Guest post by Lesley-Ann Brown, Deputy Leader, Parramatta Pathfinders
The Parramatta Pathfinders had no idea what hit them on a recent cold Saturday evening. It all seemed like fun until the food raid! No chocolate bars for energy, no soft drinks for a quick sugar fix; just water and plain rice and crackers.
Designed by ADRA Australia, The Poverty Challenge gave Parramatta Pathfinders the opportunity to experience what life is like for the billions of people around the world living in poverty.
The Poverty Challenge is a poverty simulation. Pathfinders spent their night in a ‘family group’ where some were met with a disability or physical limitation. This family group would form part of their survival mechanism; working together to build makeshift shelters and rationing their food supply. Bed time arrived soon enough and all seemed peaceful.
However, for most who live in countries of civil unrest a peaceful sleep is a distant memory…
The midnight raid hit! Sirens, guns and soldiers. Awake from a peaceful slumber; enter utter pandemonium! Rebel soldiers marched each ‘Family group’ in the dead of night to a destination unknown. An hour passed and they returned to find their ‘village’ in utter ruins. Their shelter was completely destroyed and food rations scattered everywhere. A harsh reality was felt by all.
With the ‘rebel solders’ breathing down their necks and only minutes before bedtime (yet again) the united ‘family groups’ quickly disbanded. It was now survival of the fittest. Several soon became one as they found whatever was left of their supplies and laid down to get some much needed shut-eye.
Morning came too soon. There were sore bodies from sleeping on the ground and grumbling empty tummies - but first world luxury soon crept its head. That smell! Pancakes with chocolate, banana and maple syrup! The Poverty challenge had its hurdles and also its rewards. Nevertheless not one Pathfinder will forget their experience, nor what other young people just like them face each and every day.
Through their attendance Parramatta Pathfinders raised approximately $450 with all proceeds going to ADRA Australia.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40