Almost 24.3 percent of people in Pakistan live below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day, and the situation doesn’t appear to be getting better with each passing day. Although there are a number reasons that are said to be the basis of abject poverty, a lack of education of generations after generations is one of the key reasons. Now, the question is, how we, as students, can help to reduce poverty?
Education has a direct impact on the fortunes of an individual. It provides greater knowledge and learning to students to afford better paying jobs that help them and their households escape the clutches of poverty. On the contrary, a mason’s son that isn’t offered any education would continue to be a mason, never really amassing the means to turn his fortunes around.
Sadly, those living in conditions of extreme poverty sometimes cannot even afford the most meagre costs associated with the most inexpensive of educations; like those offered at public schools. It is, therefore, the collective responsibility of the community at large to step up efforts to help people living in such conditions gather the means to earn better livelihoods. And helping impoverished households afford education for their children is a great first step.
Considering that students are a vital force of bringing about changes in a society, we list five easy ways students can help reduce poverty and change the fate of millions who are less fortunate than us. On International Day For Eradication of Poverty 2018, it’s time to think beyond our immediate selves.
Volunteer To Teach
One of the simplest ways in which youngsters that have the gift of knowledge can give back to the community is by volunteering to teach at various charity-based schools. Entities like SOS Schools, Door of Awareness etc are doing a great job to impart education to the less privileged and students who already have knowledge under their belts can join hands with them to help the less fortunate. Various other NGOs such as Ocean Welfare Organization and Azad Foundation are working for the education of street children in Pakistan. Students can step in as volunteers and provide street children some of the knowledge that they have amassed during their academic journeys.
Pitch In Money To Buy School Supplies For Poor
More often than not, poor people lack the resources and financial means for educating their children and are often hard pressed to afford stuff like uniforms and stationery items. For them, education really is an unaffordable luxury. But a little effort from students can help someone afford that luxury. Friends at universities or colleges can get together and create a pool with their pocket monies dedicated to helping such households afford education and related expenses for their children. It is a common issue that poor people just cannot continue the education of their children for want of expensive books and other stationery items and helping them in this respect can ensure that children do not drop of schools over such issues.
Help Fund Someone’s Vocational Training
A university or college education is certainly a costly affair and possibly outside the budget of even the most financially gifted students. However, vocational courses cost much less and friends can pool in to help someone attain skills’ training at such an institution. The training (electrician, cook, mechanic, tailor) received by a sponsored student can up his chances of making a decent livelihood that is both well-paying and sustainable, compare to something like day labouring.
Come Together To Teach Unprivileged Children At Home
If you are still thinking about your budgetary constraints, you can always find a way to help the poor with education from within the comfort of your house. You and your friends can schedule some time to teach poor children from the neighbourhood who otherwise cannot afford education. You can also teach and educate people working at your house, like maids, servants, domestic help etc. If all else seems undoable, you can surely help the children of your helpers to understand the coursework they are taught at their individual schools.
Gather Friends To Sponsor A Child’s Education
Even greater would be if a group of friends collectively sponsors a child’s education. Say a fee of Rs 2,000 for a child divided among 10 friends would hardly dent the budget of those students. However, it could be the difference between a lifetime of poverty and a shot at a better life for someone in need.
Numerous NGO’s such as the Citizen’s Foundation organize donation drives for underprivileged children on a monthly basis. They sponsor their education and make them a responsible member of the society. You can either register yourself for such projects or can initiate individual efforts. You can collect money on a monthly basis from your friends and family and can support a child’s education at a local school or college.
Have more ideas about how students and young people can contribute to reduce poverty and making Pakistan a better place through education? Share your thoughts with us.