In the last year and a bit, no one has put so much passion into a lecture/seminar/lab about poverty like you have today.
At the age of 4, my parents divorced and I became homeless. My mum struggled to pull money together for us, and for a while it was rough. We finally started to get into a more comfortable situation, but I'll never forget the way she worked for us, the amount of hardship she had to go through, the embarrassment she felt every day. I'll never forget how the care and love she gave us and how she wished she could give us more in life but couldn't because of our situation. My mum is my rock and she has put in so much love and care into my upbringing (which is hard to do with three children all under 4 who are homeless).
Things started to get better for us, but it fell apart a few years ago. We're currently classed as homeless again, and we are in temporary accommodation. My mum struggles to pay electricity bills and gas for heat.
Your lecture really hit a close place in my heart today because, after many lectures around this topic, you're the first to hit the nail on the head. Other lecturers just give facts and figures, or cast blame to parents. They make it sound like people in poverty are all walking around in ratty clothes, who are neglected and unloved, who go through so much pain in their lives and will never fight out of it. But today you showed that that's not the case.
My mum struggles with things most consider a luxury; people take granted they have heat and electricity. But many nights in my childhood we didn't have either - we'd go to bed curled up next to her for warmth and security when we didn't know what was going to happen to us.
My mum is an amazing human being, and you were a 100% right when you said that most lone parents dote on their children. My mum would give up her dinner to feed us, most nights we'd have boiled rice and gravy for dinner because it's all she could afford.
I just wanted to thank you for being so passionate about it, and for finally being the first to see it for what it is. For not clouding over details and making it sounds like either a worse case than it is or sweeping it under the rug. Whenever we've spoken about it before we mention how it's a taboo thing and we don't go into much detail. But today I had to hold back a clap because for once someone, someone outside our family, knows what we're going through. They understand what we've faced and how despite it we still had an amazing childhood. My mum struggled but she never let us see it. She always made a game out of it or would make it fun for us. We never knew we were struggling, and we never went unloved. She often would say "I wish I could give you more" and when we were older "I'm sorry I couldn't give you nearly as much as I wanted". But the way I see it she gave us more. She gave us unconditional love and she has helped us become the people we are today. We know the value of money now and we are a strong family unit. Yes, we're back in the same situation again, but we've done it before and came out strong, we can do it again.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how much I valued your lecture today and how grateful I am you understand the situations of families out there, and don't sugar coat it or sweep it aside. You nearly had me in tears and screaming "FINALLY someone gets it!"
Thank you so so much for today's lecture, it was interesting to see someone else understanding poverty the way those who go through it do. I really enjoyed hearing you speak today."