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World Day for Overcoming Poverty - 17th October

October 16, 2018 5:10 PM

October 17th -The World Day for Eradicating Poverty WORLD DAY FOR ERADICATING POVERTY ()

The 2018 theme - Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is important to recall the fundamental connection between extreme poverty and human rights, and that people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by many human rights violation

Since 1987, the World Day for Overcoming Poverty, celebrated each year on October 17, has given people living in poverty a platform to speak out about their lives and struggles and to invite others to join them in the fight to end poverty.

In the words of one participant: "It's our day. We can say what we have in our hearts without shame, without embarrassment."

In 2009, against a background of the financial crisis, cuts to services and a coming General Election ATD Fourth World wanted to provide a platform for people living in poverty to challenge widespread stereotypes of their lives.

ATD Fourth World, in partnership with artist and photographer Eva Sajovic, participants produced a new film The Roles We Play: A Model of Genuine Participation.

This new film traces the course of the project over the last decade and its attempts to provide a forum for people with experience of poverty to challenge the widespread negative stereotypes of their lives by giving participants the tools to speak out and have their voices heard.

"Poverty takes away ownership of our own lives. Every agency we come into contact with has something to say about our lives as if we can't speak for ourselves and are bound to fail. That's why this project and this film are so important," says Moraene Roberts, a member of the ATD Fourth World, UK National Co-ordination Team and project participant.

"Full participation is more than just turning up; it means being involved as an equal partner at every stage from inception to conclusion. To be in control of the texts, the images and the concept behind it all means this project is ours and not just an attempt to shape us to meet someone else's expectations. We own it and we are proud of it."

To quote one project participant speaking at the time: There was a change of tone from being part of a society who believed in social security, in a net to support people and it was moving rapidly, (I think) towards, everybody who claims benefit is a fraud and we have to weed out fraud, as there are very few who are genuine. It felt that it was only going to get worse, and it did".

The Roles We Play: A Model of Genuine Participation was made possible by support from The Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Click on the following link to watch The roles We Play: