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Tonight 1 in 9 children in Ireland will go to bed scared and hungry because they are living in poverty.
Children living in poverty spend their childhood on the margins, excluded from many things that are considered basics in society, the things that every little boy and girl deserve. Children like Noah.
Noah is 6 years old and lives with his mum and baby brother in a deprived, run-down area. Their home has been broken into a number of times, and violence and drug use are rife in their neighbourhood.
Noah’s Mum will go hungry to feed her two boys.
As the weather gets colder, she will have to decide whether to feed the family, or heat their home and keep the lights on as the evenings draw in.
Noah spends all day inside, his mum is scared to let him out. Noah’s mum wants better for her two sons. She just doesn’t see any way out of the black hole they’re in.
When Noah first came to Barnardos he wouldn’t talk. Noah’s project worker got some paper and coloured pencils and asked Noah to draw his “House of Worries” and to put in everything that worried him.
The picture he painted was bleak. He drew his mum with a sad face, a fridge with no food in it, himself in bed keeping warm and a big angry looking man with a knife outside. Next Noah drew a “House of Good Things”. Noah drew his baby brother big and smiling, taking up most of the space.
Lastly, Noah drew a picture of his “House of Dreams”. He drew trees, flowers and a shining sun. He drew spaghetti bolognaise and sausages and himself, his mum, and his baby brother all smiling and laughing.
Like any 6 year old Noah only wants simple things - food in his belly and for his family to feel safe, secure, and happy.
With your help we can make this dream a reality for Noah. Noah will attend Barnardos Breakfast Club and After School Group where he’ll get a hot nutritious meal every day, and have space to play and to make new friends.
His mum will attend Barnardos Parenting Workshops and Support Groups where she’ll get practical support with things like budgeting and help accessing the right services for her children.
With your support Barnardos can be there for vulnerable children like Noah and their families. Our centres provide a lifeline to children and families - giving them a safe space, a friendly face and proven programmes to help them escape the vicious cycle of poverty and improve their lives, no matter their circumstance.
By supporting Barnardos National Collection Day kindly supported by Dell on Friday 14th September – you can help end the nightmare that is child poverty.