KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – This year on my birthday I have one recent great life achievement to be proud of, see Poverty activist Kendall Worth receives prestigious achievement award.
Today, July 20th, is my birthday. Winning this award so close to my birthday was a birthday present all on its own!
Something else I have to be thankful for is all the support I have gotten from friends, including new people who have come into my life over the past couple of years. I had this support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the days of self isolation. Without mentioning names I just want to say a big thank you!
What really felt good was how I personally handled the COVID-19 pandemic days of self isolation. I did not have to depend on people like family members and it really felt good not to have to leave Halifax. I explained why this is so in this article: For many on social assistance moving back to rural Nova Scotia right now is a bad idea. I did not have to resort to making plans to be at my brother’s place 40 minutes outside of Antigonish to wait out the days of COVID-19.
I spent that time keeping busy the best I knew how. Winning the award and not having to make plans to be at my brother’s place made me feel I was living my life with a sense of self-worth for once. That is what I believe is the best birthday present I can give myself this year.
All this does not replace the friends I have lost over the last years. I wrote about that here: Downright difficult: Kendall Worth on friendships ending. Also, many people on income assistance have no friends at all. On my birthday it always works out that I am able to celebrate with at least one friend or depending on the year maybe a couple of friends. But many of those I advocate for end up celebrating their birthdays alone by themselves is pretty much what they do. Some of them tell me that going to the soup kitchen on their birthdays is pretty much their birthday celebration.
However, some income assistance recipients have recently told me that they saw this story here: Kendall Worth on friendship, poverty, and feeling discouraged. This is about a project in Ontario that lets people who live in poverty make new friends: Doctors’s orders: “Social prescriptions” have been shown to increase health.
I contacted a friend of mine who lives in Ontario who has knowledge of this social prescription program. I had asked them about whether or not celebrating your birthday with a friend through this program is ok or not? According to this friend it is no problem as long as certain guidelines and boundaries are followed. So this is one way to solve this problem.
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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