Just before Christmas break, UNICEF proposed and ran a poverty simulation for Grade 4 students. The simulation introduced them to some of the emotional effects poverty and the inequality of the living conditions that are rampant in some underprivileged parts of the world, where people are discriminated against for being who they are and the socio-economic class they occupy. During the simulation, the young learners were put into families who attempted to earn money to survive by working in different booths where they were required to do various tasks. Each family had a distinctive social status and condition, with both the well off and the economically challenged represented. The families were treated differently based on their monetary situations and paid according to their economic class, which caused those having the experience of representing families with lower social status to gain some insights into how emotionally painful the unequal treatment is. During the debrief of the activity, the 4th graders reflected on the experience of being treated so conspicuously unfairly for occupying a socio-economic level over which they had no control.
UNICEF’S WINTER CLOTHES DRIVE:
In late October and early November, UNICEF collected gently used donations of winter clothes from Upper School students to benefit the refugees aided by Christian Action, a non-profit organization based in Hong Kong. In a friendly class competition to “win” a free dress-down day, each grade also donated money in addition to the clothes, with the funds collected being NGO-distributed in a way to help most effectively those in the most need. The drive raised more than $2,000 and yielded 4 large boxes packed full of clothes.