Suchismita Majumdar, Communications & Policy Officer, ESDEG
London Challenge Poverty Week (LCPW) begins today and we at ESDEG feel this is a great opportunity to get together with 4in10 and the other charities to raise awareness about the reality of poverty at the grassroots level in London, the vicious cycle of systemic and racial injustice, and the devastating impact poverty has on the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of millions of Londoners.
Coping with high levels of inflation and cost of living crisis have become a way of life for Londoners and the worst affected are those at the very bottom who were already struggling financially when the crisis hit. The figures paint a grim picture and those of us working at the grassroots level in the most deprived pockets of the city witness this every day in the community. It is through sheer resilience and never-die spirit that the Londoners are braving this crisis with the help of their local communities who have come together to help each other in a wonderful show of solidarity.
We agree with 4in10 that the upcoming local and national elections in 2024 is a good opportunity to tell those who will be representing us for the next five years that we need real system change. We also want to highlight how local communities and organisations have devised solutions to many of the issues relating to poverty and how these could easily be replicated at a broader level to bring us one step closer to a poverty free existence.
Last but not the least through this challenge we want to reiterate that everyone has the right to a life of dignity and this is only possible when we are set free from the traps of poverty.
Over the next six days we will be sharing through a series of blog posts some of the initiatives that we as a grassroots organisation run to provide a helping hand to those who are struggling the most. We have organised the posts on three broad themes namely
- Food Insecurity and Hunger
- Supporting the Youth
- Mental Health Support
We would be trying to explain the impact of poverty through the prism of these themes and show how initiatives at the grassroots level which are planned with the community and executed through their active participation and not imposed top-down can have significant positive impact on numerous lives.
We hope that these posts would help spread awareness about the situation at the grassroots and together we aim to amplify our voice and be heard by the decision-makers who would be making the changes in the system to ease the cost-of-living crisis.