Let’s talk about thát

Societal campaign Sire

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In our country 1 out of 13 children live in poverty. That adds up to over 250.000 kids. A mind-blowing number, in a country as prosperous as ours. That’s why SIRE wants to raise awareness in society for this important subject, on a public as well as a political level. They’ve asked us to develop a campaign.

Reason. Child poverty causes social exclusion

SIRE is an independent foundation established in 1967 by the Dutch communications industry. For more than fifty years they have been successfully raising national attention for societal issues that desperately need attention. This year they’re raising attention for child poverty in The Netherlands.

For more than 250.000 children in The Netherlands it is by no means a given to participate in sports or celebrate a birthday party. Children who live in poverty run the risk to be excluded socially. Because they don’t really talk about their situation. Or because they are embarrassed. Because they are not sure if their family allows them to talk about it. Or because they don’t know if it will help them. It isolates them. At a very young age.

Children in poverty are less likely to participate and therefore will participate lesser and lesser. How can we stop this?

Idea. Let’s talk about that

The first step towards a solution is to make it a topic of discussion. We have to talk about children in poverty in our country. In classrooms, in media and in the Dutch parliament. Conversation is the first step towards a solution. If no one talks about it, the problem will not be felt or understood. As a result, no solution will be developed and there will be no improvement.

That’s why we needed to open up the conversation. Introduce the problem. And emphasize the need to discuss this. Because it’s urgent. One out of 13 children in our country lives in poverty. Let’s talk about that!

We wanted the conversation to be started by the kids themselves. We let them speak. More often than not, others talk about them. We shifted the perspective and let children tell what they experience ‘in poverty’. What problems they run into. How they feel. They will talk about their experiences. They will tell us. And they will set an example for the rest of the country to follow.

Outcome. Children speaking

We have created a tv-commercial in which we see a young buy opening up to his classmates. Or so it seems. In reality he didn’t speak. As an audience we just saw his desire to share details about his personal situation. And more importantly: we see how extremely difficult it is for a child to confide their secret to others. This way we create awareness for the problem and introduce the important insight that we need to discuss this subject with each other.

The raised finger of the boy in the commercial is not just a random gesture. The finger he raises, is the one raised by the three main characters in our campaign: Anashya, Romy and Zakariyya. The finger they raise is for the ability to speak. It is their request for attention. It is the start of the conversation.

Together with Anashya, Romy and Zakariyya we made three very touching video’s in which they speak about their life in poverty to people close to them. The videos have turned into three beautifully honest conversations that show us how important it is that we as a society, together, have to ensure that poverty

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Sire video docu romy
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