On 7-8 November, the European Anti-Poverty Network organized the 17th meeting of “People Experiencing Poverty” in Brussels. Every year the EAPN sets up a conference with different topics related to the problem of the poverty and this year it was focused on education and its importance to fight against deprivation.
The first panel was held by several people from the European institutions: Vera Hinterdorfer, EAPN Vice-President; a video intervention from Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social A?airs, Skills and Labour Mobility; Katarina Ivankovi? Kneževi?, Director for Social A?airs in DG Employment, Social A?airs and Inclusion of the European Commission and Florian Pecenka, Head of Unit, Department for Education, Science and Research at Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU. Moreover, there were several moments of testimonies and to share personal experiences both in a small working group and in a general assembly. The speakers that explained their past or current situation gave to the participants a deeply comprehension of the issue and the key impact of education when improving the life of people.
The speakers pointed out that there is a strict relation between education and poverty: in many European Member States people with a low level of education are situated in the poor classes of society. So, in this light, education is a way to achieve knowledge, gain skills and access to the labour market therefore it is one of the major activities to implement in order to go out from poverty and its condition. Due to these factors at the meeting the strong call was targeted to the European Institutions to do more for this issue but nevertheless to the civil society, the NGOs and charity to work together and alongside the Member States and European institutions.
It is also important to recall that there is a clear correlation between a good nutrition and a better education. For instance, scientific studies demonstrate that the provision of breakfast to students coming from families in need shows a huge improvement in the concentration in class and better results at the exams. Moreover, at school there are less conflicts and the environment between students and teacher is much more positive. A good nutrition has a positive impact not only on the education of children but also on the future of young generations.