Can Children End Poverty?
Similar to and in conjunction with parents and educators in schools, we believe that a significant part of our job is to teach the next generation. When children are born, their parents are their primary source of knowledge. Once a child enters school their teacher plays a significant role in their lives as well, teaching them the core of academia. And one of the most important things, we believe, is that we ALL need to teach kids the value of helping others. We view ourselves as educators and part of our goal is to properly educate children to prepare them for the world. Sometimes that means having meaningful conversations with them about things like poverty. With as many as 1 in 5 Canadian children living in poverty, it’s an issue that they or someone they care about will likely face.
There are many benefits to educating children about poverty.
- Develops Empathy: Showing children that not everyone lives their lives in the same way, and giving them the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Modeling and encouraging kids to show and feel empathy will prepare them to positively manage the many relationships they will encounter throughout their lives.
- Boosts Self-Esteem: Have you ever helped someone, not to gain anything, but simply to make a difference in their life? How did that make you feel? Pretty good, I bet. This applies to children even more so. As a child is developing, appropriate reassurance and praise for their actions and intentions helps give them a positive sense of self.
- Builds Confidence: When children see direct positive results from their actions, they learn that what they do makes a difference. This helps build confidence in their own abilities. Raising a confident child empowers them to be able to maneuver the emotional, physical and mental strain that can arise during difficult situations.
- Decision Making Skills: As a child sees the positive impact of helping others, it gives them examples of how every action has a reaction or consequence. Being able to predict that something they do will have an impact (be it positive or negative) will provide the chance for them to think through the situation and learn the importance of their decisions and more importantly the process of decision making.
The possibilities are endless in how children can help.
- Family Garage Sale: Suggest that your family/organization/community hold a garage sale with all the proceeds going to a charity of your choice.
- Donate your Time: Whether you volunteer at an event or simply help your neighbour, a child can help with the just about anything from big to small…connect to their interests, encourage them to see for themselves the importance of giving and they will adopt the mindset necessary to make the greatest impact.
- Build a Community Garden: Many kids are hands on and like to play in the dirt and with the myriad of other duties and responsibilities which include planting and caring for a garden, all children can find their place in this type of neighbourhood initiative. And the entire project can be a great adventure for them.
Although these are simply 3 examples for how to get children involved visit https://www.kidscanmakeadifference.org/what-kids-can-do-2 for more great ideas!
Let’s educate the up and coming generations so that poverty can one day become a thing of the past.