I am a 55 yr old woman, State (Children's Aid) raised, Survivor of multiple abuses, 'mental illness' and breast cancer who was born and remains living in relative poverty, (i.e unable to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing with the small stipend of disability allowance in Ontario, Canada. ODSP Ontario Disability Support Program) though I have worked hard at menial labor where and when I could starting at a young age. Apart from the daily struggle to provide my body with the fuel it needs to fight cancer and to maintain adequate housing- housing in Toronto if adequate is unaffordable for the poor here- I consider myself to be a wealth of resource information talent skill and inspiration and see other so-called poor people in my community the same. Knowing the tremendous contributions we the the poor have and do make culturally, economically (low wages for huge corporations...et al), as activists, mutual supporters and care-givers to those even less fortunate. Poor people are among the most generous I know. (I gave a young poor man 2 cigarettes yesterday and he looked around for someone to give one of them to. I see this everyday) With these things and more in mind, I founded a web-site http://www.peacockpoverty.org Fighting Stigma. Inspiring Hope. with an aim to fighting the social exclusion, stigmatization and scapegoating of the poor in Canada, as well as bringing global struggles of poverty to the fore in solidarity believing we have much to teach and learn from each other. Together we CAN! We are looking to connect with other poor people who wish to have their say their way, highlight skills talents and inspiration...and community building.
We are not associated with agency or government and so our authentic Voices, out truth, may be communicated without compromising our integrity. Consequently- there is little to no funding available for such an enterprise but we plod on nonetheless and trust that our work will be supported and that we will help to change the perception of the public around the issues of poverty, exclusion and marginalization.
Thank-you Glad to be aboard.
Cheryl Smith http://www.peacockpoverty.org Joy Inspiration Faith Creativity are Opportunites writer, artist, poet, grass roots journalist, public speaking, community advocacy
My Vision for the Future
Hope and Healing for All