March 25, 2014
On February 3rd, 2005, Nelson Mandela made a speech to over 20,000 people at Trafalgar Square, London. He spoke about making poverty history and how a new generation of global citizens would have to stand up and fight to eradicate this global problem.
This hits home with me, particularly because of the work I do with PACT. I am routinely in subsidized housing, food banks, and working in the lowest income areas of Toronto. The conditions are deplorable. Our government, and our society are failing our most vulnerable citizens. Ask yourself this: How can a child grow up to be a productive member of society, achieve higher education, and become a taxpayer if they grow up surrounded by gun violence and insect infestations? Hoe can a kid concentrate and learn in a school when they don’t have anything to eat between their TDSB lunch program on a Friday afternoon, and the breakfast program on a Monday morning? How can we blame, or expect any different from a child when they resort to less savoury means to fulfill their fundamental human needs – to get food in their bellies?