Why does CAPRA matter to me?

I believe in the power of community. I believe in telling people’s stories and learning from the experiences of others, because I understand that this is how we make better decisions in the future.

I see CAPRA as a tool to understand poverty in my community and examine what that really means and why it’s an issue. It’s allowed me to understand the needs of our community and better yet, to be encouraged by the hundreds of groups working together to address systemic change on a local level.

It’s important for me to be involved because I have the privilege to be properly housed, have new clothes, fresh fruit in my home and a powerful community of people that love and support me. I’m aware that without the opportunities and tools I’ve been lucky to have in my life, things would likely look much different for me.

I’m lucky enough to have the ability to manage money, I have steady employment and I have connections and people who care and support and encourage me. I have awareness of social programs, of support services and I have the vocabulary to advocate for myself. Thanks to the skills and opportunities I have, my son will never be hungry and I know we will be housed and loved.

As someone with these luxuries, I feel a responsibility to my community to help to advocate for those who don’t. I don’t often have money to contribute to causes financially, but I have a genuine care and interest in people and I can share their stories, build relationships and maybe even influence change through awareness.

To me, CAPRA is a means to a stronger community and a reminder that for every challenge our community faces there is always a group people working together to make things better.

Kalisha Mendonsa