“The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is reminder that a lot of work is still to be done to eradicate poverty.” – Betsy, child from Cameroon, GNRC Cameroon.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), 17th October 2022, was observed globally with the theme, “Dignity for All in Practice: The Commitments we Make Together for Social Justice, Peace and the Planet.”
IDEP 2022 presented opportunity for concerted global advocacy efforts, social activism and heightened awareness regarding poverty, its root causes and practical solutions leading to its eradication.
Central to the commemoration of IDEP 2022, was recognition of the gains made in tackling poverty, since the adaption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — more so, progress towards ending child poverty.
However, IDEP 2022 activities also called urgent attention to the challenges causing and exacerbating poverty. These include the adverse impacts of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, protracted violent conflicts in several regions, and, the deepening hunger and children’s education crises worldwide.
This year’s IDEP was particularly significant for Arigatou International as we marked the 10th anniversary of our Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty (End Child Poverty), through the banner of the ECP@10 Campaign. End Child Poverty is a global initiative that mobilises faith communities and faith-inspired resources, towards overcoming poverty that affects children.
Together with members of Arigatou International’s Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), among several other partnering organisations, we led commemorative community actions during IDEP 2022 and throughout the month of October. Collectively, we focused on addressing poverty that affects children and spurring actions to overcome child poverty.
As part of our ECP@10 Campaign, more than 25 partnering organisations from over 20 countries joined us in commemorating IDEP 2022, with the view to ensure dignity for all children. These actions ranged from planting trees, to advocacy dialogue with government leaders, launching innovative social initiatives that address child poverty, to organising education sessions with children.
Speaking during the global IDEP 2022 celebration held at the United Nations, Sanara, a child from Sri Lanka, stated, “The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is most important for me because today my voice, becomes the voice of millions of children across my country and around the world as well.” She continued to emphasise, “Children are the most vulnerable and voiceless segment of society in the face of poverty. So, I speak for the millions of children suffering from malnutrition and starvation, with no access to education, facing daily domestic violence and abuse, and becoming or killed in the face of war. This is why it (IDEP) is so important to all of humanity.” This particular event was spearheaded by the International Movement ATD Fourth World in collaboration with other organisations, and it brought to the fore the voices of people with lived experiences of poverty, together with those working alongside them in overcoming poverty.
The ECP@10 Campaign calls for communities to empower children and create spaces for meaningful children’s participation. In this regard, our collective actions during the IDEP 2022 placed prominence on actions geared towards benefitting children, and activities led together with children and adults. Notably, the GNRC Romania marked IDEP 2022 by launching the “We Act Together for Social Equity” project, bringing together children, teachers and school counsellors, to improve the quality of life of young people in disadvantaged areas. More than 1,000 students participated in the project activities that included dialogue, volunteerism and charitable actions. Other partners and GNRC members that conducted similar actions to listen to and empower children included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malaysia, Serbia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria, among others.
“For me, as a child and a member of the GNRC Comoros network, this day (IDEP) is an opportunity for our political, community and religious leaders to intensify their actions and open their hearts to help the thousands of children who live in poverty all over the world in general and in my country, the Comoros, in particular. I understand that every human being, every child must live with dignity, must receive the necessary care, education and supervision so that we can grow up in good health, well educated, in peace and in a sustainable environment, child from Comoros, GNRC Comoros.
IDEP 2022 also cast a spotlight on the importance of adaptation and mitigation measures responding to climate change. Our ECP@10 Campaign therefore leveraged IDEP 2022 as an opportunity to intensify efforts in tree-planting and educating communities on environmental protection. In Kenya for instance, the Arigatou International—Nairobi office worked together with the Kenya Scouts Movement, Kenya Administrative Police Training Centre and CKL Africa Ltd, to kick-start the process of growing 10,000 trees in different locations in the country, as part of this ECP@10 Campaign. Similar tree-planting actions were led by our partners and GNRC members across several countries including Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
“As a child in a grown-up’s world, I think it’s essential for me to find my place and try to make this planet better and not worse for the future generations. I think that sustainable development helps us create an environment that can benefit everyone, both nature and also humankind… I hope that this year we … will be able to raise awareness (about) our environment and of the important problems that surround us.” Adelina, child from Bosnia and Herzegovina, GNRC Bosnia
We celebrate these and all the other good works by our partners and GNRC members in commemorating this year’s IDEP . As the ECP@10 Campaign continues beyond the IDEP 2022, we echo the words of Fred Nyabera, Director, End Child Poverty, “We pledge to continue working for and working with children, towards overcoming poverty…Each action, big or small, counts. Together, we can end child poverty worldwide.”
Watch Sanara’s IDEP 2022 message here (child from Sri Lanka)
Watch Fred Naybera’s IDEP 2022 message her