Did you know more than 3 million Australians are living below the poverty line? Anti-Poverty Week, with UNSW as a major partner, highlights the consequences of poverty, whilst encouraging Australians to work together and find solutions to eradicate poverty.

For Anti-Poverty Week, the Division of EDI partnered with UNSW Law student, Elle Belekas, to hold a Krispy Kreme fundraiser outside UNSW’s main library. The stall, led by Elle and four other student volunteers, quickly gained momentum. All 360 doughnuts sold out and proceeds were donated to the charity, St Laurence House. The charity assists youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Elle Belekas says many Australians are unaware of how pervasive poverty is. Having been a prolific volunteer since she was young, Elle has witnessed firsthand how lower socio-economic status can hinder the trajectory and success of a child’s life. “I am perturbed by the number of children growing up in families with a limited capacity to afford food, clothes, medical treatments, schoolbooks, as well as the cycle that poverty perpetuates,” Elle says.

For example, young people living in poverty may lack the support or the finances to celebrate a birthday. Funds from the Krispy Kreme sale will be used by St Laurence House to arrange birthday dinners and gifts for youth going through financial hardship.

Elle believes it’s everyone’s duty to uplift others – especially those in difficult financial circumstances. “The feeling of having been able to put a smile on even one person's face makes it all worthwhile," Elle says.

Click here to learn more about Anti Poverty Week. UNSW also has a Financial Inclusion Action Plan to help support students experiencing financial hardship and stress.