In December 1992, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. At Stella’s Circle, we appreciate this as a day to raise awareness about the need to end global poverty in all its forms everywhere. It’s an invitation to governments, non-governmental organizations and citizens to assist in this essential and just work leading to the eradication of poverty and destitution.
While there are many definitions and contexts for poverty, we often see it as exclusion from what can be associated with typical daily life. Stable housing, access to health information and care, decent clothing, food, internet access, education, employment and recreation. It is not having enough money or access to resources to enjoy a decent standard of living. Life enhanced by a fair level of resources leads to greater self-determination, opportunity, and choice, thereby creating a positive dynamic where people do better, are well, and would require less formal supports of our welfare system. While there are many examples of people able to escape the poverty trap, far too many people remain stuck as systemic barriers work against them. It’s how poverty is experienced intergenerationally and what constitutes poverty’s cycle.
It is for these reasons that October 17th, and raising awareness to poverty is important. Poverty’s causes and consequences are intertwined. Think that education and employment can be pathways out of poverty, but where one experiences poverty it can be very difficult to find and keep work. Subsequently not working can quickly lead one back to poverty. Complex problems benefit from collaborative and collective action. At Stella’s Circle we deliver a variety of vocational and work based learning through Adult Basic Education, social enterprise and career development programming made possible through partnerships with the provincial government, other community groups, employers and volunteers.
Stella’s Circle is one of many community organizations that signed onto the Coalition for a Just Recovery NL. which outlines ten initiatives for an inclusive, empowering and just recovery for NL. The supporting organizations that signed onto this letter to the Government of Canada are experts in their fields and know the population they are serving. Their voices and the voices of the people they serve need to be heard. Your voice needs to be heard as well as the voices of those experiencing poverty. Take today and visit Just Recovery’s website. Volunteer with a local group, post a blog, or donate to support a helpful initiative. Look at the United Nation’s declaration and consider how even taking the steps towards the elimination of poverty can lessen its impact until we once and for all see its elimination.