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We believe that child poverty in our country can and must be eliminated, and that a national strategy is necessary.

About two dozen handmade rag dolls lined up on a couch
Dolls of Hope
Credit: Ann Stokes/Bread Not Stones

On November 21, 2017, representatives of the Bread Not Stones Project and The United Church of Canada will be hosted on Parliament Hill by the All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus.

We will be their guests at a Breakfast and Panel Discussion in recognition of the United Nations Universal Children’s Day, November 20. We're partnering with two other well-known agencies—Campaign 2000 and Citizens for Public Justice. 338 Dolls of Hope will accompany us, and will be delivered to all MPs.

Each doll represents a child in poverty in our country. They have been created with care by women, men, and children across the country. They are presented to politicians and others of influence who can make a difference. Have a look at the wonderful photo album created by Brian Dalton of London, ON. Rag doll workshops galore were held to create the 338 dolls!

On this special day, Campaign 2000 will also release its Annual Report on Child and Family Poverty and will host a press conference, in which Bread Not Stones and Citizens for Public Justice will also participate.

Bread Not Stones will have the opportunity to raise concerns with officials about existing funding gaps for services for children in First Nations communities, the need for a $15 per hour minimum wage for every worker nationwide, and addressing extreme global income inequality by working with other nations to eliminate tax havens at home and abroad.

At the heart of the Bread Not Stones project is the Child Wellbeing Initiative, launched in 2006—the inspiration of the remarkable women in the United Church in Alberta and Northwest Conference. They were outraged by the number of children in poverty in their province and introduced rag dolls and paper dolls as their powerful symbols. They have since delivered 87 rag dolls and 70,000 paper dolls to the Alberta legislature. Following in their footsteps, the women, men, and children of London Conference have created a strong initiative in their area. Joined by others from across Ontario, they delivered 107 rag Dolls of Hope to the Ontario legislature in November 2016. Women in the Maritime Conference have also been especially active in this project.

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