"Slum Survivor" challenge, end-October 2007

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Slum Survivor aims to raise awareness about urban poverty and to provide ways for people to contribute to practical solutions to the plight of the world’s poor. Over one billion people on the planet live in slums, often in situations of extreme poverty. The hope was that by raising awareness of this situation among the young people who participated in Slum Survivor and the wider public, we can help create a world where people are set free from poverty and able to pursue lives of dignity and hope."

Slum Survivor was a simulation event designed by Soul Action, a joint initiative by the charities Tearfund and Soul Survivor. All money raised through Slum Survivor will be donated to projects that Soul Action supports in poor communities in South Africa, Zimbabwe and around the world. The 14 young people from Winterslow and Whiteparish built and lived in their own “slum houses” and participated in a series of challenges over two days and two nights. The first night they were in Winterslow, St John’s churchyard, and the following night in All Saints, Whiteparish. They were only allowed two meals a day of rice and lentils and one sleeping bag as bedding and no change of clothing was allowed either.

On the Sunday morning they led the Church Service at Whiteparish where they explained to the congregation what they had been doing and why and reflected on the experience. The following quotes are from the children;

"We were hungry, but realised that that is what people feel like every day"

"What kept us going was the knowledge that it would end soon, and it never ends for them"

"We learnt more about what it was like to be a slum dweller"

"We take a lot for granted"

"When you are living in a slum a small thing can change your life and make a difference, even a cup of tea!"

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