Every attitude, every gesture has to fight poverty and exclusion. There are many ways to act, regardless of our skills and availability. These messages, these testimonials reflect. Feel free to contribute.

Testimonies are published under the responsibility of the author. They are subject to validation: these will be published only if they comply, in form and substance the spirit of this day as defined in the International Charter for October 17.



Resembling the Stone

The Stone, a reflection of our lives intertwined as a sturdy slab.

Intertwined with affection, unity, harmony and interdependency.

We are learning to think positively.

We are learning to search for those courageous to face the truth and stand up for righteousness.

We are learning to handle injustice with prudence, tenderness and kindness.

We are learning to know our true selves through the grace of the Lord.

Give us the chance for mothers and fathers to bring up their own children,

For the new generation to have a benevolent, warm and secure future,

Where they are free to choose to work for the joy of their families,

To have jobs that bring pride and dignity to their lives.

The Stone is hope, not a shadow of destitution.

The Stone whispers out in search for the honorable luster of loyalty and equity.

The Stone calls out for voluntary minds to alleviate trouble and strife.

The Stone calls for those responsible for themselves, their families and society.

The Stone yearns for courage that helps the people and the land to survive.

Have we forgotten money is not the most important thing in a person’s life.

Have we forgotten democracy is not power to violate the rights of others.

Have we forgotten the law is a peace-keeping tool among the crowd.

Have we forgotten we all have the right to comfortable, peaceful and safe lives.

Selfishness makes us forget the future of our children, our lineage and our land.

Selfishness makes us forget the future of humanity and the environment.

Selfishness makes us forget ourselves and our future.

But in the graceful Stone lie our lives forever joined.

Aporn Poompanna


Translation : Ajarn Sasee Chanprapun

Aporn Poompann

Cold and Warmth

I address these words to the Church, to politicians and neighbours and to society as a whole. My theme is Cold and Warmth.

Children especially need a loving family like a warm nest.

But everybody needs a home, some emotional security.

A cold social atmosphere makes people shiver.

First, to the Church:

The church is a place where one should be able to recharge, isn't it …

Where one should feel at ease.

Why is it often sooo cold in our churches!?!?!?

Both denominations, protestant and catholic, should take some time to think about that.

After all, the Bible teaches us to embrace those people

who have no defences,

who must live on the verge of isolation, for instance because they are poor …

Nor should we make judgements

If someone has not studied, or is a different colour from us.

Where people are judged or condemned

there is no sense of emotional security.

There one fears to get hurt, or insulted.

I know that well.

Since I've only been to a special school

I am often excluded and pushed away.

At the f.i.t. Project, I am allowed to contribute.

That gives me strength and the courage to carry on living.

Now to the Politicians: Ladies and Gentlemen Politicians!

What is on your minds in everyday life? Politics, of course!

But what about the human beings, the little people!?!?!?

Aren't they left behind!?

Do you know how that is perceived at the bottom: when there are weeks of haggling about five Euros more in benefit for the long time unemployed – while billions are spent in the same year to save the banks?

Or politicians' salaries are raised substantially?

It is like a cold blast to us, the little people, that pushes us even further to the edge.

And what brash words are uttered!

If you were talking with us instead of about us,

you might develop a feel for what it means to be poor.

Many politicians want to be sooo Christian, or sooo socially minded

- then there should also be something to show for it.

Then you should take care that no-one is left behind …

that all are able to live – and don't have to take on five jobs, for instance,

so they can feed their families.

I also want to address individuals and society as a whole:

What happens if someone cannot go on, when he has to give up?

In the Me-first society he is given the cold shoulder, ignored.

Where is the neighbour, or society!?!?!?

There are good neighbours in our society. Unfortunately, they are few.

Where has warm hearted compassion gone!?!?!? Nothing but silence ….?

But we, the little people, won't remain silent today!

We can give each other love, tenderness and warmth -

with kind words, such as: “You are precious, yes you!!!

It isn't your fault that you have to live like that.

Don't give up!

If we all take part in that, you and I,

Then no-one will have to feel cold.

Damit niemand auf der Strecke bleibt!
Mrs L
United Kingdom

What can we do?

It is hard when you are in poverty; there is a world outside your window of sadness and fear where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears.

While we are thinking about October the 17 and people on the street we must also think of those poor families who cannot afford presents as Christmas is near and that every Christmas people on the street only hear the bells.

So what can we do to lighten up the day and bring joy to many people still living in poverty? But what can we do?

So I went out walking to think and I past a lot of trees, then it came to me, I had my note pad with me, and I started to write.....

No more shedding of tears

by Georgina

I went out walking to see if I could find any soil, but not just any soil.

It's got to be soil to help the poor, so it will make things grow and grow.

Something they can be proud of and lift their heads up high, with no more shedding of tears, but joy to a new world which they will make together.

Tired, so tired, I must rest for a while.

Suddenly I wake up.

A man was sitting next to me. I told him about the soil I wanted to get, he said to come with me to fill your dream.

He took me over the hill and there was the cave that was in my dream.

I went in the cave but where is the soil I do not see.  The man said to me "follow the light". I followed the light right to the end, and there, in the corner was a pile of soil.

I ran towards it and put the soil in my hands.

A feeling goes through my fingers and I'm sure this is the right soil.

It will make things grow and grow, where nothing has grown before.

Then it was time for me to go home. But not before the man asks me, "What is your precious thing in life?"

I answered my eye sight.  Without my sight, I could never see the beauty of the world.

I went back over the hill and stood at the top, and I wondered if Father Joseph had the same dream as me?

Now my pen has been put away, and there is nothing more to say.

Just to thank the Lord for this day.

United Kingdom

Why aren't we heard with our voices?

Oh why, oh why aren't we heard with our voices?

We cry aloud but we are not heard.

Oh why, oh why should we do as we are told by people of authority but we are not heard?

Oh why, oh why do they take our children away from us?

Oh why, oh why do they put our children into children's homes?

Oh why, oh why do they take our parenting rights away from us?

Oh why, oh why do we suffer in silence?

Oh why, oh why do we feel ashamed, as if we have committed a crime?

Oh why, oh why do we hide ourselves from humanity?

Oh why, oh why aren't we heard with our voices?

Oh why, oh why can't we unite and let our voices be heard?

United Kingdom

When you lose your children its like part of your life has been taken away from you.

The reason Social Services took my son and eldest daughter was because they have special needs.  When you lose your children, it's like part of your life has been taken away from you.  You are grieving but the child is still alive.  That is the saddest thing about it.  You shouldn't be grieving for a child that is still alive; you grieve for a child when it dies.  It creates a hole in your life, a gap that can't be filled.  Even today it's a gap that can't be filled because my eldest daughter is like a stranger to me.  I know she is my daughter but I don't know her, she is a complete stranger.  She is not my little girl any more.

When my second daughter was born, a professional said to us, "She could replace her sister." You can't replace a child for another.  They are two different persons.  They also say that after a long period of care or adoption, you can pick up the pieces and make up for lost time.  But the time is lost. That time you can't make up for, it's gone.

We had a family support worker around the time my eldest daughter was adopted.  I said to her that anything could happen in 14 years and (the support worker) turned around, thinking she knew it all, and said "Nothing will happen in 14 years."  But it did, I lost my wife.  My eldest daughter never got to see her mother, which is a great shame.  She would have liked to have seen her mother.  When my wife passed away, I saw my daughter for the first time after 15 years.  She was 18 years old.