This year a new National Service Project was released by Girl Guides of Canada. This year the NSP is looking at the problem of Poverty. The aim of the project is to make our members (from Sparks - Leaders) aware of what poverty is, why it happens and what we can do to combat the problems that poverty causes.
This is a big topic to tackle with Sparks. At first we were skeptical as to how we could get the girls to understand the issue of poverty and connect the actions they do to helping eliminate the problem of poverty.
To teach the girls what poverty is we did an activity to talk abuot children's hunger. We discovered that in North America 1 in 5 children experience hunger, not getting enough to eat on a regular basis. We talked abuot what its like when your hungry at home or school. Its hard to concentrate, sometimes you get grumpy and its not very fun.
In our unit of 15 we counted off 1- 5 and realized that potentially 3 of our group members would be not getting enough to eat. To make this idea more concrete we did an activity featuring something Sparks really love. Snacks!
For this activity we gave each girl a number between 1 and 5. Then we showed them several bowls of snacks. There were two large bowls of cereal (cheerios and Shred
dies), two medium bowls (gummy snacks and pretzels and two small bowls of candy (smarties and rockets). We told them that the cereal represented breakfast, lunch and dinner - foods you need to have to grow up healthy and strong. The pretzels and gummys represented snacks - foods that are good but not essential. The candy were treats - extra special things we get sometimes. Each girl was given a dixie cup and then we called up numbers.
Girls with numbers 1 and 2 could take food from every bowl. They all had to take some cereal as it represented meals but could then fill freely from the other bowls.
Girls with numbers 3 and 4 could take what they wanted from the cereal and snacks bowls but couldn't take any treats.
Girls with number 5 could only take from the cereal bowl and they were only allowed to fill their cups 1/2 way full.
After all of the girls got their snacks we brought them back to the circle and talked about the experience. What was it like to get everything you wanted vs. only getting cereal. Was it fair? What would it be like if you never got to have treats?
The girls really seemed to understand the importance of food for all. They didn't like hunger was reality for many kids and they wanted to figure out some ways to help.
After our discussion girls who didn't get any treats or snacks got to go up and fill their cups. We then enjoyed our snacks and moved onto some games and songs.