Each paper doll represents a child living in poverty in Alberta. 73,000 paper dolls.

On November 20th, members of the Child Well-Being Initiative are heading to the Alberta Legislature to advocate for the end of child poverty in Alberta. These committed individuals have been diligently preparing and collecting paper dolls to demonstrate to Legislature, the seriousness of this issue. Individuals of all ages and backgrounds have gotten involved to support this cause.

I was introduced to Carolyn Pogue, local author and part of the Child Well-Being Initiative. When asked what the group hopes to accomplish through the project, she responded with the following statement.

“We want school lunch and breakfast programs for any hungry child. We want a higher minimum wage (Alberta’s is lowest in Canada.) We want more accessible day care and more affordable housing. How can people manage if they are couch surfing, sleeping in church basements or in cars? We want our government to implement a poverty elimination strategy. We want our government to understand that charity is not enough.”

Carolyn Pogue with Mayor Nenshi and singer Raffi Cavoukian

To understand the issue of child poverty in Alberta is the first step in the process to affect change. Not only by those in the government, but by all Albertans. Carolyn has observed this through the preparation process, which has proven to be quite moving. “The best thing, I think, is that while groups around the province were cutting dolls, they were thinking and talking about child poverty, telling stories, asking questions.”

There are many great charitable organizations doing their part to tackle local poverty. Engage in inquisitive dialogue and discover your views on this issue and how you can help.

To learn more about the Paper Doll Project:

http://www.childwellbeingalberta.org/paper-doll-project.html