Games, No Poverty

10 chairs — a game about poverty

The aim is to explain to the children the notion of poverty. We will also discuss what the equal divide of global wealth should look like.

Step 1

This is a game for 10 children.

Ask the children to sit on the chairs (placed in line), facing the rest of the group/class. Every chair represents 1/10 of the world’s wealth (e.g. toys, clothes, cars, houses and flats, TVs, smartphones, etc.). Explain that wealth provides many possibilities and allows not only to buy new things, but also get access to education and high quality healthcare, go on exotic holidays, travel and communicate with the world. If the world’s population was only 10 people, each of them would get an equal share of the wealth.

Step 2

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many families, countries, and even whole continents are much more poor than others. In some countries children can not go to schools and some families do not have access to running water or sewage system. From the group of 10 children choose 2 to represent North America and Europe.

Ask the children about their opinion on how many of the chairs are taken by the wealthy countries. Apologise to the remaining 8 children and say that the chosen pair needs more space and will take eight chairs. They may sit on them comfortably or even lay down. The remaining 8 children should try to sit on the two chairs that are left. When they succeed (e.g. sit on each others’ lap, hold the backrest or sit in front of the chairs on their colleagues’ feet), ask the representatives of the poor countries about how they feel and whether they sit comfortably.

Conclude that both in the game and in real life many people (even from your country) do not have much money to spend. Ask the children whether they have met such a person or a family. What can we all do to help those in need?

Global poverty

One third of Earth’s population are children. Almost half of them live below the poverty threshold of 2 dollars of revenue per day. Poverty is also an issue in Europe, the US and Canada. There live around 30 millions of kids that suffer from poverty. Most children suffering from poverty live in Africa and South Asia. However, their living conditions have been improving over years. The amount of people living in extreme poverty is now lower by almost half compared to the data from the 1990s. At the same time, the death rate among the youngest children (below the age of 5) is twice lower — all thanks to the proper healthcare and vaccination.

“Sadly, the development is neither equal nor fair. The poorest children are twice more prone to malnutrition and death before they reach the age of 5 than their wealthy peers. Children of women who lack education are 3 times more prone to death before the age of 5 than the children of women who graduated middle schools. The girls from poor families are married off before reaching adulthood 2 times more frequently than the girls from wealthy families” .

Based on “The state of world’s children” report, UNICEF Polska

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Project is financed by European Union. This project is a part of global advocacy campaign of Habitat for Humanity aimed at improvement of access to land for a shelter.