Although social isolation has been identified as a potential cause and consequence of multidimensional poverty worldwide, its impact and importance continue to be under-recognized. In recent years, a handful of organizations have begun to explore and address the issue of social isolation head on, but much more remains to be done.
In October 2014 in Toronto, the Samuel Family Foundation hosted the first global symposium on Overcoming Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness along with convening partners including Synergos, TakingITGlobal, Special Olympics, and other collaborators.
Over the course of three days participants shared their own experiences and perspectives, exploring three key themes:
- Tracing linkages between social isolation and poverty
- Learning from stories of community resilience
- Fostering a sense of belonging and reciprocity
Through dialogue and creative sessions, started to build a collective understanding of isolation and the actions – local and global – that could be used to build connectedness.
Participants came from across spectrums of society, sectors, and the world. These included participants in Synergos’ work in Southern Africa to meet the needs of children affected by the poverty and the HIV/AIDS crisis, as well as other members of our global networks. That work was established in partnership with and with support from the Samuel Family Foundation.