Eradicating poverty has always been a top priority at the InnerCity Mission. The InnerCity Mission has had remarkable achievements over the years, which are clear testimonies of the unwavering commitment to finding lasting solutions to the issue of poverty.

“Global poverty is one of the very worst problems that the world faces today”, confirmed founding father, Chris Oyakhilome, “the poorest in the world are often hungry, have much less access to education, regularly have no light at night, and suffer from much poorer health. Making progress against poverty is, therefore, one of the most urgent global goals.”

Through its initiatives, the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI) seeks to offer structured support for impoverished children across the world in order to guarantee access to qualitative education, medical care, and physical and spiritual nourishment thus enabling them to lead normal, competitive, and useful lives in their communities and to live out their God-given destinies.

Defining Poverty is not simple

Poverty is about not having enough money to meet basic needs including food, clothing, and shelter. However, poverty is more, much more than just not having enough money.

The World Bank Organization describes poverty in this way: “

“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time.

Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways.  Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So poverty is a call to action — for the poor and the wealthy alike — a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.”

Research shows that “despite the many definitions, one thing is certain; poverty is a complex societal issue. No matter how poverty is defined, it can be agreed that it is an issue that requires everyone’s attention.  It is important that all members of our society work together to provide the opportunities for all our members to reach their full potential. It helps all of us to help one another.”

This is why under the auspices of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI), the InnerCity Mission (ICM) has exciting news this month of July, aptly named the ‘Month of Joy’.

Every day of this month we are going to celebrate as we have never done before… Throughout July starting today, join us to Send Portions to those who desperately need food. Together, let’s make hunger a thing of history!

As published in an earlier article this year, “the main cause of hunger worldwide is poverty. Millions of people around the world are too poor to afford to buy food. They also lack the resources to grow their own food, and even to store it.”

The article goes on to explain the many causes of poverty and its contribution to world hunger. “When people are undernourished, they tend to be weak and unhealthy. If hunger makes it hard to grow and learn, it’s no surprise that these people can’t rise up to break the cycle of poverty and hunger.”

The ripple effect of hunger is evident as it trickles down the generations. Studies show a strong correlation between poverty and education. The article further states: “people living in poverty may stop going to school so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers. Education can be the catalyst needed to pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty. Knowledge gives children the power to dream of a better future and the confidence needed to pursue a full education, which in turn will help generations to come.”

The global socio-economic devastation created by the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many millions of people into poverty, increased global hunger rates, and derailed the educational paths of millions of children.

Even before the pandemic, millions of children were unable to get the education they needed to get ahead in life, but since the pandemic began, hundreds of millions of students have missed school, and consequently school meals due to COVID-19-related school closures.

We at COFI believe that the right to food is a basic human right.