerable group in the population. As poverty affects a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development, children living in poverty are more likely to believe their lives are out of control and to have poor emotional and behavioral self-control.

In addition, child poverty is more likely to result in behavioral problems and conduct disorders, such as delinquency during adolescence and academic disciplinary challenges in school. These children often feel hopeless and powerless, and they also have a higher level of anxiety and despair.

How Does Poverty Affect Children?

Children who grew up in low-income families have to leave school early to support their families, or they never go to school. Not only does poverty affect child mortality, infectious diseases, hunger, and inequality; it also influences our capacity to build a sustainable future for the next generation. Children who live in poverty suffer from a lack of access to education and possibilities for employment.

Poverty also leads to another problem in society: child labor. Many children who became victims of forced labor were born into poor families. Children are traumatized and marginalized by it, which also breeds dependency and a society that preys on its weakest people. The chances of them ever breaking free from the cycle of poverty they are trapped in are slim.

the sad reality of children poverty

What are the Causes of Child Poverty?

Addressing child poverty requires an understanding of its underlying causes. A number of factors cause this depressing reality, including:

  1. Lack of Employment Opportunities: It’s a challenge for parents in low-income neighborhoods to find stable employment with good pay. Thus, they cannot provide for their children’s basic requirements.
  2. Lack of Access to Quality Education: Many children living in poverty face multiple barriers when it comes to receiving good education. These barriers include inadequate classrooms, lack of educational materials, and problems with commuting.
  3. Lack of Social Services: Poor children and their families are forced to depend on their communities, their extended family, and themselves for any available financial aid because many developing nations lack well-established social support programs. This could intensify the problem of child labor.
  4. Natural Calamities / Conflict: Natural calamities and conflicts can have harmful effects on poor parts of the Philippines. The children’s opportunities become even more restricted by destroyed homes, interrupted schooling, and displaced relatives. These factors may increase their vulnerability to poverty.

Embracing Novelty in the New Year

The World Bank and UNICEF’s policy research working paper in 2022 revealed 12.4% of Filipino children were living in extreme poverty. This amounts to around 5.14 million children in the Philippines who are living in extreme poverty.

Both private organizations and the Philippine government have launched numerous programs to lessen poverty and its effects. Programs are crucial for minimizing child poverty and providing immediate support to groups that are at risk. It’s necessary to address child poverty at several levels of the hierarchy, including international organizations, local and national governments, schools, families, and even on the individual level.

The Benefits of Volunteering

While it’s simple to view poverty as a national emergency that affects the entire country, there are many local solutions that you can take part of, such as volunteering. Here are four benefits that volunteering can offer.

1. It helps you to be more social.

Your social skills, network, and ability to make new acquaintances are all enhanced by volunteering your time.

2. It has positive mental and physical effects.

Volunteering is one way to lessen the effects of stress and anxiety. Social interaction, which is made possible by doing volunteer work, has a significant effect on one’s overall psychological well-being. Also, studies show that the mortality rate for volunteers is lower than non-volunteers.

3. Your career can progress by volunteering.

Volunteering can help you meet people in the field and gain experience in the field if you’re thinking about changing careers. It allows you to put key job skills like teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization into practice — even if you don’t want to change careers.

4. It can add fun and fulfillment to your life.

An easy and rewarding way to discover your hobbies and interests is through volunteering. You can gain new perspectives, passion, and creativity from volunteering that you can apply to both your personal and professional life.

group of Filipino children

Small Actions, Big Changes

People with a strong sense of community and charity have long tried to do good by supporting causes they believe in throughout the history. Sometimes, these people sacrifice their safety to offer their abilities and maybe even their money to make sure a cause they support succeeds.

For instance, women became a formidable force during World War I, stepping in to fill major positions in the medical industry. They saved many lives with their unwavering efforts. Organizations such as the Red Cross gave food, clothes, and shelter to war-affected families and refugees, providing essential support during difficult times.

Volunteers also play an important role in offering support and aid to affected areas after a natural disaster, such as in the aftermath of a terrible earthquake. They worked nonstop to provide emergency shelter, food and supplies, and emotional support to those in need. Their efforts benefited affected people and families in rebuilding their lives and finding hope amid disaster.

Given the interlinked nature of the society we live in, every action we take has the potential to positively impact people far beyond ourselves. We may make the greatest impact and use our abilities to the fullest extent when we intentionally respond to the needs and dreams of others. By sharing your own talent, you initiate this outward ripple effect.

These true success stories show the transformative potential of volunteering. They demonstrate the tangible impact that volunteers have on the lives of individuals, as well as the positive ripple effect that stretches across the community. Little acts of kindness have the potential to have a great impact and encourage others to get involved in volunteer work.

Navigating Volunteering

Making the first move while starting a volunteer career might seem overwhelming. Finding the ideal volunteer group that matches your interests and values is the first step toward participating in volunteer work. Listed below are some ways to discover credible volunteer organizations:

  • Conducting research online can help you identify volunteer organizations in your area or those that focus on causes that are important to you.
  • Another option is to ask your friends and family. Reach out to your network to see if anyone has any recommendations for volunteer organizations.
  • Finally, you could go to volunteer fairs or events. Look for local volunteer fairs or events where you can meet with different organizations and learn more about their work.

We all have different skills and gifts that we can lend to volunteer initiatives. Perhaps you’re a competent speaker, an artistic talent, or a natural teacher. These personal abilities can have an enormous effect when used correctly. Take the time to examine your own abilities and develop novel ways to apply them to your volunteer work. You can create advertising materials, provide workshops, teach children, or use your other abilities to manage project management. By using your personal strengths, you not only maximize your effect but also motivate others to do the same.

volunteers from Childhope Philippines in action

Make a Meaningful Impact This 2024: Partner with Childhope Philippines

Poverty affects far more people than you may realize, and as you now know, there are many ways to combat child poverty in our community. Giving your time or money is an excellent way to get involved. If we want to create a community with a bright future, everyone must play their part.

The good news is that there are countless ways to benefit society. One way is to give, and the other is to support those worthy causes. As a renowned NGO in the country, Childhope Philippines has a bright vision for our nation’s future, and you can be a part of it. We seek to promote the well-being, uphold, and preserve the rights of children.

Volunteer projects are about more than little actions; they are about making a difference. By getting engaged, you can impact the lives of others while inspiring people around you to do the same.

So, take the initial step, face the hurdles, and celebrate in the positive impact of your volunteer work. Elevate personal fulfillment by actively contributing to societal improvement. Make a difference by becoming a volunteer today. Together, we can make the world a brighter and more caring place.

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