It is important that we stand up for our rights and voice our needs

For me, poverty is about neglected areas that are not taken care of, or where there are no resources for families such as libraries, good schools and good stores. In the stores here, most of the groceries are out of date. The store owners think that we’re content to live this way because they think we do not have a voice, but that is not the case.

People living in poverty have this fear that if they open their mouths, then action will be taken against them, so nobody says anything. So, we’re going to continue to have stores like these unless people living in poverty let their voices be heard, so that others stop taking advantage of them.

In places where sidewalks are cracked and infrastructure is broken, it’s important that we stand up for our rights and that we voice our needs. We have to make noise. I don’t mean being loud, being violent, cursing people, or belittling people. I mean going to meet people. Because just having a piece of paper is not going to work; you have to go down there and stay in their face and keep staying in their face. Everyone should have the right to speak and to say how they feel about what is going on in their life. It’s a human right to be heard and to listen to someone - to communicate with one another.

Stacy W., at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA