When you think of poverty, what comes to mind?

Maybe you think of..
who can’t
afford food
or a family
that can’t
pay rent.
Not having enough money can be the most visible sign of poverty, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Meet Rebeca.
She lives in South Sudan, and comes from a family that ensures she has enough food to eat, clothes to wear, and the money to cover her fees at school.
But Everything Changed
When She Turned 13.
One day, her parents announced that she was leaving school - not because they couldn’t afford the school fees anymore, but because they had decided it was time for her to be married to an older man in the community.
She was so terrified that when they dropped her off at the older man’s house, she fled.
With nothing but the clothes on her back, Rebeca walked 223 km from her village to the Confident Children out of Conflict (CCC) compound in Juba — one of iTeams’ partner organizations.
This brutal journey took her four long days, all the while trying to evade the men who were searching for her to bring her back to her new husband.

Her bravery paid off.

When she walked through the doors of the compound, she was welcomed by safe, capable guardians and other girls who had lived through situations as difficult as her own. She was provided with a place to stay, clothes, and food.
She continues to live there today, and has even re-enrolled in school!
Many of our partners also work to help households create protective environments for children to reintegrate into their communities. This opens up the possibility that one day Rebeca may be reunited with safe members of her family.

Can You Spot The Poverty, Bravery, And Healing In
Rebeca’s Story?

At the root, we understand poverty to be a multidimensional problem that is both caused and affected by broken relationships - with God, with others, with ourselves, and with the environment.
The broken relationships at the root of  issues like the early childhood marriage Rebeca faced won’t be healed overnight. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also work to make a real, tangible difference for people experiencing poverty now.

Our local partners know that reducing extreme multidimensional poverty requires improving education, health, and standards of living in the communities where we work.

That’s why our partners are doing both types of work- the long-term work of healing broken relationships, like working with families to create safe environments for children to return to, as well as the daily work of reducing the impact and prevalence of extreme poverty, like offering safe housing, food, support, and education to young women and girls who have nowhere else to go.