We must respond to poverty by sharing !
“My friends, help me”, were the first words of the appeal byAbbé Pierre, the founder of the Emmaus communities, to theFrench people in February 1954. This appeal led to anunprecedented uprising of kindness and awareness, which alsochallenged decision makers about their inaction in the face ofthe abject poverty and poor housing conditions that existed atthat time.
Today we are just beginning to get back on our feet after thisawful crisis, which has already cost the lives of almost fivemillion people and has harshly revealed the extent ofinequalities in today’s world. And already we are making thesame mistakes all over again! We have seen absurd acts ofselfishness, such as a few billionaires flying into space whilebillions of people on Earth have no access to the vaccine andare often deprived of other basic needs.
Given the scale of this crisis, generosity does not go far enough. We need to share now, without delay! Therefore, we are launching a new appeal, because the inaction of political leaders when confronted with poverty, an unprecedented increase in inequalities and environmental destruction leaves us with no choice – a call to action is needed just as urgentlytoday as it was in 1954! When over half a billion people live onless than 2 dollars a day, waiting for change is no longer anoption. The pandemic has revealed how dysfunctional andbroken the current system is. By giving in, without resistance,to the lures of neoliberalism, the powerful of this world havedisinvested in public health and education services, relocatedmanufacturing and set up an unlimited commodification ofeverything that we need to meet our basic needs. These verysame people in power did not hesitate for a second to rely onthe sense of duty of the already precarious and exhaustedfrontline workers, and the survival skills of those left to fend forthemselves in the absence of adequate public services.
“My friends, help me!”, together let’s make our voices heard so that the common good is put back at the heart of public policies.
This is the first requirement for tackling poverty effectively. Because poverty is not an inevitable evil, but rather the result of decades of political submission to the omnipotent world of finance. The triumph of profit at any cost has made us accustomed to living in a violent world, where individualism, poverty and the degradation of our environment have become commonplace.
“My friends, help me!”, together let’s make our voices heard to rethink the economy and ensure that it truly serves human beings and their environment.
This is the second requirement for tackling poverty effectively. Other economic models exist making it possible to break away from an economy of over-consumption which benefits the few, to sustainable economies for the good of many. Knowing that these alternative models exist, it is time for our collective human intelligence to awaken! Tackling poverty means transforming the system that produces it and we can all contribute to making a different system possible.
“My friends, help me!”, together let us shout out the urgency of involving excluded people so that they can play a full role in society.
Power keeps those who wield it removed from human suffering. Securing our future depends on our ability to build it together in solidarity with the most excluded. We must be aware of and nurture our interdependence.
Now is the time to act. Practically and effectively.
For the environment, human dignity, social justice and the future of democracy.
Your voices matter! Make your voice heard by joining our appeal and spreading the word far and wide, so that our duty to share acts as a guiding light to those in power!