APLE and the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Above: Nick Edwards, Georgina Simmonds, and Seamus Neville in Bermondsey on the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in 2019.

For the month of June, the APLE Collective (Addressing Poverty by Lived Experience) is highlighting and celebrating all of the organisations, charities and individuals who have lived experience of poverty or who use their voice to campaign against poverty and inequality.

ATD Fourth World has been part of the APLE Collective since its inception in 2018. It was important for ATD to be part of APLE as one of their main projects revolves around 17th October, the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (initiated in 1987 by Joseph Wresinski, founder of ATD Fourth World). Each year, APLE highlights events happening in every corner of the UK to mark this special day.

‘On 17th October, individuals and families living in poverty, who are so often ignored and overlooked, are at the front of the stage. The day provides an important occasion for people to stop and listen to their inspiring stories and messages of hope.’

— Thomas Croft, National Coordination Team, ATD Fourth World UK

The power of words

Poverty damages mental and emotional health; it makes people feel crushed, marginalized, isolated. The UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is the opportunity for each one of us to show solidarity.

Last year, activists from APLE, ATD Fourth World and On Road Media* chose a peaceful, potent tool to share their experiences of living in poverty: poetry. Throughout the evening, thanks to an online event, their poems and songs resonated in the UK and beyond, showcasing the power of words to unleash emotions. The event was exceptionally moving and so successful that it will be repeated in 2021.

The theme chosen for this year with the United Nations is ‘Building Forward Together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet’. Save the date!

Here are some short videos of some of the powerful poems performed on the occasion of 17th October 2020 that will definitely convince you to book the date in your diary!


*With support from London Challenge Poverty Week and  Challenge Poverty Week – England and Wales, and with participation of people in Scotland and Ireland.