Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho was homeless in São Paulo, Brazil, for nearly 35 years, and became locally known for sitting in the same spot and writing every day. In April 2011, he was befriended by a young woman named Shalla Monteiro. Impressed by his poetry and wanting to help him with his dream of publishing a book, she created a Facebook Page to feature Raimundo’s writing. Neither could have expected what happened next.
It’s not about the drugs. It’s about the social environment in which we live.
An interesting study done on drug use (in rats) indicates that drug addiction is a situation that arises from poor socioeconomic conditions. Asking the question:
Perhaps it’s time the war on drugs becomes a war on the existence of poverty? (edit: Poverty of our relationships to family, community, and nation too, not merely monetary. As commenters have pointed out, there are plenty of people who have plenty of money who may well be the most poverty-ridden in other respects.)
I taught a homeless man to code
My preconceptions about homelessness have been shattered. I always thought homeless people were isolated, but Leo is part of a very supportive community. He says the hardest thing is not the practical challenges but society’s view of him. There is an assumption that homeless people are addicted to something or mentally ill, but Leo doesn’t drink or smoke; he became homeless after he lost his job and then his accommodation in 2011.
At the start of this project, I wrote a blog about it and was inundated with responses. Some were moved and inspired; others were more negative, suggesting I should focus on buying Leo food or finding him somewhere to live instead. This idea is a tricky one. I consider Leo a friend. If he said he needed anything, I’d jump through hoops for him, but I don’t ever want him to think we are anything but equals.
Disadvantaged young people face ‘life sentence of poverty and exclusion’
“For many of the young people … this essentially means a life sentence of poverty and exclusion because they don’t have the qualifications they need.”
One sleep from the street: homelessness in our community
Join us for a discussion about the issue of homelessness in the City of Yarra.
Guest speakers from specialist organisations will give a picture of homelessness today. Come along to find out what role you might play and how you can help anyone you know who is homeless.
Featuring representatives from St Mark’s Community Centre, HomeGround Services and the Council to Homeless Person’s Peer Education and Support Program. Hosted by writer and broadcaster Tony Wilson.
This free event is sponsored by the Thomas, Samuel & George Ewing Trust. Bookings are essential. Click here to book online.
Time: 7pm to 8pm
Date: Tuesday 22 October
Venue: Fitzroy Town Hall Reading Room (201 Napier St, Fitzroy)
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control.”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Research has shown that simply being born a girl can leave a child at a huge disadvantage in life. In the poorest societies a girl faces greater risk of malnutrition, hunger and disease compared to her brothers. She will have fewer opportunities for an education and career. In many developing countries 1 out of 7 girls marries before age 15.
Other research has also shown that investing in girls and young women has a disproportionately beneficial effect in alleviating poverty – not only for girls but for their families, communities and entire countries. Girls who spend an extra year at school will on average increase their lifetime income by 10 to 20 per cent.
(Information from http://www.plan.org.au/mediacentre/mediareleases/un_declares_international_day_of_the_girl)