SDG 1 calls for an end to poverty in all its forms by the year 2030. Achieving this goal means seeing a reduction in the number of people living on less than $1.25 USD per day. The more people earn, the more they can spend on their basic needs. One of the ways the UN hopes to do this is by implementing social protection systems at the national level to support the poor and vulnerable. That is no easy task, especially given that not everyone experiences poverty the same way. “Of all the provinces, Saskatchewan has the second-highest percentage of children living in poverty. For total numbers including adults, the province is third overall at 26.2 per cent.” So while poverty is certainly defined differently globally, it is important for USask graduates to be empowered to act locally as well.
- understand the concepts of relative and absolute poverty, while critically reflecting on their underlying cultural assumptions and practices.
- be aware of the local, national and international distribution of poverty and wealth, as well as a collection of poverty reduction strategies.
- collaborate with others to empower individuals and communities to affect change, raise awareness and encourage dialogue and solutions regarding poverty.
- evaluate, participate and propose solutions to systemic problems related to poverty.
Media – How does the media present poverty? Locally? Nationally? Internationally?
Oppression and genocide – How is poverty a form of oppression?
Consumerism – Do our consumer habits impact the lives of others? If yes, how?
Health and biotechnology – What are the impacts of poverty on a person’s health?
Environment – How do environmental concerns like climate change impact poverty?
Gender politics – How does gender impact a person’s experience with poverty?
Poverty, wealth and power – How does access to power and wealth relate to poverty?
Social justice and human rights – What can we do to support people in poverty? Locally? Nationally? Internationally?
Indigenous peoples – In what ways do Indigenous people experience poverty uniquely?
Peace and conflict – What can be done to resolve poverty at different system levels?
Help students research a local effort to reduce poverty: foodbanks, school food programs, homeless shelters, local charities or the United Way. Have students contribute time to supporting and complete a reflection of their experiences. What did they notice? What do they wonder? How did the experience change their knowledge, skills, or attitudes?
Ask students to use global data on poverty such as World Poverty Map to describe nuances between different countries. This might be about policy, practices, cultural norms, historical contexts, or other factors.
Design solutions for Canada’s poverty concerns by reviewing Canada Without Poverty. Have students identify problems and design solutions within specific parameters.