Every day, the number of underage children placed in foster care keeps increasing. A significant percentage of children in foster care are there because they come from under-resourced, low-income families going through a long-term crisis. These families suffer from intergenerational poverty, which is a situation where extreme poverty exists in a family from generation to generation. They are subjected to a life-long dependency on poor nutrition, poor healthcare programs, lack of or inadequate education, and more often than not, have to live without basic necessities.
Children born into families like this can suffer constant neglect, abuse, and the only way out for them is foster care. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it makes life better for them. These children end up spending years shuffled from home to home and school to school.
When youths age out of foster care and transition to life on their own, they do so without the preparation, counseling, and care needed to become independent and stable adults. Many of them still struggle to find a roof over their head, a decent job, a means of transportation, and other essential things to live independent of their previous stressors.
Unlike their counterparts, these youths do not know how to implement a healthy coping mechanism. As a result of an unstable childhood, having no firm roots and not enough mentoring, they end up homeless, young parents, unemployed, and toying the line of intergenerational poverty.
And of course, Being a disadvantaged youth means having little or no opportunity to see more of the world. They are confined to what they hear, see, read and watch, which greatly limits their knowledge.
The benefits of Disadvantaged Youths Traveling Abroad.
- Builds Confidence
One of the first steps to becoming stable and independent adults is having confidence. They need to understand that they can achieve anything. They should not be limited to the shortcomings of their parents or the disadvantages associated with their background. Being in a different country will help you gain confidence and the capacity to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings when you overcome challenges. They will discover that they can go through obstacles even in unfamiliar places to accomplish things.
- Promotes Growth
Empowerment programs put in place to sponsor transitioning youths in care abroad provides an opportunity for them to explore the world. Taking them from the places they have known all their lives shows them that there is more to what they see around them. It provides them with an opportunity they will most likely never have without support or external funding. It gives them the chance to experience and appreciate different lifestyles and cultures. Traveling let’s them know that they can choose to leave the confines of what they know and reach other parts of the world.
- Fuels Empowerment
When they leave foster care, most disadvantaged youths believe that they can only achieve knowledge through the standard, often sub-par means of obtaining education for the disadvantaged, or none at all. Only very few struggle to go the extra mile academically, and they have to overcome many challenges to get there. Studying abroad helps them enhance their language skills, experience different teaching styles, create an impressive portfolio and explore opportunities they did not know existed or was available to them. This can significantly improve their life by building confidence, fostering self empowerment and igniting their excellence to live whole, meaningful lives.