The date of October 17 has been chosen since 1993 by the United Nations (UN) to sensitize the whole world to the need to eradicate poverty in all countries.

“Poverty, which has raged unchecked for too long, is linked to social unrest and dangers to peace and security. On this International Day, let us invest in our common future by helping the poor escape their condition so that they in turn can help change the world. "

Source: UN website

This year, the theme is: "Ending the violence of poverty by fostering autonomy and building peace". Let us take this opportunity to reflect on the interest of this day and the concept of poverty.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- know the origins and objectives of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty;
- express their point of view by arguing about the relevance of this day;
- reflect on the concept of poverty;
- know the situation of poverty in the world;
- explain the social consequences for the poor in the world.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: A day against poverty

The first activity is to make sure that the students are all aware of the news. Here are some sources to consult:

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
description of the In-Earth-Active Network
In China, urban internet users are trying to live on a dollar a day

Suggestions: group viewing, reading aloud, personal or small group reading, etc.

Interactive map of poverty and hunger
Load the map, then click on the “theme” drop-down menu and choose Poverty and Hunger. It is even possible to make comparisons between two countries.
Then ask the students to verbally summarize what they saw or read. They could do this by creating a mind map (by hand or using software) of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
This mental map should present the origins of this day, its history and its objectives.
The pupils will then have to think individually about the interest of this day and be able to express their point of view on the subject. Do they find this day useful? Why?

ACTIVITY 2: Poverty in the world

Invite students to discuss the definition of poverty: what does “being poor” mean to them? What makes the difference with people who are not poor? Is being poor in a rich country the same as being poor in a developing country? What are the commonalities and the differences?
For the UN and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the definition is the same for all countries. By visiting the UN site, students will identify the “criteria” of poverty.
- What do the victims of poverty not have access to?
- What link can we make with the theme of the day in 2012?
- What are the objectives set to reduce poverty?

ACTIVITY 4: On a smaller scale

Invite your students to find out about organizations that help poor people in your area. What are these organizations? What type of clientele do they serve? What are their specific needs? If possible, organize a collection for one of these organizations: clothing, non-perishable food, others. The pupils will have to help each other to organize this collection and to give the fruits of their work to the chosen organization.

More about the magazine

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
UN website
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, on Wikipedia