March 19th 2019
World at Lunch Opens Eyes to Hunger
On Friday, the School Community came together to raise funds for Comic Relief. This was followed on Monday by the School holding a ‘World at Lunch’ event. The aim was to encourage girls, in a thought-provoking and practical way, to consider the issues of poverty and global hunger.
Organised by our Round Square Committee, students and staff were randomly allocated to either a low, middle or high income country as they entered the Gilt Hall. The number of people in each of the categories was proportionately based on world population statistics. Everyone received a fact sheet about their ‘country’, providing information about population size, education and health standards for their country, and the bleakest statistic of all, life expectancy.
Those ‘lucky’ enough to be in the High Income countries – just five people in total – were treated to a sumptuous three course meal, served to them at a well laid table. Those in Middle Income countries received a satisfying and balanced meal. However, as a stark reminder on the challenges faced by many across the world, the majority of students and staff found themselves honorary citizens of Low Income countries, and had rice for lunch.
In a further twist, an aid shipment of bananas was intercepted and so became available only on the black market at 50p each. Additionally, the girls also discovered that some on the ‘High-Income’ table had bribed their way there, which prompted discussion of fairness, abuses of power and corruption. Funds raised from bribes, bananas and money saved from lunch will be donated to Oxfam.
Lunch was followed by Tutorial, where the girls discussed the lunch, and the wider implications. Many said that the event really opened their eyes to what they take for granted, and how fortunate they were to be in the small percentage of the world that has access to warm meals and clean drinking water.