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Stories of #GoodChange

October 2020

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Here at Good Neighbours Australia, we stand for the eventual eradication of poverty. In fact, it is one of our core values. That’s why the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is particularly important to us. Held annually on the 17th of October, it recognises and sends a message on the very prevalent existence of poverty.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

But what exactly is poverty? Contrary to popular belief, poverty is not just about individuals living in starvation – there are other forms too. Poverty is actually a generalised term, because in the development sector there are in fact six types of poverty:

1. Situational – is often temporary, and caused by a sudden crisis
2. Generational – occurs when two generations are born in poverty, and is often stuck in the poverty cycle
3. Absolute – the scarcity of essential resources like water, food and shelter. Those living in this category usually focus on day-to-day survival
4. Relative – is when individual(s) cannot meet the average cost of living in their area
5. Urban – occurs in metropolitan areas and encounter problems such as overcrowding, violence and excessive noise
6. Rural – occurs in non-metropolitan areas, whose issues stem from a lack of services to support health and education needs

In Australia, these poverty types are very much prevalent today. According to this document, Australia had one of the highest rates of poverty amongst the OECD countries, with 12.8% of the population living in poverty from 2014-2015. The average was only 12.1%.

Regrettably, this statistic has only risen. As of 2020, 3.24 million people in Australia (that’s 13.6% of the total population) live below the poverty line – which is currently a median of $457 per week. What’s more, research shows that children and young adults are most affected by poverty. A large majority of these individuals also skip breakfast in order to save money for rent and other utilities, which is detrimental towards their mental and physical development. (APO, 2020) 

So what exactly have we been doing to eradicate poverty?

Within Australia, we have done much within the past year in helping communities who need it most. Our partnership with OzHarvest led to $10 000 worth of meals being provided for families in both New South Wales and Victoria. These locations include: Forbes River, Nowra, Ulladulla, Kempsey, Narooma, Bright, South Nowra and Armidale.

We have also launched TWO campaigns, which focussed on providing Covid-19 and winter-relief for struggling minorities in Australia. Each containing essential items such as food, face masks and blankets, a total of 600 hampers across the two local projects were distributed to the public. This is inclusive of: single-parent, refugee and temporary visa groups. The second project, also known as the Winter Warmer campaign, was also approved of by the State Government of New South Wales.

Elsewhere on the globe in Vietnam, one of the main countries we are supporting, steps have been taken towards eradicating poverty. We were involved in sponsoring the Annual Gift campaign, where bags of rice and rice cookers were delivered to the Yen Thanh and Tan Bac communities. Additionally, Covid-19 aid in the form of hand sanitisers, thermometers and more were given since April to several rural Vietnamese schools. Right now, 1 601 families are being sponsored by Good Neighbours.

Overall, our worldwide campaigns aim to break the poverty cycle. Good Neighbours’ community development projects (CDP) in 43 countries help children and families at risk. Donations raised from fundraising offices, including Good Neighbours Australia, are pooled into a project fund where tailored projects are conducted to resolve this issue from within the community.

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, just what is our stance on poverty? The answer is simple: we will always work towards ending it. 

Join us in ending poverty today.