Tackling Poverty of Affection
After six months of living with Covid-19, we have all experienced what it is like to be at home for nearly 24 hours a day. Most of us would say that we consider our home to be a safe place, a place where we are comfortable and feel welcome. For the more than 65% of the Guatemalan population living in poverty, this is not the case. The desperation of knowing that if you do not work you will not eat or be able to feed your family is very real and increases stress significantly.
The majority of adults living in poverty have not been taught how to manage emotions or learned to give and receive love and affection, thus have a hard time showing it to their families. The Guatemalan Ministry of Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) reports that there were more than 46,000 pregnancies in teenagers and children between the ages 10 and 19 from January to May 2020, as well as a 50% increase in the number of children abandoned during the pandemic. The number of reports of abuse has also increased - the Guatemalan National Institute of Social Forensics reported 1,486 cases of sexual abuse of teenagers and girls from March to July 2020.
Poverty of Affection results in long term consequences for a child who does not receive appropriate love, affection and affirmation. Many struggle with self esteem issues, self worth and the ability to show affection towards others and can have difficulty developing emotional attachment towards children, parents and spouses. This type of poverty keeps individuals from understanding God’s amazing agape love (the highest form of love) for us.
If you would like to hear more about what Potter’s House has been up to during this Covid-19 season, why not watch a recording of when we spoke to the team live, at our Ministry Meet-up Live. The video can be found here.