Global poverty is the theme of school UN Day


HAMMONTON — For the third year in a row St. Joseph’s High School hosted United Nations Day, held on Oct. 22. And the subject this year was to find ways to eradicate poverty.

The school welcomed high school students from St. Mary’s of Gloucester City, John Paul II of Stratford, Assumption in Pomona and Wildwood Catholic High School.

“We had a speaker from the United Nations who spoke to us by satellite through the Internet,” said Bill Hocker, lead teacher for global studies and a teacher of U.S. history at St. Joseph’s. “We set up a 60-inch TV screen in the school along with a 40-inch flat screen monitor.”

The speaker was Jim Sniffin from the UN Environmental Department.

“He told the students that environment can lead to poverty, and poverty can affect the environment,” Hocker said. “In those areas of the world that are underdeveloped, if a catastrophe should strike, Sniffin said it is less likely that those areas affected will be fixed.”

Poverty is also influenced by the lack of gender equality which can lead hunger, Hocker pointed out.

In the morning of UN Day, students also heard from Bartolomeo Misana of Tanzania who appeared at the school through the efforts of Global Education Motivators which helped the planning of UN Day, Hocker said.

After listening to the speakers, the students went into rooms to come up with programs to end poverty, the teacher said. “Some of the ideas are pretty good. The students formed subcommittees and at the end of the day read their ideas to an audience. Their ideas will be reintroduced to a new group of students on Nov. 10 at UN Student Leadership Conference on Development to be held at the UN.”

Hocker said two students from St. Joseph’s will be chosen as ambassadors to go to the conference as moderators. The 80 students from this area set to go to the UN are from LaSalle High School and West Catholic High, both in Philadelphia, and Sterling High School in Stratford, along with St. Joseph’s.

United Nations Day is part of the UN’s information program that tries to link with and provide education for young people.

Asked if St. Joseph’s would host UN Day next year, Hocker said, “It looks good.”