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Saul Castanon

Burnaby. I was born in Guatemala, a country that struggles in poverty, and where it is normal to see people making huge efforts to survive anywhere they go.

I did not expect to see similar situations in a country as wealthy as Canada, where most people enjoy a high standard of living. I had a hard time understanding why there are people begging on the streets, if there are plenty of shelters and food banks, until I stumbled with the facts of social assistance.

People deserve better. I know by a fact that everyone on welfare keeps a personal wish to be better off. These people once had dreams and passions, and now for whatever reason life has giving, they are living the challenge of survival.

As a healthy society, I believe that is our duty to stand by that people in need; and as citizens, it is our obligation to request that our authorities in government stand by their solidarity duty as facilitators of an inclusive, democratic and strong society.

I truly hope that by taking this challenge, all of us will give a voice to those not properly heard; and that welfare assistance will be a more human one in the years to come.

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