Every 15th of May, the United Nations has designated as International Day of Families. In celebration of this important part of society, we highlight these reasons why families are essential in the fight to end extreme poverty in the hard places.
Families come in all shapes and sizes. They elicit various types of emotions. Even the definition of “family” differs between culture and era. But one thing most people agree on is that the family unit plays a critical role in each person’s worldview, character and journey. For better or worse. In spite of family, or because of them. Families matter.
This is why in Food for the Hungry’s mission statement, it highlights the family unit as being one of the primary players in our fight to end extreme poverty. We see it as both a biblical approach to community development, as well as a strategic model for providing sustainable impact.
Food for the Hungry walks with churches, leaders and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God and His creation
When it comes to ending extreme poverty through relationships, we are serious about supporting healthy families. Here are five reasons why healthy families are essential to this audacious goal:
1) Children Thrive
While it wouldn’t take long to do a Google search for psychological studies that have proven the impact of healthy families on the wellbeing of a child, we’re referring to what we see everyday. When more people love a child, the better chance that child has to overcome obstacles and thrive with confidence. Healthy families are a conduit of confidence. And for FH, we see the wellbeing of a child as the barometer of success as we walk with vulnerable communities.
2) A Model for Future Healthy Families
And we hope healthy families have a multiplier effect! Not only does that child have a meaningful example of how healthy families can thrive, but other families may begin to take notice. Much like in our own communities, we see healthy families reaching out and supporting others. Modeling the love and grace that they practice within their family, for others to see. Not out of conceit but out of habit. The dynamic that can propel families out of poverty is on display for others to replicate.
3) Everyone Chips In
There are also practical reasons why healthy families are essential to making a sustainable impact in vulnerable communities. In healthy families, everyone understands the value each has. They understand that everyone has an important role to play for the wellbeing and success of the family. This dynamic encourages each person to work hard and fulfill their roles with gladness. Whether it be tending a family garden, preparing and cooking meals, or managing family finances.
4) Everyone is Accountable
Not only does everyone in a healthy family chip in, but they also are accountable to each other for their actions. They all have a vested interest in each other’s success. In the fight against extreme poverty, accountability needs to exist at many different levels within a community. And it starts with accountability within the family!
5) Global Empathy Factor
And we’re not just talking about healthy families in hard places. Families like yours, wherever you are reading this, have the power to show compassion and concern for the most vulnerable. Food for the Hungry believes that the only way we will END extreme poverty is if families in the global north engage with those in poorer parts of the world. That those who have been blessed with resources hear God’s calling to walk with those who struggle. One of the reasons why we believe in our child sponsorship program is because it facilitates a meaningful relationship between sponsor and child! And through the power of relationship everyone becomes subject to mutual transformation. It’s a beautiful thing!
We know that the topic of family can be a sticky subject. And not everyone has been blessed to have a healthy family relationship. But we are compelled to the cause of supporting families be healthy as they seek to overcome the issues of physical and spiritual poverty they face.
Will you be part of building healthy families living in poverty? Change the life of a child living in poverty, today, and invite a sponsored child into your own family’s life!
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