Children are the most affected by our environmental choices
People widely recognize the fact that children have the most to gain or lose based on how we treat our environment. In fact, providing a better life for children and grandchildren was the most frequently cited answer in a survey of reasons why people care about climate related issues.
But sometimes the connection between children’s issues and environmental care gets obscured by all the many other components that go into both issues.
One of the more obvious realities is the fact that our children will have to live with the consequences of our environmental decisions the longest. The world they inherit is currently being shaped by our choices and behaviors.
This includes both the immediate aspects of the environment that can be felt and its effects that are more broadly experienced. None of us desire to pass down a world that is full of inhospitable temperatures and frequently occurring natural disasters.
Likewise, we don’t want to pass down a world where extreme poverty, food insecurity, and steep inequality are commonplace, yet these are other outcomes shaped by the environment.
Poverty disproportionately affects children.
Much of our work focused on how strongly poverty is connected with environmental issues, especially in a rural context. This is especially true with children.
If you visit countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo or Burundi, you may notice an abundance of children compared to other nations. This is not an illusion, these populations tend to be quite young, generally speaking. Lower life expectancies and high birth rates result in low median ages.
This trend is very consistent among the poorest countries in the world. In fact, about half of the world’s poor are children, despite adults representing a wider range of ages. While about 10% of adults in the world live in poverty, 20% of children experience it.
Globally, children in rural areas experience poverty at a higher rate than children in urban areas. Children in rural areas are far more likely to experience malnutrition or to receive inadequate education.
This reflects the reality that 85% of poverty is rural. In other words, 85% of poverty is tied directly to agriculture, healthy lands, and farming populations. When environmental conditions are poor, poverty gets worse.
Our choices can help create a better life for our children both now and in the future
Our environmental decisions that we make today already have an impact on children across the globe, particularly in places where rural poverty runs rampant.
When poverty is most extreme and food security is most threatened, children are frequently pulled out of school. This is partly due to an inability to pay school fees. Other times it is because of the increased need for help with growing food.
Unfortunately, the absence of a quality education not only decreases resilience in the short term, but also dims long term prospects. It is extremely difficult to break cycles of generational poverty without an education. This challenge affects girls even worse than boys.
Improving these circumstances takes environmental restoration and protection:
By focusing on environmental care, we can better shape a world where poverty no longer affects nearly 400 Million children. We can help set them on a path towards happier, healthier lives.
Plant With Purpose exists to help you support a healthier environment for future generations. Through focusing on the spiritual roots of environmental challenges, we see transformation take place at every level. Want to partner up? Sign up to become a Purpose Partner here!