"The voices of these children may be small,
but their words should resonate around
the world. As perhaps only children can do,
they deliver an honest and unvarnished
sense of what it is like to be
young and living in poverty."
Children who live in poverty in the United States express needs and wishes that are similar to those of children in poverty around the world, according to a survey being released today by ChildFund Alliance.
Most 10 to 12-year-olds in developing nations (57 percent) said education would be their first order of business if they were president of their country. Improving education also was the top priority for children in poverty in the United States (31 percent). Making more food available was the second most popular choice overall and for U.S. residents (19 percent).
The Small Voices, Big Dreams survey polled nearly 3,000 children ages 10-12 in 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Americas. It was sponsored by ChildFund Alliance, a global group of child-development organizations. ChildFund International, which has headquarters in Henrico County, is the U.S. member of the alliance.
One in three children in developing countries told pollsters that they go to bed hungry at least one night a week. When asked what they need most, a third of the children said food. When asked what they would spend a dollar on, the answer was food or water for 45 percent overall and 55 percent in the U.S.
Outside the U.S., children spent far more time on household chores or other work, with 26 percent saying it occupied at least half a day every day. In the U.S., 11 percent said they work half a day or more.
Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International, said in a release that children in poverty "share a common sentiment, attuned in a chorus of hardship and hope.
"The voices of these children may be small, but their words should resonate around the world. As perhaps only children can do, they deliver an honest and unvarnished sense of what it is like to be young and living in poverty." -- Katherine Calos