REGION - Several youngsters from the Stawell and Ararat region are set to hit the road early next year on a mission to end poverty.
Steph Azzopardi, Kate Rethus, Meg Harrington, Demi Campigli and Candice Stephenson will join around one thousand ambassadors from across the state on the Roadtrip to End Poverty. They have been chosen to lead a nationwide campaign against global poverty and will take their message right to the doors of Parliament House in Canberra next March.
This will be the third Roadtrip campaign staged by Oaktree, an international aid and development agency managed entirely by volunteers under the age of 26.
Steph Azzopardi said she was looking forward to becoming involved in the campaign, as poverty unfortunately exists all around us.
"It is such a great thing to be involved in and a great opportunity to try and make a difference," she said.
"We will be getting people to show their support along the way by signing a petition.
"The petition is asking the federal government to set aside seven tenths of its budget and allocate that funding towards ending poverty.
"I truly believe that poverty can be ended, it just needs a force behind it."
Steph said she was aware that in some countries, people are forced to live on less than $2 a day. The Roadtrip aims to raise awareness of this fact and also bring an end to such atrocious conditions.
"It really does make it sound ridiculous when you compare how we live to people surviving on $2 a day," she said.
"The whole focus of the Roadtrip is on bringing an end to poverty and that is the message we will be getting out there."
Steph, 21, who is about to enter the final year of her journalism course at La Trobe University, said Roadtrip ambassadors would be aiming to get as many people involved as they can along the way before they reach Canberra, where a rally will take place.
She said as a Roadtrip ambassador, it was a great opportunity to make a difference.
"We're young, we live well and don't realise how lucky we are," Steph said.
"When you look at what other people go through and how they live, it will be good to be able to make a difference.
"Our concern is the government is forgetting the cause, so through the Roadtrip to End Poverty, we want to jog their memory a bit.
"Poverty is very real out there and we want the message to reach government, that more needs to be done to end it."