Last weekend our 11-14s at Belmont did something called Slum Survivor where 18 of them and 3 of us leaders spent a few days the way a billion spend a lifetime - Living in slums. All weekend we ate nothing but rice and lentils and there were several challenges to simulate some of the things slum dwellers might experience every day of their lives.
The first challenge was building the slum. We had wooden pallets, plastic sheets, cloths, duct tape, etc and they had to build the slum village that we would be living in all weekend.
Then there was the rebuilding challenge. 3 of the homes were selected for clearing and were demolished and so the community had to work together to rebuild their homes.
There was a water collection challenge, a scrap soccer challenge and a crime challenge too.
Also, 2 of the group were told that they had contracted HIV and they had to walk to the nearest hospital to get treatment. This meant walking around Belmont for over an hour for a chocolate orange, only to find out that they would be denied treatment at the end of it all!
We had a lot of fun but it was also a tough experience and it was definitely a real insight into how hard it can be living in a slum. Or at least, it gave us a tiny glimpse of the reality.
We were raising money for Tearfund, working with slum dwellers around the world and we hope to collect sponsor money over the next few weeks of around £500.
I've just finished editing the DVD so ask me for a look!
Well done to everyone who took part. You're awesome!