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Inspired by Blake’s initiative, the youth of School2School decided to start a Make Poverty History banner to be signed by youth and school communities across Canada. The banner would show the Canadian government that our youth are passionate about Canada taking a leadership role in addressing global poverty.
With Blake’s help, the youth achieved an exact replica of his banner and the School2School Make Poverty History Student Banner Tour was born.
Since November the School2School banner has travelled to 33 schools and three universities. Many of these schools are in Toronto, but several are in Lindsay and Hamilton, Ontario. Part of the banner campaign included an extensive 13-school tour of Hamilton organized by Linda Lannigan.
In less than a year, the School2School Make Poverty History Student Banner has touched the lives of thousands of students in Southern Ontario. The banner even received interest from schools located in both the East and West coasts, showing that youth support for the Make Poverty History campaign is nationwide.
With thousands of student signatures on the School2School Make Poverty History banner, the group plans to present the banner to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to show him that Canada’s youth-the country’s “greatest resource”-are urging him to make ending global poverty one of the government’s top priorities.
For the first time in history, we as a global society have the resources necessary to end the most extreme forms of poverty. The actions we take and the choices we make in the next five years will have an astronomical impact on the way our world will look a hundred years from now. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the rest of humankind to take action in this pivotal time of our day and age. Our youth know this and have recognized that the time for change is now.
Joshua and Jason Liu are students at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School and founding members of their school’s social justice group.