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How can we effectively combat poverty? Students from across the globe answered that question and brought fresh ideas to the table in our recent essay contest, which took place as part of the 2020 Poverty Cure Summit. The excerpts below demonstrate the wide variety of insights that students gained from the conference.

First Place

“Fighting poverty is like dealing with a chronic disease, and using palliative measures will not solve the problem.” 
– Matheus Resende, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Brazil 

Second Place

“The best solutions to poverty do not merely lift individuals out of poverty, but allow them the agency to mobilize.”
– Emma K. Randall, Patrick Henry College, United States

Third Place

“We are in a war between transactional versus relational living. We have far too willingly relinquished basic freedoms and redefined what it means to live.”
– Margo Weller, Grove City College, United States

Honorable Mentions

“Humanitarianism focuses on providing comfort . . . Christ-like charity sees people as products of God’s love.” 
– Victor Ayodeji, University of Lagos, Nigeria 

“We must allow human beings to enhance their capacity to create meaning and cultivate virtue.”
– Alex Aguirre, Navarra University, Spain 

“By calling someone ‘poor,’ we are essentially associating their identity and dignity as a human being to their economic status.”
– Salwa Mansuri, University College of London, United Kingdom 

“While the topic of curing poverty has always been of great interest to me, never before had I considered the impact that the sexual revolution has had on poverty itself.”
– Kaelyn C. Brooks, Colorado Christian University, United States

“The average American professional commits about three felonies a day. Laws that are being broken target the poor.”
– Liam Vincent Carroll, Gordon College, United States

“It is the responsibility of each individual and each local community to solve its own poverty challenge.”
– Cesar Giraldo, College el Redin, Spain 

“We must develop healthy institutions, as well as to foster trust and entrepreneurship.”
– Pedro Fernandes, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil 

You can read the full essays from the contest winners by visiting

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Noah is a Programs Associate at the Acton Institute where he regularly contributes to the blog and Religion and Liberty. He is a graduate of Grove City College, where he studied Economics.