The commotion and chaos in this room is supposed to represent life for those who live in poverty.
The students are given a time limit to get food, work, go to school, and go to the doctors.
“We don’t pretend that this is a full out experience, but at least it gives them a little taste, a little snap shot of what people in poverty struggle with every day,” said Anne Gibbons, Director of the Bonner Leader Program.
This week is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at Lynchburg College.
Students have been participating in activities such as sleeping outside, making meals for local shelters and taking part in this poverty simulation.
In the simulation, they can bribe the customs office by offering up their shoes and students who put on this program hope that students learn what it’s like to live in the shoes of someone in poverty.
“We can help those situations if we understand them better. So you can do into a community and try o give them things and give them what you think they need, but until you’ve been in their shoes and try to experience what they have or listen to that community, you won’t know what they need and will be forcing stuff on them,” Kayla Fuqua, Senior at Lynchburg College.
It’s not just Lynchburg College students trying to make a difference.
“Colleges and universities all across the country sometime in November before Thanksgiving observe activities to really raise awareness and do education and advocacy around issues of hunger and homelessness,” said Anne Gibbons, Director of the Bonner Leader Program.
Hoping to broaden the student’s perspective about the issue of poverty in the community and to better understand a way to solve it.