WELCOME

Welcome to the Keep The Promise website. Currently, 1 in 5 children in Canada live in poverty. This is a national disgrace and represents a huge threat to the future of our country. We must take action. This website contains a rich suite of ideas, resources, links and contacts that can help you engage with others who are taking action. We invite you to explore the site, use the resources that are here and link with our partners.

Keep The Promise was a two-year campaign, launched in 2013, to reignite the commitment of Canadians and their governments to end child poverty for good. This effort was inspired by June Callwood, and supported by the many individuals and organizations listed on this website, and by schools from across Canada. For a summary of what was accomplished during the life of the campaign, please click here.

While the campaign has concluded, the effort is ongoing and promising, thanks in large part to our two primary partners, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and Campaign 2000 – End Child and Family Poverty in Canada.

For the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (info@imagine-action.ca) continues to offer an opportunity for classrooms across Canada to engage in an action project of their own making related to child poverty, complete with financial, print, multimedia and other curricular resources for teachers.

Campaign 2000 (AnitaKH@familyservicetoronto.org) has committed to maintain this website over the same period of time, and offers opportunities for all Canadians—children, youth and adults—to make their voices heard as advocates for bringing an end to child poverty in Canada.

We encourage you to explore the resources available from both of these organizational partners, and on this website. Through all of us, the effort continues.

A PROMISE BROKEN

All kids know that a promise counts. Broken promises hurt. Keep The Promise helps kids remind adults that they have not kept their promise to end child poverty in Canada. Today, over one million kids don’t have a place to live or enough to eat. Hungry, tired kids have trouble paying attention in school and often don’t do as well as other kids. This isn’t fair.

In 1989, the House of Commons unanimously committed to end child poverty. 

On January 30, 2015, marking 25 years since the unanimous motion to end child poverty was passed by the House of Commons in 1989, a new motion—M-534 put forward by MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan—was debated in the House of Commons. On February 04, it was subsequently passed, only one vote shy of unanimity.


Keep The Promise (KTP) is a two-year campaign to work with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Campaign 2000 and other partners to reignite the commitment of Canadians and our governments to end child poverty now.

WHAT IS “KEEP THE PROMISE”?

No child in Canada should live in poverty.


Inspired by activist June Callwood’s example, Keep The Promise (KTP) is a coalition of volunteers and organizations deeply committed to ending child poverty across Canada. Our members are recognized leaders in the arts, education, the media, law, refugee work and social change. Our partners include Family Service Toronto, Campaign 2000: End Child Poverty in Canada, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Jessie’s: the June Callwood Center for Young Women, Citizens for Public Justice, and members of various faith communities.

We believe the key to ending child poverty includes:

  • availability of good jobs
  • income security programs
  • affordable housing
  • accessible childcare

Federal, provincial, municipal and territorial governments have a central role in achieving these policies and programs.  To create the required citizen engagement to achieve progress on these issues, we also have to work at the local level. We want to engage youth, giving them leadership experience and enabling their voices to be heard.

Keep The Promise will:

  • increase awareness among kids and youth about child poverty in Canada
  • support kids and youth in taking leadership roles in calling for government action to end child poverty
  • connect students with other existing groups who are working for the changes we seek.

Our Program Plan

KTP set out to work with schools and community-based organizations to develop activities that build local involvement in efforts to end child poverty. We imagined our contribution to be our grasp of the issues, our ability to leverage resources and our capacity to build networks that link kids and youth to local efforts and to provincial and national initiatives.

To achieve our plan, we committed to the following:

  1. Collaborate with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation to initially launch projects in 25 schools across Canada where kids will develop activities to support the “End Child Poverty” initiative. This initial launch will open doors to a national mobilization of students working towards positive change.
  2. Develop a social media campaign that will engage youth nationally.
  3. Organize live and virtual assemblies that will give a public face and voice to the issue of child poverty and its impact on socio-economic health, including a delegation of kids and youth to Ottawa in 2014 and 2015.
  4. Document lessons and models that can be replicated.
  5. Create an open-access storehouse of resources related to the project.

Our accomplishments have been documented in the Keep the Promise Newsletter August 2015.

In 2015-16, our partners at CTF will once again engage with schools across Canada to undertake local projects to learn about child poverty in their own communities, and to push for creative local, regional and national solutions.

Our Promises

The outcomes we seek:

  1. At least  2500 kids in schools across Canada engaged in creating ‘End Child Poverty’ projects, where they will develop new skills in:
    • Citizenship and democratic action
    • Research skills related to poverty
    • Social change and advocacy
    • Use of Internet for advocacy
  2. Deepened understanding of the determinants of child poverty among youth, parents and teachers
  3. Increased support for policy initiatives that are essential to eradicating child poverty
  4. Increased pressure on political leaders to give priority on their agendas to child poverty
  5. New awareness of and engagement with other organizations working on child poverty among participants
  6. Engaged teachers with new interest/ability to teach poverty issues
  7. New curriculum materials related to child poverty

How we’ll keep our Promises

Keep The Promise operated with an exceptional talent pool of proven leaders and patrons including Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld, Mary Jo Leddy, James Bartleman, Sally Armstrong, Pedro Barata, Anna Porter, Arlene Perly Rae, Valerie Pringle, Molly Johnson, Laurel Rothman and Michael Cooke.  In 2015-16, we will continue our efforts through the work of Family Service Toronto and Campaign 2000: End Child Poverty in Canada, and equally through a partnership with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.