The observance of this day can be traced back to 17 October 1987 when over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris to honor the victims of poverty and violence. This day is held annually to create an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty. It also provides them with a chance to voice out their concerns and raises awareness of their struggles.
A rise in poverty statistics
According to the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed approximately 155 million into poverty and this year, that number has increased to 163 million. Extreme poverty is on the rise, especially with the effects of the said pandemic. It caused havoc on economies and societies worldwide as it further deepened inequalities between the Global North and South divide.
As a result, an estimated number of 356 million children have been plunged into poverty due to the pandemic. And with little to no access to proper education, these children may suffer the same fate as their parents. This can lead them to crime or be victims of child labor since they are also trying to ‘put food on the table’. Not only that, poverty negatively affects children’s health, social, emotional and cognitive development, behavior and educational outcomes.
Addressing the poverty struggle
Although poverty is a social struggle, education is a useful tool that can contribute to the eradication of poverty. The skills that the children will acquire such as reading, writing and numeracy have a documented positive effect in helping marginalized communities escape poverty. In addition, raising awareness about it has led to many initiatives implemented by various stakeholders, governments and NGOs in order to eradicate poverty.
Think Human Foundation collaborates with various associations in support of taking the initiative to address poverty. This is to improve the livelihood of people from disadvantaged backgrounds, with limited opportunities. Beneficiaries receive various opportunities in order to have a brighter future.
For example, some associations like Aflatoun, provide educational programs to young children from poor communities so that they can further their studies as well. Other NGOs such as Junior Achievement provide mentorship programs to the marginalized population in a specific country or region and provide the beneficiaries with entrepreneurial skills. In this way, they are equipped with the relevant and essential skills in order to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.