By October 18, 2018 Read More →

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Coming together with those furtherest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity. Wednesday, October 17

The UN Visitor’s Lobby of the UN conference Building, NY, was filling up very fast as diplomats, UN staff, members of various NGOs, and activists in eradicating poverty took their seats. Poverty is such a violation of human rights that the Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres took time from his busy schedule to attend and address the audience. He stated that to work together to end poverty is not a charity but a right that all human beings deserve. He implored everyone to join hands to end poverty in the world.

Secretary General, H.E. Antonio Guterres

H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King, President of the UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, highlighted that Ending Extreme Poverty is at the center of the 2030 Agenda as it is the No. 1 SDG – No Poverty!! She also shared about the steps ECOSOC is taking towards achieving this goal – they provide tools to empower those affected and participate fully in the recovery. She proudly noted that there is an increase of NGOs in the developing countries who are assisting in this area.

It was amazing to listen to the stories of people who were living under the poverty line and how they lifted themselves out of it and proceeded to help others.

Activist Ms. Kimberly Cook, Boston, sharing her story

Activist Patrick Matara, Kenya, with BK Sabita

What touched me deeply is the fact that poverty in all its forms, and not just of wealth, was addressed. Money is not the only thing that’s needed to come out of poverty. Upholding someone’s dignity and help in getting their voices heard is our civic and moral duty to each other. They need someone to look up to for guidance and support, someone who can uplift and empower them, someone who can make them realize how important they are! We can be that ‘someone.’

The was a moving rendition by Ms. Susan McKeown and Mr. Michael Brunnock who wrote the song, Be the Change, featuring testimonies of people living homeless in Dublin, Ireland. Here are a few lines from the song: “Got to stand up, rise above the shame. If you want to be a change, Stand up together. Just hold on to what you know is true.”

Susan McKeown and Michael Brunnock

Dancers from Mala and Dancers also performed a meaningful dance depicting unity in diversity.

The Human Rights Tree was an inspiring way to get people to commit in helping to eradicate poverty, starting in small ways. There were different colors of leaves representing various aspects of poverty. Each one was asked to choose a leaf that matches the color in the area that they would like to help in eradicating poverty, such as, food, family values, etc. Those leaves were attached to the tree. This was a symbolic gesture that brought out the solidarity of everyone present.

The Human Rights Tree near the Commemoration Stone

BK Sabita attaching leaves that represent food and love of family to the tree.

The United Nations Orchestra entertained everyone as they silently attached their commitment to the tree.

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