No one should have to keep quiet about poverty

Young person with lived experience of growing up in poverty

Two friends, Amelia and Naomi share their different experiences of poverty and the impact it has had

Abolishing poverty… is about us, as humans, changing our way of thinking and proving we are better, giving hope in what we can achieve.

Billie, a young person with lived experience of poverty

Billie, writes about how wrong society’s perceptions are of families who are struggling financially

There are millions struggling to provide themselves and their families with the basics many of us take for granted. It’s easy to confine poverty to just the insufficiency of food, but this is a miniscule symptom within a host of other effects. Those defined by poverty are placed into one presumption of what it is and how it is caused when there is a bigger picture.

Feelings of isolation, concern, fear and so much more, overwhelm everyday experiences because of an abysmal social situation, but voicing it only creates a stigma fed by the media. Often we hear the term ‘needy’ associated with those in a time of hardship, detaching from the fact they are a mirror of any of us if things were to take a turn for the worse, rather than a complete and utter distinction from the rest of humanity.

Having lived in an area where this is a prominent issue, it’s easy to see the loss of hope because of a rigid cycle where children miss out on seeing the face of a friend light up at the gift they can’t afford to give, or have to reject an event in order to ensure money available is going on essential food. Where parents feel ashamed and guilty because of their lack of ‘wealth’ in what they can offer their loved ones, not wanting others to see this because of the constriction it has enabled. There have even been incidents of parents putting their children in the car at night to absorb the heat because the house doesn’t have the fuel to do so.

Abolishing poverty isn’t just about doing the right thing, the least of such, but also about demonstrating how we don’t have to value one life over another for riches beyond what any human needs, instead looking to reforming a system that casts pity on those who should be able to attain the same as others, however blocked in their path. It is about us as humans changing our way of thinking and proving we are better, giving hope in what we can achieve.