05 Aug

Irish delegation joins the “youth rise up against poverty” gathering in the Netherlands!

From August 10th 2017 to the 14th, 15 young adults from Ireland will meet 200 young Europeans involved in the fight against poverty.

Most of the participants will be young people who face discrimination and hardship due to their social backgrounds (migration, very low income households, early school leavers, homelessness,….)

The young people will gather in Wijhe (The Netherlands) at the occasion of the UN International Youth Day (every 12th August). In 2017, the call of #YouthDay expect the Youth to be Peace Builders.

All major international stakeholders agree that poverty and inequalities are two of the major threats to peace. This message will be central in the #Wijhe2017 gathering.

A #Youth4Peace has also to be a #Youth4Justice!

During a #Wijhe2017 preparation meeting in November 2016, young European delegates set the followings goals for the gathering:

  • Meet young people from other countries, from other cultures
  • Exchange practices and learn from other groups
  • Exchange on topics where young people can make their voices heard
  • Create to space where young people from very different backgrounds and cultures can meet to share their knowledge and get involved

Workshops will be organized and facilitated by the young people from diverse backgrounds, and aim to have a mutual sharing of their knowledge and experience.

Discover here the video prepared in 2016 by Irish young people with others, ahead of the #Wijhe2017 gathering!

Ressources

  
11 Jul

#SlainteCare: the Community Platform and ATD discussed about “Health as a Human Right”!

Tuesday, June 26th 2017, the Community Platform and All Together in Dignity Movement (ATD) Ireland hosted a seminar on the “Health as a Human Right”, held at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in Dublin. The aim of the seminar was to discuss the Community Platform’s “Six principles for an inclusive health policy” and the “Our Voices” project organized by ATD Ireland to give voice to the people most underserved by the current healthcare system in Ireland. It was attended by over 80 people from a wide of variety of organizations working to make health care more accessible, equitable, and inclusive for all citizens of Ireland, especially those living in poverty or other forms of exclusion.

The timing of the seminar could not have been more auspicious because it coincided with the publication of the “Slainte Care Report” of the Oireachtais (parliamentary) Committee on the Future of Health recommending a universal single-tier service where patients are treated on the basis of health need rather than on ability to pay. This recommendation is at the heart of the six principles. Roisin Shortall (TD), who chaired the Committee and spoke at the seminar, explained that the report is a response to public demands for change in the health system. These demands became evident in the last elections and led to cross-party support, making implementation a real possibility.

In opening the seminar, Pierre Klein from ATD posed the question of whether “we can find a way to implement transformation with people at the margins of the system and…not thinking of them just at the end of the process?” The speakers that followed described the dysfunctionalities of the current two-tier system, which is 60 years behind most of Europe.

Dr. Sara Burke of Trinity College Dublin University presented an overview of the development of the Irish health system over the past three hundred years, stating flatly that “not having access to care on a timely basis leads to death at an early age.”

Paul Ginnell of the European Anti-Poverty Network pointed out that today simply having a card does not automatically mean getting care. “If access is to mean more than being put on a waiting list,” he said, “then those entitled to universal health and social care will be guaranteed access within a set period of time.”

One of the central themes of the seminar was bringing into the discussion people from the margins of society, who are most negatively impacted by the dysfunctionality of the system.

The participants viewed a video of the “Our Voices” project which brought together over 40 citizens from Dublin inner city and Ballymun, including members of the Traveller community and people having experienced drug addiction. In discussing their experience with the healthcare system, these people pointed out that health is a lot about relationships and how you are treated by the people you meet in the system.

The opening remarks and video were followed by a “World Café” in which the participants discuss four key themes: social determinants of health, health systems we need, access to quality healthcare, and participation. There was a separate table for each theme, where participants were able to raise issues and recommend solutions, all of which were recorded on large sheets of paper by facilitators. The facilitators then summarized the findings of each table for all of the participants.

The World Café called attention to a number of important issues that need to be addressed, such as the detrimental effects of inadequate housing, unemployment, and lack of educational opportunities on health. In a closing panel, Ronnie Fay of Pavee Point Travellers Centre, added that 90% of what effects a person’s health stems from these factors, so “we should be talking about investing upstream in health and not just healthcare.” Another issue was the need to deal with drug addiction and mental health as a single problem rather than through two separate systems of care. It was also noted that health care professionals have finally begun to value community support but require a process of continuous consultation in order to ensure high quality service that meets people’s real needs.

  

In the closing session, panelists returned to the “Slainte Care Report”, asking “What now?” They all agreed that there are powerful vested interests that will attempt to dismantle the plan bit by bit. “I think that pressure must come from the public saying that we are not prepared to tolerate the inequality and inefficiency of the system,” said Roisin Shortall. The panelists called for a campaign and lobbying efforts that give voice to most marginalized citizens as well as the general public.

In September 2017, ATD and the Community Platform will inform all the participants to the Seminar about the follow-up which will be given to this work.

Article prepared by Victor Friedman, guest of ATD Ireland and friend of the ATD Fourth World Movement

  
10 Jul

ATD International busy at HLPF: Global Goals for All!

Latest updates:

 On 14th July 2017, ATD Ireland wrote to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with the request to put in place a structure that will ensure that the Taoiseach’s Office and Department take overall responsibility for ensuring that Ireland delivers in full on its promises regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goals. (Full letter here)

On 19th July 2017, Ministers and high representatives of States, including Minister Andrew Doyle TD, Irish Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York, adopted the ‘Ministerial declaration of the 2017 high-level political forum on sustainable development, convened under the auspices of the
Economic and Social Council, on the theme “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”’ (Draft declaration dated 14th July here)

Watch in replay Minister Andrew Doyle speaking on the 19th July at the HLPF Adoption session. Minister speaks from minute 55 and describes the Irish commitments towards the 2030 Agenda.

On 20th July 2017, Action for Sustainable Development, a civil society platform with over 1,700 members in over 150 countries, issued a response to the Ministerial declaration.

Read a summary of the full HLPF by IISD here: HLPF Summary

*****

From 10th to 22nd July 2017, United Nations Member States including Ireland and leaders from civil society, business, UN System, specialised agencies, academia and other stakeholders convene in New York  for the annual High-level Political Forum (HLPF) to review progress made towards the Sustaingable Development Goals.

 

The Forum is the central UN platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, its theme this year will be “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”.

44 countries to present their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals at HLPF 2017

A few of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will also be reviewed in depth at the 2017 meeting. They are:

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Goal 17, which aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, will also be considered in depth, as it is every year.

A key task of the HLPF, as the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, is to provide a forum for inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue and to facilitate peer-learning and exchange. UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo emphasized the importance of continued commitment to the HLPF and the SDGs: “In a world that is going through rapid change, staying committed to the SDGs and multilateralism is essential to ensuring peace and security, the well-being of the planet and shared global prosperity.”

Reviewing progress towards the SDGs: 44 Member States will be conducting such reviews during the three-day ministerial segment of the Forum from Monday, 17 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017. The reviews are state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants, and provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

The Forum will conclude in a negotiated ministerial declaration. The co-facilitators leading the consultations for the declaration in 2017 are Ambassador Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations and Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations. Draft Elements for the Ministerial Declaration can be viewed on the HLPF website.

Read now ATD’s statement prepared for HLP2017: Leaving no one behind: Case studies for implementing the 2030 Agenda with people in poverty as agents of change

ATD International will be co-facilitator of two major side-events. There will be over 100 side events taking place in the margins of the HLPF, as well an SDG live event with media interviews, brief panel discussions and other activities.

ATD international invites stakeholders:

Tuesday 11th July at 1.15pm for a special HLPF meeting of the “Leave No One Behind Dialogue Series”

Wednesday 12th July at 1.15pm for a special meeting dedicated to the impact of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Don’t miss also the side-event from the Leave No One Behind network: Leave No One Behind: Ensuring inclusive SDG progress on Tuesday 18 July from 13:15-14:30 at UN Headquarters in New York (Conference room 11).

  
26 Jun

Living the legacies! Ending Poverty with Mandela and Wresinski

Special #ActionAgainstPoverty Update!

Discover the pictures from the Mandela Day happening on 18 July 2017
in Dublin
near the Famine Statues!

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Wresinski, initiator of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and at the occasion of UN Mandela Day 2017 (18th July) focusing on needed action against poverty, ATD Ireland invites you to gather at the Human Rights and Poverty Stone (near the Famine Statues – Custom House Quay – Dublin 1) at 1pm and later at 5pm to  join a special “Living the legacies” workshop to discuss the strong connections between Mandela’s and Wresinski’s messages.

Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. It was launched on his birthday, 18 July, in 2009 via a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly. “It is in your hands to make of the world a better place,” he said a year earlier, calling on the younger generation to take up this task.

More about Nelson Mandela International Day here.

More about Joseph Wresinski here.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

This special “Living the legacies” workshop is organised in the framework of the “Wresinski Legacy Project” supported by Senators and Deputies of the French National Assemblies.

  
20 Jun

Our Voices at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe!

On 15th of June 2017, the Irish “Our Voices” delegates, prepared by ATD Ireland, met with delegates from Spain and Poland to launch the “Our Voices” report at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The launch took place during the meeting of the Intergroup “fighting against poverty in defence of human rights”. The meeting was opened by Mairead McGuinness, first Vice-President of the European Parliament. It included a presentation of “Object Poverty” created by the SAOL project in Dublin and of the learnings of the “Europe for Citizens” project “Our Voices”. The video below was presented to the audience of MEPs and assistant of MEPs including 4 Irish MEPs.

Later citizens from Strasbourg and citizens at the European Institutions joined the delegation for a short symbolic gathering at the 17 October Human Rights and Poverty Stone on the Flags’ Square, in front of the Palais de l’Europe. The 15 minutes gathering was an opportunity to read publicly the 2017 Stop Poverty Call to Action and to observe a minute of silence for the participants in the “Our Voices” project who died in 2016 and 2017 from “the early death sentence which represents poverty” (we use here the words of Bernie Sanders).

The day of work and promotion of the learnings of the “Our Voices” project ended at the Council of Europe with a meeting with staff of the Department of the European Social Charter to discuss ways to contribute to the Turin Process and strengthen the social dimension of the European construction.

More pictures of the day including the “happenings” to promote the 2017 #StopPoverty Campaign!

  
31 May

The ‘Magnificent 17’ Strike Back and Will Transform Our World!

DSC_0017cs

The ‘Magnificent 17‘ are riding back into Dublin Town on Monday 5 June 2017 to promote the 17 Global Goals for better future for people and the planet:

The “Magnificent 17” will gather at the entrance of St. Stephen’s Green at 1 pm on Monday 5 June on ‘horse back’ before they dismount and set off come hail, rain or shine on the Vhi’s Dublin Women’s Mini-Marathon.

The ‘Magnificent 17‘ are friends and volunteers of All Together in Dignity.

There will be 17 horses, each emblazoned with one of the 17 goals. The 17 Cowgirls will have buckets on the day to raise money for ATD. The money collected will be used in 2 ways:

70% will be sent to Manila to support ATD’s Street Libraries in the Philippines. The street libraries are a simple way to allow children living in a country marked by a lot of violence with a place to gather and learn. For the facilitators it’s about ‘sharing our knowledge with them’
30% will be used by ATD Ireland to further promote the Global Goals among young adults at the European Youth Meeting in August 2017.

Donations can also be made through www.altruism.ie

M17Tjpg

  
29 May

Support Literacy Projects for Children in Manila and Youth Solidarity Projects in Dublin!

Join All Together in Dignity Ireland volunteers in their 2017 Mini-Marathon challenge! Help us to collect sponsorship and support ATD in Manila and Dublin. For every €10 collected, €3 will fund our work in Ireland and €7 will be sent to the ATD team in the Phillipines.

Our challenge:

to raise €2,500 for the ATD Street Libraries in Manila
and €1,000 for the activities of the ATD Youth Group in Ireland!

Alongside nearly 40,000 other women in the biggest all-women’s charity event in the world, the ATD Mini-Marathon team will run on Monday 5th June!

Support us now!

Fundraise around you with our sponsorship card 2017 and lodge the money collected using on of the links below!

Donate on the Marathon page on Altruism Ireland!

Or via the regular ATD fundraising pages:

CharityCheckoutPaypal

In July 2012, the ATD team in the Philippines launched its literacy programme Ang Galing in impoverished communities of Manila. Ang Galing are Street Libraries that supports children aged 6-14 to read and write. It builds up the self confidence of the children through having one to one teaching sessions. Our Mini-Marathon goal is to raise €2,500 to support ATD in Manila!

In the Summer 2017 a group of 20 Irish young adults including young people from very deprived backgrounds will join 200 other young adults from all over the EU at a “Solidarity Festival for the Future of Europe”. This festival of workshops and training opportunities will take place in the Netherlands. €5,000 are needed to fund the participation of te Irish delegation! Our Mini-Marathon goal is to raise €1,000 to support this ATD Dublin project!

You can be part of the ATD dream team and help us make of 5th June a major fundraising day for ATD!

  
27 May

Enabling citizens from the margins to make their essential contribution to addressing together the challenges facing our world!

From 2013 to 2016, ATD International continued its commitment with vulnerable populations so that they could make their essential contribution to addressing together the challenges facing our world!

Read the foreword to the triennial ATD International activity report by Mr. Cassam Uteem, President of the International Movement ATD Fourth World and download the report here (66 pages)!

For many people around the world, recent years have been very harsh, brutal. Several countries, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, have experienced daily violence. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide exceeded 60 million for the first time, and more than a million people crossed the Mediterranean in 2015 to seek refuge in European countries. Without being the sole factors, poverty and inequalities within and between countries played a role in this suffering.

Though some countries are closing their borders, others are being more generous; at the local level, citizens are mobilizing. In Beirut, in an underprivileged neighbourhood where life has always been difficult, some families close to ATD Fourth World are putting a lot of effort into welcoming Syrian refugee families. In this country, currently hosting more than a million refugees, mothers tell us:

“Whether we are Lebanese or not, we all have the same need for solidarity, the same need to give each other strength”.

Elsewhere, in the Central African Republic, young people with direct experience of extreme poverty are relentlessly resisting the violence of armed conflict, taking risks to reach children, bringing them books and enabling them, despite everything, to learn and hope. They believe that with culture, with books, they can “disarm minds.”

Despite this context, 2015 has been an exceptional year with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The international community is coming together to take responsibility for challenges that have no boundaries. Of course, these agreements could have been more ambitious and more specific, particularly when it comes to financing their implementation, but they set major guidelines and points of support to promote peace and justice.

In these international negotiations, ATD Fourth World spared no effort to make the voice of the poorest populations heard in order to avoid a compounded violence against them: that of poverty, exclusion, and the climate disruption that they are the first to suffer from; and also that of policies designed without their participation, thus worsening their lot when implemented. ATD Fourth World carried the message of those who, in spite of their own harsh lives, do not hesitate to take risks to stand in solidarity with vulnerable people, in order to leave no one behind. This call refers to an approach based on human rights, the only approach that can ensure that even the most isolated are reached, and the necessity to rely on the intelligence and experience of the poorest communities. This human rights-based approach is further developed in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, adopted by the UN in September 2012.

What is crucial now is to bring governments, the private sector and all stakeholders and citizens together in order to pursue economic and social development policies in a coherent manner while adapting to climate change and keeping the focus on “ending poverty in all its forms everywhere” as provided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2015.

From 2013 to 2015, ATD Fourth World continued its commitment with vulnerable populations so that they could make their essential contribution to addressing together the challenges facing our world: the right to live on this earth for millions of families displaced due to poverty, war, or the consequences of climate change; the pursuit of peace in all countries; the battle against unemployment in societies where far too many are condemned to uselessness; the implementation of social protection floors in countries where the informal economy condemns populations to insecurity; and the progress of quality education for all, everywhere.

Partnering with populations living in extreme poverty, creating spaces for dialogue between these populations, authorities and social partners, supporting the efforts of the poorest to keep their families and communities united, and leaving no one behind, these are the keys to ensuring that promises are kept and that societies progress towards greater justice and dignity on a path to peace.

 

 

 

Mr. Cassam Uteem, President of the International Movement ATD Fourth World

  
19 May

Eurofound welcomed “OUR VOICES”!

On the 17th May, Irish participants from the Our Voices Project visited the European Institution Eurofound. The participants from the project were volunteers of ATD Ireland and members of the NWICTDP. The visit was an opportunity for the participants to visit a European agency and get an understanding of the work of an EU agency based in Ireland.

We were welcomed to Eurofound by the Deputy Director, Erika Mezger. She explained to us that Eurofound is the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Here they undertake research on the living and working conditions of European Citizens across the 28 Member States. This research is done on a huge scale and includes topics such as quality of life, access to healthcare, access to social benefits etc. The purpose of the research is to compare and contrast findings among the member states and also to inform and influence policy. This was followed by a lively discussion on more general topics such as the future of a more social Europe and our responsibility in creating that future!

We were then given the opportunity to present our own work from the EU Project ‘Our Voices’. Here ATD Volunteers presented the different phases of the project and the findings that emerged.

This was received very well by those from Eurofound as our findings were mostly in line with their own research on access to, and treatment within the healthcare system. This was a way for participants within in the project to make the link between our own experiences and how this can influence policy on a European level.

The visit to a European institution in our own backyard was extremely interesting and shows us that ‘Europe’ isn’t this thing that happens far away from us but that our experiences and opinions actually matter. The research being done in Eurofound is important, as it really gives a voice to the lived experiences of the people and what these experiences means for us as individuals and citizens of Europe. Now let’s just hope the policy makers are listening!

We would like to thank all at Eurofound for their warm welcome and for giving us the opportunity to explore a European agency.

  
17 May

On 20 May, ATD joins the 2017 Famine Walk prepared by Afri!

On Saturday the 20th May, ATD activist and volunteers will join volunteers from Afri in the Famine Walk 2017 From Hunger and War…to a Home and a Welcome?”.

2017 is a special year for both ATD and Afri as it marks the 30th Anniversary of this famine walk and also the 30th Anniversary of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

For 30 years Afri has walked the famine road through the Doolough Valley in County Mayo. People from all over the country have walked this road over the last three decades, sharing their experiences with one another.

This year’s walk will link the experience of Irish people who were forced to flee on coffin ships during An Gorta Mór in the nineteenth century with refugees crossing the Mediterranean today, some of whom, if they survive, may end up in Direct Provision Centres in Ireland.

Irish people have travelled all over the world in search of a safe place to call home; to escape poverty, fear and exploitation. Today Ireland is in a position to take a lead role in addressing the situation of refugees; one of the biggest issues facing our world today. Drawing on our own experience of famine and immigration, we must tackle this critical issue as well as tackling the forces that are causing it.

For ATD, 2017 marks 30 years since our founder, Joseph Wresinski, initiated the first, of what is now known as the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty on the 17th October.

This is a very important day in the ATD calender as it as a platform for those who have been affected by the violence of poverty to use their voice and for that voice to be listened to. For the 30th Anniversary ATD are running a year long campaign called Stop Poverty. This is a campaign to show the world that by coming together in solidarity with those who are most affected by poverty, we can overcome it.

ATD activist and volunteers marching on the 20th May in Mayo will invite all participants to support this campaign.

To find out more about this campaign visit www.poverty-stop.org.

So join us on this special year as we march together to create a just and equal world for all.

More on the Famine Walk here!