So, the long await is over. Unlike Sting who has famously referred to himself as an English man in New York, I am an African American man in Dublin Ireland. From the moment I arrived here I began to feel a sense of urgency. I am here doing a behavior health study abroad with a focus on homelessness. As a case manager and soon to be BSW graduate I immediately was able to feel and identify several UN sustainable development goals. This only re-affirmed for me why I had to go on this trip and have this experience. This opportunity can and has already enhanced my awareness, willingness and commitment to serve as a Social Worker.
The first of many UN sustainable goals that stood out for me was #1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere. Although the immediate pressing social issue in Dublin is lack of housing and affordable housing in particular, poverty directly correlates to this issue. Citizens here simply can not live in Dublin because the low-income families have no affordable housing thus creating homelessness. Goal #8 Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all also stood out. The minimum wage here is 13Euros an hour. I think paying workers this type of wage is great for economic growth as this will put more money into the local economy thus hopefully creating more jobs.
I suppose my Aha moment was realizing that 13Euros is not nearly enough to end poverty or homelessness. It barely can sustain one person in Dublin. An average 1-bedroom apartment in Dublin is 1900 Euros. Finally, I would say that I feel strong in my support for a more socialist system but I now realize that its not the progressive utopia that I had romanticized