Theme for 2019
Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty

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Dublin - Thursday 17 October 2019 - Gathering at the Human Rights and Poverty Stone

Event report

To read the testimonies that were shared on October 17 in Dublin, click here.

Here is one testimony

My name is Monika. I am happy to talk today.

Today I would like to talk about my experience within the homeless crisis in Ireland.

One day 4 years ago we got a letter saying that our apartment was being put up for sale and we have30 days to move out. My world collapsed. I still remember that day.

I didn’t know what to do and where to go for help. At that time I know I have to find accommodation for my family but it wasn’t to be that easy. Every viewing ended with disappointment and frustration. We didn’t find a place because rents were too high for our budget or in some places they didn’t want to rent to children.

We had to leave our apartment. The worst period was still ahead for us. The day when we put our belongings into a storage room was very hard. We knew what was going to happen tomorrow.

The next day with two travel bags and 2 children we went to Parkgate Hall and waited for registration as homeless people. We were given a place in a Dublin hostel and we spent the next 26 months there.

They didn’t say we would stay that long in there. Every month we had to go to the management of our hotel and ask for an extension. Every day we had to keep reminding the children to be quiet because we were worried we would lose our room.

All that time in emergency accommodation was hard for all of us. It was just one room and toilet. So, no-one from my family had any privacy in the accommodation. My eldest son was doing his homework on the bed or floor because there was no table in the room.

The first two weeks were fine the children were thinking we are on holidays, but after that they started feeling the lack of space. I hope no-one of you or your family will ever experience that.

All of you know why is having a home so important. I believe that having a place to call home is the most important in our life’s. During our time in a hotel our family life was upside down. We didn’t have cooking facilities -such a simple thing but when you are in a place like that you start to appreciate such things. So as you can guess it was hard for me to feed my family. I love cooking so it was hard for me not to cook for them and watch what they have to eat. Every single day I was getting just more frustrated then I couldn’t get them proper food. We had a breakfast included but how long you can eat Irish breakfast. We were first in our hotel so the management were very kind and helpful. We got a microwave and kettle. I was very appreciative because I could cook something in the microwave for my family and have a hot tea whenever I wanted to.

Home means many things to many people. I believe that the word ‘home’ means a safe and secure place where you can be yourself. But imagine if you woke up tomorrow to the news that you would lose your home. What would you do? Where would you go? What would it mean for your children?

You can just imagine how hard is it for a child to be in emergency accommodation. When we were there my oldest son kept away from their classmates. He was worried to have close friends; he was thinking they will find out that he doesn’t have a home. He was ashamed. It was hard for me as a mother to watch him. It was just in the hotel that he could share his fears with the other kids and be like a normal child they were on this same boat.

But in this century it shouldn’t be like that. Every child should have a place to call home and get a proper dinner not just a pizza from a microwave or take away.

https://17october.ie/

See video

Event description

Gathering at the Human Rights and Poverty Stone

From 10.30am - Groups and individuals are welcome on the Custom House Quay to gather in preparation for the gathering

Draft Running Order of Ceremony (11 am-1.30 pm)

  • 11.00 Master of Ceremony, Maurice Hurley (Global Citizenship School Program) welcomes everyone and introduces the gathering

  • 11.05 Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Paul McAuliffe opens the event.

  • 11.10 Song

  • 11.15 Reading of the Message of the Human Rights and Poverty Stone in English, Irish and French

  • 11.20 Song

  • 11. 25 Reading of the President’s Message

  • 11.30 Testimonies – 5 testimonies with reference the rights of children and youth, with musical interlude(ATD Leave No One Behind; NYP 2; MRCI; SAOL; Dominican Justice Office)
  • 11.55 Song

  • 12.00 Guest Speaker: Tanya Ward, CEO Children Rights Alliance

  • 12.05 Symbolic Gesture: Paper “Footsteps for a Better Future” with messages will be displayed around the Stone and along the End Poverty Walkway. Participants will be invited to write their own footstep messages and to display them.

  • 12.20 Final Song

  • 12.25 Closing Remarks: MC

  • 12.30 – 1.30 Refreshments in the basement of Liberty Hall. All participants welcome

Dublin
Ireland