FOCUS ON GLOBAL POVERTY: Spotlight on Two Organizations: Naomi’s Heart & Potter’s House
According to The World Bank, for almost 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per person per day) had been steadily declining. This trend ended in 2020, when COVID disrupted countries all over the world. Decreased income, job losses and work stoppages are all damaging to poor households, and it is typically women, youth and low-wage workers who take the hardest hits. Conflicts and climate change had also been slowing poverty reduction, again according to The World Bank.
FACT: Food inflation can have a “devastating impact” on poor families. A typical person in a low-income country spends about 2/3rds of her resources on food, while the same figure for the typical person in a high-income country is closer to 1/4th.
Naomi’s Heart Mission, one of the organizations the Foundation has supported for several years, was created by a husband and wife team in 2008 after they had taken their very first mission trip to the Philippines. Seeing the deplorable conditions in the country, they put Naomi’s Heart Mission in General Santos City and they themselves moved and live there to this day. Today, children and adults find “the love of Christ being shared through Bible studies, worship experiences, feedings, clothing, rice distribution and medical outreach.” The very next year, the Naomi’s Heart Mission Christian Academy began as a preschool/nursery program. Since then, a grade level has been added every year and in the 2020-2021 school year, the Academy had 365 students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 9. The pictures below show a typical day at the NHM and Academy.
Potter’s House, also supported by the Foundation for several years, works in Guatemala, near Guatemala City, where it has served 23,639 families and individuals, whom Potter’s House calls its “Treasures”. It recently branched out to Chiquimula in the Northeastern region of Guatemala and Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán and San Marcos, in the Western region, where it has served 5,015 Treasures and 4,175 Treasures, respectively. The Foundation saw the work of Potter’s House as it visited Guatemala City, the dumping grounds and the vast “neighborhoods” where families live in extreme poverty in “houses” that contain things they have scavenged. Pictures below are from that 2014 trip. In each case, younger children stay home to care for their even younger siblings.
FACT: It is reported that 65% of people in Guatemala live in poverty – not just economic, but physical, spiritual and mental. Potter’s House has been serving the poor for 35 years. It has identified the eight forms of poverty that reinforce each other: poverty “keeps the poor excluded, manipulated and unable to build their own opportunities”.
Potter’s House describes the eight forms of poverty:
· Spiritual Poverty
· Intellectual Poverty
· Poverty of Affection
· Poverty of the Will
· Physical Poverty
· Poverty of Support Network
· Poverty of Civic Involvement
· Economic Poverty
Potter’s House has created five holistic programs it uses to create
lasting change in lives and communities:
· Family Integration
· Health and Nutrition
· Micro Enterprise
· Community Support