It’s not a diary date most of us know about, but 17 October is the International Day for Eradication of Poverty. But it might be indelibly imprinted on our minds this year thanks to the number of events and activities happening locally in Malta to not only mark the day, but educate us and galvanise us into year-long action on poverty issues. There are events to simply stand up and be counted at; arts events such as photographic exhibitions and drama productions to sensitise us to poverty even where we’d least expect it; and debates and discussion sessions.
The key protagonist of the day in Malta is the STOPoverty! Neqirdu l-Faqar Campaign; the national coalition of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) international campaign. The global campaign sees the 17 October as the day for civil society to remind and put pressure on governments to keep the promises and commitments of the Millennium Declaration, which was adopted by 189 nations during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000. One of the Millennium Development’s main goals is to see the ending of poverty by the year 2015 – so not that long off to achieve!
Some of the more innovative events marking the day include the theatre production Ceda l-Imbatt, by Theatrencore on 17 October at MITP, St. Christopher Street, Valletta, at 20:00hrs. The production, in Maltese, focuses on poverty faced by small-scale fishermen in the Mediterranean region. It shows that poverty is on our doorstep, as well as further afield. All types have their victims, and need responses.