Child Poverty, Is there a Solution? Introduction Child Poverty has been an ongoing issue throughout the world for decades. We’ve seen it become a problem dating back the great depression, World War I and World War II. Also the problem of child poverty is a huge concern in other ends of the world. In this paper I will talk to you about child poverty at a glance fallowed by poverty levels in different places. Lastly I will touch on the Illinois and Chicago’s child poverty level. We all have an idea of what poverty is, but too many it’s just a topic that is put off that is not strongly talked about.
According to UNICEF they have defined Child Poverty as “environment that is damaging to their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual development. ” They touch on the facts. Kids who don’t start off with a nutritous meal or partake in hazardous work already affect a child’s state of mind. UNICEF best describes the variables. “Living in an environment that provides little stimulation or emotional support to children, on the other hand can remove many of the positive effects of growing up in a materially rich household. Children are supposed to shape the future. A parent who gives their child the idea they can become whatever they wish as long as they truly apply themselves is great words of encouragement, but there’s always the what if’s of the world. It starts off by social class. Today everything is covered by media whether we look at it or not. Media outlets all over the world cover some form of poverty, but not much on kids. Who’s to blame? Is there anyone to blame? How we define poverty can be different based on government standards of living.
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Some people think that you choose to live below the standard level and “choose” poverty based on being lazy, and only relying on welfare or just being weak and there are also who are less fortunate. Child poverty is looked from the perspective that it has to have a beginning, but what is the beginning? Mainly looking at the part about governments control on life and how we take it. In the United States you have those who are strong to the left and strong to the right. They have their opinions’ on everything, but just looking at child poverty you can gather that liberals are all about social programs.
Liberals don’t care for the people, but the fact that the programs they enforce work well. Whereas if you take a look at the conservative side you get social programs that tend to spoil those who don’t wish to get out there and learn to help only them. Now I’m not sure I agree with either side, but seeing that our economic status isn’t the greatest these days I do believe that kids today that grow up in the areas where they have to grow up at a faster pace or tend to be around those dreams that will only stay dreams are most likely to stay at that poverty line with no means of help.
As I continue reading the articles based on child poverty and ways to help end this battle I gather more insight that in this game of politics there’s always two sides to every story. Blame that word is most often used though out the articles and looking at the statements that are backing up that word tends to not focus on children, but on those government officials if you’re on the one side you help those who needed by giving them money, but on the other hand those who are on the; side that says it’s their fault makes you think..
In the end who cares? Children are the future and there’s hope for them. Now looking at the United States along with our neighboring countries to the north and south. Looking at their poverty levels starting with Canada, statistics based on 2005 lets us see that the population was 32268 and the life expectancy rate is 80 years old. Gross national Income per capita was $32,600. Children under 5 and their morality rank were 161 in 2005 where as in 1990 the rate was 8. (The numbers can be found at http://www. unicef. a/) Looking at the United States and the numbers. Gross national income for 2007 in the U. S is $46,040 and the life expectancy is only at 78 years old. The United States is looked at a country of giving. The United States raises money each year to charities to help end child poverty. Looking at the country to the south, Mexico is has a 43. 5% of their population under the age of 18. Many kids in Mexico fight their way to leave home and travel the harsh lands and to force themselves to jump the border into the United States to better themselves.
In Mexico 3. 5% of children are parts of an extreme formal and informal labor force. Approximately 24 million Mexicans live in extreme poverty. Their gross national income is at $8,340 for 2007. Now seeing we are in the wonderful state of Illinois I’m going to fill you in on some of the child poverty problems that you might not know of. Since 2000, child poverty rates have increased from 15-17%. 54,000 children are poor in the state of Illinois. 59% of Chicago’s children live in families that are low income.
The average household earnings in 2007 for a family of three are only at $34,340 a year. The state of Illinois try’s to help those families by applying to public health insurance and child care subsidies, but not all families are qualified to partake in those programs. 80% of children in low income families have at least one employed parent. While looking at the graphs provided by NCCAP show that there are approximately 3. 2 million children living in Illinois. The federal poverty level is defined as being poor or $20,650 for a family of four in 2007.
Seeing that this is data given and the fact that we live in the state of Illinois and we can generalize the areas in which is low income. Those children are the ones that struggle and face the facts that their parents are willing to make ends meet or don’t care at all. Learned from last semester those who hit that level tend to be African American in this state. The fact of the matter is kids today are willing to fight for change, but whether you’re in an area were that is possible or in an area where that isn’t an option it reflects on the parent’s attitude, feeling for their children, and are they really trying.
Go to the south side of Chicago, walk into one of the dominate African American/ Hispanic schools you’ll come to find that they are fighting to make that money. Fighting to prove a point and chances are they have a parent or relative in jail. Seeing it’s the year 2009 and we all wish to fight a battle on change for child poverty and the well being for ourselves and others. We come to the conclusion that life is unexpected, we have to put forth the effort in change. Kids today are smarter than ever, but need that push.
I thank that we have so many charities and government programs that provide a solution to end this fight, but when that happens we don’t really know. As the economy seems to tank and hopes and dreams seem to end up just as that, we have to challenge those thoughts. You have UNICEF and CARE two great campaigns sponsored by the government to make a difference. Care helped over 3 million people in 34 countries gain access to clean water and sanitation, reducing time spent gathering water and illness caused by poor hygiene. UNICEF holds strong campaign usually around the time of Halloween. Not only does poverty strike not far from home, but this leads to other problems the world is facing. HIV/AIDS is in the same boat. Finding the help and getting the problem out there and focused. Sure getting a job today is not the easiest, but parents need to understand that there are people out there willing to help children gain a bright future. It only takes strength through words and a little elbow grease to spread the cure to ending child poverty. Will it happen in this decade? One can only hope, but we can sure try.
The government needs to focus on our futures and what’s going to help in the long run. No one wishes to fall below the norm of society. We all make do with what we have. Life isn’t complete without a struggle, but one can make the best of what he or she does in life. Kids today are going to need schooling to make it somewhere, so push your kids to succeed and want to become doctors, lawyers, and business people. Apply them to the challenges good and bad. Remember there are children right now living in areas that don’t have the proper food, water and support that those who do.
Life may be about money, but life is about how you make do with it. Don’t be greedy or stingy when you have millions out there fighting to make that difference for the sake of others. References Diaz, Mario. “Child poverty takes centre stage at New York conference. ” “Ending Poverty in America: Using Carrots and Sticks. ” Http://www. care. org. . Http’s/www. nccp. org/. Columbia University. http://www. nccp. org/publications/pub_716. html Changing the Public Conversation about Social Problems. 09. Frameworks Institution. Spring 09 .