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Saol Project

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Saol Project

Mission Statement
Saol is a community project focused on improving the lives of women affected by addiction and poverty

Vision Statement
Saol is working towards transforming the way in which Ireland responds to addiction and poverty.

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Scroll down for the Poverty Poem


(Scroll down further for the poem!)

17 October 2014

Learning from people who think night and day about poverty

People must have a voice and influence decisions that affect them

Leave No One Behind!

Help Us Wash Poverty Down The Drain!

Hundreds Expected to Commemorate 17 October

UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty at Dublin’s Docklands
Famine Memorial, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1
The #EndPoverty Day gathering – beginning at 10.30am near the Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay - is an opportunity for people and communities to have their voices heard through personal testimonies from people who experience poverty, as well as through music and an artwork exhibition
The programme includes
- the first public exhibition of the Poverty (Washing) Line prepared by the SAOL project (
- a minute's silence for victims of poverty joined up with delegates from the One Young World Summit at 12.05pm introduced by Lord Mayor Christy Burke,at the Convention Centre , who will represent the people gathered on the quay.
- the announcement of the appointment of Irish Aftercare Worker, Ms. Belinda Nugent to the International Committee for October 17 -
- the welcome of delegates from Poland ,where the 17 October will be marked in Warsaw and Kielce
- Presentation of leaflet informing about more than 20 events taking place in Ireland to mark UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty at Dublin’s Docklands - - majority of these events are supported by the UN Day awareness, initiative of the Department of Social Protection
Martin and Liam from North West Inner City Training and Development Project said in their message: “One of us was in the project for a year, doing well and then the project was pulled down. All the hope he had just went down. For every step he went forward, he felt he was going back ten. When again you have to go all the way back to the beginning, you can ask yourself “Why bother?” . People do lose hope, do lose faith in the system, they are frustrated, and they feel they are left abandoned, rejected... It is now much more difficult to feel part of the same society, to feel a sense of being equal citizens together, when there are such inequalities.”
Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, in his message of support wrote: “UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a significant date on the global calendar. I thank you for ensuring it is a day when we, in Ireland, join together with citizens across the world in a spirit of shared humanity as we seek for sustainable solutions to marginalization and poverty.”
The challenge set by the 2014 United Nations is: Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty. The call to “Leave no one behind” points to the urgent need to eliminate discrimination and marginalisation based on poverty, ethnic origin, gender, age, disability or economic and social status. The call “To think, decide and act together against extreme poverty” highlights the need for institutions to create genuine participatory mechanisms and to also work as partners with communities to strengthen their own support organisations.

The Irish 17 October Committee ( invites you to join people from all walks of life and from every sector of society who will come together to express solidarity with people experiencing poverty and social exclusion.

The UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty Commemoration – beginning on Friday 17 October at 11am close to the Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay, Dublin - is an opportunity for people and communities to have their voices heard through personal testimonies from people who experience poverty, as well as through music, stories, and presentations from school children. Different people will share their experiences and hopes.

The 2014 UN theme of the Day is :“Leave No One Behind:  Think, Decide and Act Together Against Extreme Poverty”. “Leave No One Behind”- means putting an end to discrimination based on social disadvantage, and ensuring that no one is forgotten in our efforts to build a more equitable world. “Think, Decide and Act Together Against Extreme Poverty”- means deciding to do what it takes to ensure that people living in extreme poverty become the primary partners in programmes to overcome poverty and promote development. Only by working together with them will we be able to ensure that no one is left out.

Follow news about the UN day in Ireland and worldwide: @17octcomIRL  and on - Tweet and support the worldwide mobilisation: #EndPoverty  - Join the Thunderclap : you can sign up to donate your social media profile (Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr) so that a message will be sent out all around the world all at the same time (17 October at 1:00 pm NY City time - just as the event at the United Nations is beginning):  - A Poster to invite around you can be downloaded at


Politicians, Obstructions, Violence, Emptiness, Rent-arrears, Tablets and You

The politician on the box with the scratch in her voice

Explains that she standing by her principles and has made the brave choice

And tells us that she’s stopped the dole from being cut

Ah, well, that’s great; that’s gonna’ get me outta this rut


Now I’m not complaining but my little one has asthma and ADHD

And the older one has mood swings and needs ‘speech and language therapy’

And the eldest won’t leave the house, some kind of teenage stress

And my husband can’t get a job, he’s got the wrong address.


And so he drinks a lot and gambles more

And sometimes, when it’s bad, he hits me before he hits the floor

And the oldest screams and rocks on his chair

While the youngest wheezes and pulls at his hair


Sitting in queues is how I spend me day

Filling in complicated forms until me hair turns grey

I have a PPS and a DOB and a next of kin who’s a head-wrecker

And if she asks me one more time why I’m not working I’m gonna’ deck her


Mrs, I had dreams of being a secretary when I grow up

With me long legs and me laptop and me own coffee cup

And I’d be going on holiday, like Ibiza in May

Till I woke up one Monday, puking and in the family way.


Course, my sister works in London, though she lives on her own

And my brother is on the weed and still takes the methadone

So I’m left minding the mother, with her memory and brittle bones,

Doctor says she’s grand for her age but can’t be left on her own.


Me rent is behind and I owe my ma, did I mention

She keeps digging us out using most of her pension

And the school trips are coming, so much for free education

Those young ones are lucky with their ‘forced emigration’


I used to go next door if I needed a cup of sugar,

But something changed since he lost his job, now we don’t really talk to each other

She has it tough on her own, two kids, no maintenance there

He legged it to Canada with a Culchie from Kildare


The St. Vincent de Paul put some food on the table 

And I get nice things for the kids whenever I’m able

And I’ll get a loan from the Provident when the communion comes around

And when they’re looking for payment, we won’t make a sound


And my nerves are all shattered and my hair needs ‘a do’

And my clothes are in tatters, I can’t afford anything new

Cos my son needs new trainers and a tracksuit for school 

And a new football jersey, he loves Liverpool


And do yous find all the homework a bit of a curse?

Me internet is down and it makes the whole evening worse

There’s two of them doing school projects and they have to trust to luck

Plus they’re out of the loop without their games and Facebook


And he’d be some use to us if he was no use at all

Cos there’s times when he’s helpful and brings smiles to us all

And then we remember the good times and it makes the bad days worse

Between the unemployment and the drinking this downturn’s a curse.


Ah, don’t be listening to me, me ma always said I was a bit too deep

I take a few of them tablets to help get me to sleep

I won’t get addicted though, I haven’t the time

Someone in the family has to stay fine.


If it’s rough for us, isn’t it worse for others

When I see the state of some kids around, me whole body shudders

And then the ones on the telly with no food and no hope and no roof but a tent,

You’d almost be glad to be paying your rent.


But the politicians will fix it, aren’t there elections coming

So many doorstep promises, sure we won’t want for nothing

A lie for a vote, always forgotten when elected

We’re the poor of 2014, and the poor are never respected.


Ah, listen to me! Go on, I’ll see you later, if I don’t go now I’ll be late,

Tell the family I was asking for them, the kids are looking great.

And if you see your woman, will you tell her from me,

That it’s the poor that are with us always and not the DSP. 



Pictures from October 17th 2014 »

Pictures from October 17th 2014 Photographs celebrating the day, all taken by the brilliant Tracey O'Brien

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First Irish Representative on the International Committee for October 17 »

First Irish Representative on the International Committee for October 17 SAOL is very proud to announce that Belinda Nugent has been selected to join the International Committee for October 17, working for the Eradication of Poverty. She is the first Irish representative to the committee.

more »

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