Whoa, this year has FLOWN by and we haven't blogged at all since January! Clearly, we're still getting the hang of this social media thing.
A recent article in La Nación (the main national newspaper here in Costa Rica) recently published an article about some findings about poverty according to a recent "State of the Nation" survey. It is super-encouraging to us that the government is at least recognizing some of the poverty issues in this country, and is also affirming of the directions we have taken with our organization's strategic goals.
First, some facts about the poorest 20% in current state of Costa Rica:
These are the very things we try to help people deal with on a day-to-day basis: work, education, single mother challenges, and prevention of the abuse and violence that comes out of these stressful situations. We see this 20% fighting for their lives and their children's futures, and try to provide them with tools and resources with which to do so.
The article cites some important factors contributing to the cycle of poverty, among them:
This is precisely why we give our lives to serve the poor in continuing their education and keeping their children in school, and training and preparing them to find meaningful work. Certainly personal choices are a factor in terms of motivation to continue in school, or when and how many children to have. But there are also very real systemic issues that perpetuate the cycle of poverty that are beyond the control of the individuals in poverty: the quality of education that they receive in their underfunded school that limits their opportunities to continue, the injustice of a system that doesn't enforce the laws of working hours and minimum wage, and the disinterest of the public and the government to resolve the issues.
We believe that God calls His people to step in and seek justice where earthly authorities and governments will not. By serving the poor in dignity-giving ways that allow them to break the cycle of poverty for themselves, we show God's love and concern for them. This is why we invest in the lives of people like those in the photo above at our recent Jobs for Life graduation. Won't you join the team?
Quote of the month
""At the margins is the only place the Church will have credibility."