Extreme poverty is far more complex than it might appear at first glance. It is often passed down from generation to generation, and in order to escape it, it is often not enough to address just one cause. The “vicious circle of poverty” is a set of interlocking factors that make it incredibly difficult for the people affected to escape their desperate situation.
School, friends, light-heartedness. For children from poor families, this is often just a dream. Many of them have to go to work at an early age and receive only a very inadequate education, if any at all. As a result, well-paid work is denied them.
The low income is often just enough to put food on the table. Putting money aside for emergencies or even investing it is not possible for many.
The lack of sufficient food, medicine and the often physically demanding work also affect people’s health. And those who are constantly sick cannot work, sliding deeper into poverty.
For more than twenty years, until 2019, the number of people living in extreme poverty steadily declined. However, the global novel coronavirus pandemic put an abrupt end to this positive development. According to the latest figures from the World Bank, almost 100 million more people were living in extreme poverty in 2020 than in the previous year. Supply bottlenecks, work stoppages and restricted mobility hit the poorest of the poor particularly hard.
Worldwide, one in 500 newborns is born with a cleft malformation. If the parents are wealthy and can afford the treatment, the children have a good chance of growing up normally. However, for many of those affected, this is not the case.
In our project countries, being born with a cleft lip and palate means a life full of suffering for many children, sometimes with great deprivations and restrictions on everyday life. Many of our little patients are born in the poorest families. The parents often know nothing about the causes of and treatment options for cleft. And even if they did, they could not afford the treatment.
With a cleft lip and palate, it is even more difficult to escape the vicious circle of poverty. The cleft malformation increases the risk of other diseases such as middle ear infections, the speech disorders make it much more difficult for them to attend school, and social prejudice often isolates them from their peers. Without surgery, the children have little chance of leading a “normal” life. Many “normal” things cannot be taken for granted for a child with cleft malformation.
An operation to close the cleft lip and palate is a crucial first step for a person with cleft to break out of the cycle of poverty and have a chance to live a self-determined life. Every year, Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe enables thousands of children from poor backgrounds to live in community and without shame, to have better access to education and a new perspective.
A surgical intervention to close the cleft costs an average of 300 euros. This not only helps a child to live a life without constant illness and prejudice, but also to escape the cycle of poverty.
Those who are poor have a higher risk of being born with a cleft lip and palate.
Those who are born with a cleft lip and palate have a higher risk of becoming poor.
Help a child escape the vicious circle of poverty by donating for people with cleft lip.