2010 is the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Despite the fact that the European Union (EU) is one of the richest regions in the world, 17% of its citizens do not have the resources to meet their basic needs. It is often the most vulnerable -- children, minorities, persons with disabilities, the elderly -- that live in poverty.
Obviously, there is not one magic solution to end poverty. However, as educators we have a particular responsibility to address poverty and social exclusion in the educational realm. Some of the strategies recommended by the EU that pertain to education and training include:
- encourage involvement and political commitment from each and every segment of society to participate in preventing poverty and social exclusion;
- inspire each and every European citizen to participate in the struggle against poverty and social exclusion;
- and help deconstruct stereotypes and stigmas attached to poverty and social exclusion.