The Face of Child Poverty
One in every four Richmond children lives in poverty. The aim of the Face of Richmond Child Poverty Project is to help the community understand what it means for children to live in poverty in Richmond and as a call to action - bringing the community together to discuss and plan how we can better support children and families and how, at a community level, we can work towards alleviating poverty. Our concern is not whether 30% or 10% of children live in poverty, but that all children should be given the same opportunities.
The Impacts of Poverty on Children in Richmond
This past winter (2013), Richmond Children First worked with partner organizations to explore the impacts of poverty on children in Richmond. We have had conversation with parents, we have heard from staff who work with children and families, and we have asked children about fairness and inequality.
What have we heard? Incredible stories of resilience and resourcefulness! Richmond parents are working hard to create a better future for their children. But sadly, poverty can impact children's health, behaviour and self-esteem. What we heard from children is that IT'S NOT FAIR! Over 3,000 children have helped create the Richmond Children's Charter, which lists the rights they believe all Richmond children are entitled to - including the right to nutritious food, the right to a healthy life, the right to a home, the right to dream and the right to belong. For children living in poverty, some of these rights may never be realized during their childhood.
We recognize that many of the solutions to poverty can only be resolved at a provincial and federal level. However, as we have seen by the extraordinary work already happening in Richmond, there are many ways that community groups and organizations, help make a difference at a local level. At a community forum held June 20, 2013 community groups began to strategize community solutions. We heard at the forum that it is hard to understand poverty. Forum participants asked Richmond Children First to help the community understand child poverty and the impacts in famillies. The report, It's Not Fair! The Face of Child Poverty: A Call to Action, released in November 2013, de-mystifies poverty, puts a face on child poverty and serves as a call to action for the Richmond Community.
The following Fact Sheets highlight what we have heard so far: