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Poverty is complicated

Let’s break it down

Around the world, nearly 700 million people live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $2.15 a day. That’s 1-in-10 people surviving on a toonie.

Global poverty is one of the most pressing issues facing our world today. It fuels violent conflict, causes child deaths, stops kids from going to school, reinforces gender inequality, and crushes future opportunities. The world is in a poverty crisis and it can feel overwhelming.

But, together, we can find the root causes and end poverty.

Global poverty is a vicious cycle

Poverty creates a trap that is hard to escape. Families don’t have enough food to eat, so kids don’t have the nutrients they need to grow. Communities can’t access clean water, causing chronic sickness. Parents struggle to make an income and pull their children out of school to help with labour. Children are left without an education, limiting their future opportunities. As a result, they often grow up to struggle to feed their own families.
Can you see how the cycle of poverty spins on through generations? But it’s a cycle we can break! We need to find the root causes of poverty and start there.

Finding the root causes of poverty

We asked people in our partner communities how they would describe their own experiences of poverty. Here are some of their answers:

"We felt mentally broken and inferior—we suffered greatly.”

"We were always voiceless in our community. I felt so unhappy that, as a father, I could not provide for my family."

“We were emotionally shattered and felt inferior. I had thoughts of self-doubt and despair.”

You can see from their raw responses that poverty really is about more than a lack of money or “stuff”. That’s a symptom, not a cause. The roots of poverty are found in broken relationships, specifically, these four relationships that live at the core of our identity.


When we’re not connected to God, everything else falls out of sync.


Conflict with others leads to injustice and inequality—the root of most material poverty.


A distorted self-image produces anxiety, insecurity, aimlessness, and poor decisions.


Consuming our environment rather than taking care of it hurts our planet and ourselves.

When any one of these relationships breaks, we experience poverty. As Christians, we believe that Jesus makes healing in our personal lives and communities possible, and that he cares about ending all forms of poverty.

Healed relationships helped Moriam
overcome poverty

“I had no skills to generate income. I thought about getting my 14-year-old daughter married—I was feeling so helpless.
Then, I joined a [women’s] health group and learned the benefits of preventing child marriage. I took sewing training and learned to make low-cost, sanitary pads. Now girls can easily buy affordable products from my doorstep. I am fortunate that I know how to take care of my daughters and other girls in the community."
— Moriam,

How we can break the cycle of
poverty, together?

Together, we can break the cycle of poverty by addressing root causes, rather than patching up symptoms. And this involves Canadians like you!
We rally churches, strengthen marriages, teach conflict resolution, and help heal hearts so communities can make the changes they want. And you can join us! Whether it’s a one-time gift or a monthly journey, you can make a difference!