FREDERICTON (GNB) – The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be observed in New Brunswick and around the world on Friday, Oct. 17. This year’s theme is Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty.

The 2014 theme, chosen by the United Nations, recognizes the challenge of identifying and securing the participation of those experiencing extreme poverty and social exclusion.

The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation and the 12 Community Inclusion Networks throughout the province invite New Brunswickers to join in solidarity with those living in poverty and work together to improve their quality of life.

“On this special day, and every day of the year, I encourage everyone to demonstrate our solidarity with people living in poverty,” said Government Services Minister Ed Doherty, who is also minister responsible for the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation. “Through our commitments and actions, small gestures such as volunteering time with a local literacy program, helping out a senior citizen with domestic chores, or even just taking the time to chat with a homeless person can make a big difference in someone’s life.”

The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation is responsible for the implementation of Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan. Adopted in 2009, the plan is an innovative and unique approach to bring together government, business, community and individuals to be a part of a strategy geared towards New Brunswickers so they can live in dignity, safety, and good health. All residents should have the same opportunities in terms of employment, personal development, and community involvement.

As part of the plan, more than 200 community development projects have been approved or implemented. These projects include initiatives on community transportation, literacy and early childhood learning, food security and healthy eating habits, community gardens, and financial literacy. This has been achieved thanks to the efforts of the community inclusion networks and the 3,500 people who have volunteered their time and knowledge. These efforts have directly impacted the lives of more than 25,000 people.

The corporation also acknowledges the hundreds of non-profit organizations which play a critical role in the reduction of poverty.

The corporation is a non-partisan Crown corporation that co-ordinates and implements the Overcoming Poverty Together strategy. The corporation's board of directors has 22 members representing government, business, non-profit community organizations, and people who have experienced poverty.