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Is There Enough for Everyone? T HIS A C T IV IT Y WILL HELP participants under-

stand that resources such as access to education and appropriate school supplies are not distributed equally around the world.



» Four pencils and four pieces of paper (or a number equivalent to 1/8 of your group). » 28 pencils and 28 pieces of paper (or a number equivalent to 7/8 of your group).

Preparation » Place two piles of papers and pencils at the front of the room: one pile with four pencils and four pieces of paper (or a number equivalent to 1/8 of your group), and one pile with 28 pencils and 28 pieces of paper (or a number equivalent to 7/8 of your group). » An action step is included in this session. The step invites the participants to collect school supplies for distribution by World Vision. If you choose to include this action step, go to and click on “programs and events.” Then click on “school tools.” for instructions on how to assemble the supplies.


Activity Steps DIVIDE THE PARTICIPANTS into two groups: a small group (1/8 of the participants) and a

large group (7/8 of the participants). Tell the larger group to sit in an area that is 1/8 of the room area. The smaller group will sit in the remaining (larger) area of the room.

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TELL PARTICIPANTS that they will be taking a spelling test for which their marks will be

recorded. Explain that you will read six words aloud and that they must each write their answers on the paper provided to them.

DISTRIBUTE THE LARGE PILE OF PAPER AND PENCILS to the smaller group and the small

pile of paper and pencils to the larger group. Give the groups time to divide the supplies. At this point the larger group will realize their disadvantage.

DICTATE WORDS such as education, resources, share, group, problem, etc., at a pace that is

challenging but will allow participants in the small group to do well. Respond to objections from the large group by telling them to do their best with what they have. Do not allow them to leave their seats.

COLLECT THE PAPERS, keeping those from the small group on top. Scan the papers in front

of the participants and announce who passed. Congratulate the small group members for passing. Reveal that this was a simulation and not a real spelling test.

LEAD THE PARTICIPANTS in a large-group discussion using the following questions:

» How did you feel during this activity? » What words describe the situation you were in? (Examples: unfair, unjust) » Did you try to do anything to balance the situation? What did you do? What does this activity demonstrate? How is learning affected when children don’t have access to schools, teachers, or enough school supplies? » What might be the long-term effects of this on children and the communities where they live?


PROVIDE THE PARTICIPANTS with the following information:

» Education gives children opportunities to overcome poverty, gain a voice in their community, and experience a better quality of life. Without an education, a child has little hope of breaking free from poverty and reaching his or her full potential. » About 75 million primary-school-aged children worldwide are not in school. » In many countries, fewer than three out of 10 students complete primary school. » One-third of all children do not complete five years of schooling—the minimum needed for basic literacy skills. » Two-thirds of the world’s 776 million illiterate adults are women.

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» Studies show that each year of schooling increases a person’s earnings by a worldwide average of about 10 percent, which demonstrates how education reduce poverty. » Approximately 80 percent of the world’s out-of-school children live in sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia. » Girls have less access to education than boys: 55 percent of children not in primary school are girls. » Only two percent of children with disabilities in developing countries receive education.


(Source for the above statistics: UNESCO EFA “Global Monitoring Report,” 2009)

ASK THE PARTICIPANTS TO NAME some of the reasons that many children worldwide are not

able to go to school. Be sure the discussion includes these reasons: » Expense—Many poor parents cannot afford the costs of sending their children to school— even seemingly simple things like pencils, paper, and books. In some countries, there are fees simply to attend school, and many schools require that students purchase and wear a uniform. » Family priorities—Families may need their children’s help in the fields or family business just to survive. Some children spend hours each day just collecting water or firewood. Some must look after younger siblings and do household chores such as cleaning and cooking. They don’t have time to go to school or, if they do, to complete their homework. » War—In conflict ridden countries, some children must stay home because it is unsafe to go to school. Sometimes families have to move because of war, and children have to leave school to go with their families.

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» Lack of teachers—Communities often don’t have suitable school buildings or qualified teachers. In some countries, there are 40, 80, or even 100 students in one classroom with only one teacher! Even worse, sometimes that teacher has not had the opportunity to be trained well. CONCLUDE BY ASKING THE PARTICIPANTS to brainstorm ways they might be able to help

children who are not able to go to school. Introduce World Vision’s School Tools program if you have chosen this as the group’s action step. Be sure to develop a plan for collecting the items and assembling the kits. INVITE THE PARTICIPANTS to join you in praying for children who are denied the basic right

of an education.

During the preparation of this resource, all citations, facts, figures, Internet URLs, and other cited information were verified for accuracy. World Vision Resources has made every attempt to reference current and valid sources, but we cannot guarantee the content of any source and we are not responsible for any changes that may have occurred since our verification. If you find an error in, or have a question or concern about, any of the information or sources listed within, please contact World Vision Resources. Copyright © 2010 World Vision, Inc., Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716, All rights reserved. PA G E 3 O F 4

About World Vision W O R L D V IS IO N is a Christian humanitarian organization

dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision serves alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. We see a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. And we know this can be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. That’s how World Vision is unique: We bring 60 years of experience in three key areas needed to help children and families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. And we bring all of our skills across many areas of expertise to each community we work in, enabling us to care for children’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Partnering with World Vision provides tangible ways to honor God and put faith into action. By working, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of children and families who are struggling to overcome poverty. To find out more about how you can help, visit

About World Vision Resources E NDING GL O B A L PO V ERT Y and injustice begins with education:

understanding the magnitude and causes of poverty, its impact on human dignity, and our connection to those in need around the world. World Vision Resources is the publishing ministry of World Vision. World Vision Resources educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to respond, and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world.

For more information about our resources, contact: World Vision Resources Mail Stop 321 P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 Fax: 253-815-3340

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Is There Enough For Everyone- A Teaching Activity