Have you ever heard the phrase, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime?” A handful of research studies and news videos recently reiterated this age-old notion that teaching work skills and providing educational resources is the key to getting out of, and staying out of, poverty. In fact, Ruby Payne echoes that idea throughout her book “A Framework for Understanding Poverty.” The concept that teaching someone how to do something provides a greater benefit than simply giving someone a hand-out seems obvious, yet not everyone wants to jump on the “teaching skills” bandwagon. Why?
Well…because teaching skills and providing resources can be difficult work and require tons of patience. God knows that it is not easy, but He says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Have your kids ever struggled with completing a task, so you simply accomplished it for them? Tying shoes comes to mind. Or maybe the task was completed, but it was not done correctly; remember that time that your child put a red shirt in with the white laundry? Pink clothes – of course you remember. Have you been doing the laundry since the “pink clothes” incident?
The reality is that if we continue to tie the shoes or do the laundry, the next generation will grow up wearing Crocs to job interviews and heading out to the store once a week to buy clean underwear. Okay, you understand my point. All silliness aside, we KNOW that skill training remains a vital piece of life’s journey to self-sufficiency. In fact, God says in Luke 6:40, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” So how does that play out in the New Beginnings’ program?
At New Beginnings one of our goals is to break the cycle of poverty for the mother, and subsequently break the cycle of dependency for generations to come. Below are some researched points about the importance of education in our work at New Beginnings:
Opening the door to educational resources and providing opportunities to learn parenting, interpersonal, and conflict resolution skills are taught during our weekly group sessions and goal meetings. We understand that by increasing opportunities for higher education, we can enable a smoother transition into an independent life. The concept is quite simple: higher education = better job opportunities = increased pay = ability to live without the need for government assistance.
Will you join the movement and provide opportunities for skill development for generations to come? New Beginnings is always in need of tutors, individuals to lead Thursday night group sessions, mentors, and more. Feel free to jump on the bandwagon!