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What if world leaders were kids?

To examine the huge global issue of world hunger via the ‘Enough Food For Everyone IF’ hunger campaign.

by Peter Shaw

Suitable for Key Stage 3

Aims

To examine the huge global issue of world hunger via the ‘Enough Food For Everyone IF’ hunger campaign.

Preparation and materials

  • This assembly focuses on a film by the ‘Enough Food For Everyone IF’ hunger campaign (run by a coalition of 150 charities, organizations and faith groups, including Oxfam, Christian Aid, Unicef) at: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=x-E3iPJZ6_g
  • Prepare by watching the film a couple of times to familiarize yourself with the ‘IF’ campaign and read the short introduction on its website, at: http://enoughfoodif.org/about-campaign/guide-if. Also ensure that you have a means of playing the film so the students can all see it during the assembly.
  • Seven small packets of sweets and a single sweet for step 5 (optional).
  • This assembly would also be suitable to use at harvest time.

Assembly

  1. Start by saying that a group of eight of the most powerful people from some of the richest countries in the world meet regularly to talk about big issues, such as trade, business and food.
  2. Ask the students to picture in their mind what world leaders look like. Suggest that they are usually older men and women in smart suits and glasses, who look very serious. Then ask them to imagine what it would be like if the world leaders were, in fact, a group of children. What would such a meeting be like? Invite everyone to watch the short film, then play it.
  3. Explain that the issue the children are discussing in the film is actually a real problem around the world. One in eight people in the world is hungry and does not have enough food to eat every day. Explain that this means, if there are 16 people in a class, 14 would be well fed but 2 would have very little. Alternatively, if there are 24 in a class, 21 would be well fed and 3 would be hungry. Ask them how they would feel if they were the ones going hungry?
  4. Now ask them, if they were in a class where two or three of their friends were without food, what would they do? Would they eat all of their lunch and not worry about the ones who had so little. Would they offer some of their food to them?
  5. You could demonstrate this further by getting eight students to come up to the front and giving seven of them a packet of sweets, giving the remaining student just one sweet. You could ask the students with the packets of sweets how they feel about having a whole bag. Then ask the lone student how he or she feels about having only one sweet when the rest the have a whole packet? Ask them all what they think the fairest thing to do would be?
  6. For church schools, you could tell the students that, in the Bible, God asks us to look after people who are worse off than ourselves – particularly poor people who often do not have enough food. Read out the following verses from Proverbs (31.8-9, NIV):

    Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    Ask the students to consider how God feels about a world where one in eight people goes hungry and what he would ask each of us to do about it.

Time for reflection

We all like to be treated fairly.
We don’t like it when people are unfairly given more than we are.
One in eight people will go to bed hungry tonight, but there is enough food in the world to feed everyone.
What can we do to make sure everyone in the world is well fed?
How can we be more generous with people around us who have less than us?

Prayer
God,
you are called the provider.
We ask you to work in the hearts and minds of world leaders.
We ask you to help them create a world that is fairer so that everyone gets to eat all they need.
Thank you for providing enough food in the world to feed everyone.
Help me to be generous and share with others.
Amen.

Music

‘God of the poor (Beauty for brokenness)’ by Graham Kendrick, at: www.grahamkendrick.co.uk/songs/item/32 or ‘Justice and mercy’ by Matt Redman at: www.worshiparchive.com/song/justice-and-mercy.

Publication date: June 2013   (Vol.15 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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