In this age of high tech communication and world travel our children see many places around the world few of us would have experienced until a few years ago.
"How do we get our children and young people involved in seeing the bigger picture?"
The issue is ... do they really understand the world we live in and the needs of people who live in it, especially those in the developing world?
'The Owl and the Pussycat' is encouraging children to get excited about what God is doing around the world today! There are many organisations working to show God's love in a variety of ways. How do we get our children and young people involved in seeing the bigger picture?
What is 'Our World'
The 'Our World' event has been developed by 'The Owl and the Pussycat' project to help children have a better understanding of daily issues faced by many in our world. This interactive event is a fun way to learn more about the world around us.
How do I run an event?
I can come to your children's group and take them on a journey that covers many different areas.
What will the children learn about?
- Water - Carrying water ever day may not seem much fun, but for many this is the most important part of their daily routine.
- Education - What is life like if you can't read or write and you don't go to school?
- Housing - Can you imagine having to build your own home?
- Work - What is life like for a child who cleans shoes every day for his/her living? The children are given the opportunity to experience cleaning a pair of shoes, and in so doing understand the reality of cleaning 25 pairs at 5 rupees per pair (78 rupees = £1.00).
- People, animals and places - Where do they fit on the world map?
The event lasts for approximately an hour and a half. The children move around the room in groups, spending fifteen minutes visiting each area and taking part in games and activities.
Why would it be important to hold an event?
Once we have an understanding of how others live, it enables us to see how we can all help bring about change for the better. At the end of the event, we encourage the children to see ways in which they can make a difference by introducing them to child friendly projects. By now the children have worked out for themselves that for many in this world life seems unfair, but we can all do something to help each other.
Following one event, a father came to say that his daughter had told him that the tap in the bathroom needed to be mended as it was dripping and wasting water. "Children in other countries have to carry their water!" she said.
Recently, we have been able to help a medical centre in Uganda by providing 'Medical Bikes' to carry supplies out into the village areas. Churches, schools and children's groups raised enough money to buy six bikes. It just shows that when we work together we can make a difference to the lives of others.
How can I use this event?
'Our World' can be adapted for most age groups and can fit into most programmes, including schools, 'Missionary Weekends' and 'Harvest '. We also like to highlight church missionaries and include them in our 'Getting To Know The World' game'.
We would like to re-engage children to be part of a society where getting and giving are equally important.
What is the aim of 'Our World'?
- To enable children to have fun whilst learning more about the world they live in.
- To help them understand how precious our world is, and to see how much they take for granted.
- To help them realise that we can all do something to make a difference in our world, no matter how small it is.
On thing that has not changed is that there are still many areas of the world where people live without the basic needs of everyday life. As God has no favourites, we are all equal in His eyes. If that is correct, then we need to recognise that we must address the imbalance across the world by showing we care in practical ways. Whatever our age, we can make a difference to the conditions in which others live if we work together for change.