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The Roles We Play - Recognising the Contribution of People in Poverty

01 February 2016

Volunteer Now was delighted to attend a photographic exhibition in the Ulster Hall from ATD Fourth World, a human rights based, anti-poverty organisation.

'The Roles We Play' is currently touring the UK and aims to challenge the negative stereotypes of people who experience poverty and social exclusion.  The exhibition charts the contribution of people living in poverty in the UK today within their families, communities and society at large.  It aims to challenge negative stereotypes of people who experience poverty and social exclusion.  A full colour publication of the photographs and stories accompanies the exhibition and is available to order or download at  www.atd-uk.org

It was a pleasure to meet some of those featured in the exhibition who were happy to share their stories and experiences….

Like Moraene, a disabled mother of three.  Moraene can' get employment due to the amount of time she needs to attend medical appointments and treatments but has always been involved in community activites and volunteering.  She knows she is of value to her community and to society but feels she is invisible to those who don’t know her and stigmatised by the headlines they read and often too quick to judge.  As part of this ATD Fouth World project, Moraene is encouraging people to celebrate the strengths, resilience and the things that people in poverty contribute.

And Thomas, a carer for his son who has special needs.  Thomas recognises the importance of this project in getting a variety of opinions out in the world from a variety of people who have lived the life they talk about in the book.  He believes that an unbiased look at real life rather than a biased, one-sided opinion (which the media often portray) is crucial.  He says, "A lot of the time people perceive you as lazy and not wanting to do anything but it's not a case of not wanting to.  People in poverty aren’t there through choice; it's just through a set amount of things that happen.  One day you can be on top of the world and two days later at the bottom"

Read more stories at www.therolesweplay.co.uk

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