That they are poor because they want to. That they like to live from above. That young people are violent and consumers of alcohol and substances in excess. Some of the main prejudices around poverty, shared by a good part of our society, they have no support in reality.

This is stated by the director of the Observatory of the Argentine Social Debt of the UCA, Agustín Salvia; the director of the Techo Social Research Center, Gabriela Arrastúa, and Juan José Alberdi, in charge of the youth groups of the Franciscan Foundation, who works with families in poverty. The specialists and referents were consulted to answer some of the beliefs rooted in the collective imagination, which were evidenced in the survey that the Voices! made for LA NACION last year.

According to the aforementioned survey, 77% of Argentines believe that people living in poverty suffer discrimination. Among other of the most widespread myths, the study revealed that 58% share the belief that poor young people are violent and consume drugs and alcohol, and that 54% think that poor people do not get out of poverty because they do not work properly. enough. But there is more: among the different prejudices it also appears that people who live in the villages do better than one because they do not pay for services and that they have more children to receive more assistance from the State.

“They do not get a decent job”

However, for Agustín Salvia, the idea that the poor do not work enough is a myth that falsifies reality. According to the specialist, people living in poverty work daily. “But they don’t get a decent job, quality. Therefore, despite all their efforts on the market as well as to obtain additional income, they do not manage to have a horizon beyond the day to day despite all the work they do for their survival, “he explains.

People living in poverty work every day

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“They pay with effort, health and money”

For her part, Gabriela Arrastúa maintains that, who affirms that families in popular neighborhoods do not want to pay for services, is denying two realities: that in popular neighborhoods no formal basic services and that, therefore, what they get they pay more expensive. “They pay it with their effort, with their health and also with their money. For example, they have to look for alternatives to access gas such as carafes and, to access water, drill holes that operate with electric pumps. As they lack sewers , they have blind wells that often end polluting the water that families consume, “he adds.

Gabriela Arrastúa maintains that whoever affirms that the families of the popular neighborhoods do not want to pay for the services, is denying two realities

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“A look without judgment, a word of encouragement”

According to the report “Radiography of youths in Argentina”, prepared by the Observatory of Social Debt Argentina, young people from the marginal working class have 10 times more chances of not having social, mutual or prepaid work than the richest; seven times more likely not to study or work; six times less opportunities to have personal projects, and three times more likely to experience a structural social support deficit. However, according to figures from that institution, only 9% of young people from the marginal working class have problematic substance use.

That is why Juan José Alberdi, from the Franciscan Foundation, considers the commitment of the whole of society to be essential to prevent young people living in vulnerable contexts from experiencing situations of violence or problematic consumption. “Experience shows us that when a young person receives a look without judgment, a word of encouragement or a place of belonging and expression, this can help them to display their capacities at the service of society”, he reflects.

Juan José Alberdi, from the Franciscan Foundation, considers the commitment of all of society to be essential to prevent young people living in vulnerable contexts from experiencing situations of violence or problematic consumption.

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The proliferation of myths and stigmatizing stereotypes towards people living in poverty is one of the ways in which the socioeconomic racism, a type of discrimination that Inadi has been denouncing for years. In the report “Understanding discrimination”, released by the agency, it is argued that “the relationship between racism and poverty becomes evident when expressions associated with classical biologic racism (‘they are blacks’) or cultural racism are heard, example, devalue the habits and tastes of the popular classes. “

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Araceli Ledesma, from the Luis Lagomarsino neighborhood work table, explains why the belief that people who live in popular neighborhoods do not pay for services is false and tell their experience.

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