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Together, we can give our world a sustainable future. Let’s dare to take up the challenge!
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Letter to Friends around the World # 100

On 17 October 2018, many of you once again came together to celebrate "The World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty" and to make visible the efforts of all those committed to saying no to poverty throughout the year. In this Letter we present some of the feedback we received from around the world. We share also extracts of testimonies that were at the heart of commemorations, revealing the struggle, courage and resilience of those who suffer daily from the injustices of poverty.

Nobody chooses to live in extreme poverty
"I live in Cameroon. Some friends and I went to the village of Koumenke, that I know well. We toured the village and met young people and parents. We learned that few children were able to complete primary school.  One of the reasons for this is a lack of money, due to their reliance on subsistence agriculture, which only allows people to feed themselves, barely surviving."

All Together Towards Zero Poverty
"A workshop for students was held at the Asian Institute of Technology. A number of topics were discussed, including “What is extreme poverty from a multidimensional perspective?” There followed a presentation by Mrs Khun N., member of the Thai Street Vendors for Sustainable Development. She expressed some of her toughts: "For me, poverty means having ability, but lacking opportunity."

Rethinking the fight against poverty and human rights
"This title was the theme of the second Joseph Wresinski Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held in Guatemala City.
Inga Ruiz V said: "I understood that beyond the concept, raising our voices for a dignified life for all could contribute to the disappearance of the indifference that has caused a large part of the world’s population to be left behind."

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.
People living in poverty have this fear that if they open their mouths, then action will be taken against them, so nobody says anything. But it is 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."

How to mark October 17 in a country where I am passing through, and where no one knows about this day?
"I had heard that a group of people were organising a walk on October 17. About 150 people gathered on that day. We were all there together - Muslims and Christians, Jordanians and refugees from Syria or Iraq, the elderly and younger people, and even children.
I was able to speak with several people and asked them: «What motivated you to come and participate in this walk?» I was told: «Walking together with others is stimulating; we encourage each other». I experienced the walk as a form of communion. All these people were affirming their determination to do what they could afford to do without money - that is to walk in unity."