Poverty Challenge 2012

left to right: Judi Wyatt, Alexandra Klepacki, Zaineb Zimmerman and Jamie Swift.

Kingston’s Poverty Challenge is an intense one-day summit on poverty for high school students and teachers in the Kingston area. The 4th annual Challenge was held on March 28th at Duncan McArthur Hall on the Queen’s West Campus.

Organizers developed scenarios that involved situations specific to Kingston like housing and utility costs. 150 participants took part in the simulation that featured real life procedures and documents from community and government organizations in Kingston.

Here’s how it work. Characters are created on composites of real people. They are placed in scenarios typical of a day in the life of the thousands of Kingston’s most vulnerable and marginalized. What follows is an interactive game of discovery that reveals the daily challenges of individuals and families struggling to survive below the poverty line.

The event exposes participants to the real stress and anxiety faced by the thousands of Kingstonians living in poverty.

The ultimate goal of Poverty Challenge is to encourage students to become agents of social change in the struggle against poverty.

Jamie Swift and Tara Kainer took part in the one day challenge. They are both employees in the Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation office of the Sisters of Providence.