Louise Cameron, the Chair of SYP, spoke eloquently and passionately about the overwhelming support from MSYP (Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament) constituents to back and support a campaign seeking to eradicate child poverty in Scotland, where 1 in 5 children are growing up in poverty. Read the facts about child poverty in Scotland from Save the Children. Louise said that:
“Scotland could be the best place in the world to grow up” and that child povery was an “issue that transcends party politics” and that “together let’s do more!”
Supporting the event were many MSPs and MPs, including the MSP for Shettleston, John Mason (SNP) and the MP for Shettleston, Margaret Curran (Labour). John Mason said that, “challenging stigma to poverty and raising awareness to poverty” were key parts of the campaign. Margaret Curran stated that young people should be able to “fulfill their potential and make their own decisions of the life they want to live.” And that “life shouldn’t be determined by the postcode in which you were born.”
MSYP Nairn McDonald set out the aims for the campaign:
- SEE IT Raise awareness and let people see the reality of poverty in Scotland
- CHANGE IT MYSPs will work across the country speaking to young people, charities and other groups – changing attitdues and challenging stigma through peer to peer discussions.
- KEEP IT MYSPs will actively urge decision makers to ‘keep’ their committment to tackling poverty.
The campaign is already in full swing and thoughout the day MYSPs have been meeting with various charitable groups to learn more about what they do to alleviate child poverty and how the MYSPs can support their efforts. To find out more and chart the progress of the campaign follow the hashtag #seeitchangeit on Twitter.
To find out more about the Scottish Youth Parliament and how the MSYP are elected look here: http://www.syp.org.uk/about-syp-W21page-94-
If teachers wish to explore some of the issues around child poverty there are some thought provoking archive films from Scotland On Screen that can be used as great lesson starters.
Tam Trauchle’s Troubles (1934) is a fundraising film for the Glasgow Necessitous Children’s Holiday Camp Fund, which raised money to help send poor children on a holiday during the summer break.
Man Without A Wife (1970) is about a man whose wife left him to bring up six boys on his own and the difficulties he experienced.
Children of the City (1944) is a dramatised study of child delinquency in Dundee during World War II.
The Health of a City (1965) describes the foundation of day nurseries in Glasgow for children with missing parents.
Glasgow Today and Tomorrow (1949) outlines the Glasgow Corporation’s plans for the redevelopment of Glasgow, including the removal of slum housing and overcrowded tenemants.