For many children, going back to school is an exciting time. Friends are reunited after a long summer and the prospects of the fun activities that the new school year beholds brings joy and enthusiasm.
However, for those living below the poverty line, the idea of going back to school is not one that brings joy but one that often brings worry.
With shocking stories of girls skipping school because they are unable to afford sanitary pads, and parents struggling to cover the extortionate costs of school supplies, this just goes to show that more needs to be done to make sure that children in poverty are adequately prepared for school.
The impact of child poverty
It’s no secret that children in poverty are not presented with the same opportunities as children from more wealthy backgrounds. This can have a significant impact in later life.
Research has shown that children from poor environments fall behind at all stages of education. It’s estimated that by the end of primary school, children receiving free school meals will be three terms behind their more well-off classmates.
This can have significant consequences in later life. Low educational performance in early life could lead to lack of educational and job opportunities, meaning that the problem needs to be tackled early to improve children’s future prospects.
There are 4 million children living in poverty in the UK…
According to government statistics, there were 4 million children living in poverty in 2014-15, and that’s only in the UK. Worldwide, there are 1 billion children living in poverty, 385 million of which are living in extreme poverty.
This means that millions of children around the world don’t have access to basic living essentials and vital school supplies, increasing their risk of malnutrition, poor health and mental wellbeing.
Poverty is not inevitable and there are steps we can all take help to improve the lives of children living below the poverty line, to give them hope for a better and brighter future.
How can you help?
Here are a few ways that you can help children in poverty who are going back to school.
Donate money to charity
Donating money to charity can significantly improve the lives of those in poverty. The uses for charitable donations often vary between organisations, however some of the places your money could go to include: building schools in poor countries, providing school supplies and providing adequate school uniform.
However, as with any donation, you want to make sure your money’s going to the right place. By donating to Mustard Tree, you know exactly where your donation is being spent and how it will help. Click here to donate and see how we distribute your donations.
Donate unwanted goods
We’re all guilty of hoarding unwanted and unused items around the house. Whether it’s unwanted christmas gifts or that book that you never got around to reading, there are plenty of uses for your spare goods.
Donating food, toiletries, furnishings and school supplies to families in poverty, can help to provide children with the basics they need for the start of the school term.
Here at Mustard Tree, we’re happy to take your unused goods and pass them on to the homes that need them the most. To donate, click here.