From Friday 10 October–Sunday 12 October, West Kirby United Reformed Church's garden was transformed into a slum as eight church members spent a weekend the way a billion people spend a lifetime.
'Slum Survivor' was a simulation experience designed to help young people and their leaders to connect with the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. Using cardboard and wooden palettes, the team built a temporary shelter to live in, ate a limited diet of lentils and rice and walked over 16 miles between them to collect water.
Regular challenges set by the 'slum manager' included the slum being condemned less than 24 hours after construction as West Kirby URC’s Minister, Rev. Louise Franklin, arrived as a character with a sledgehammer.
Paying her off with friendship bracelets made as part of a work challenge, the team thought their slum was safe but upon returning from their hour’s litter picking discovered that not enough bracelets had been made and so half of their slum needed immediate re-building.
With Bible studies and opportunities for reflection throughout the weekend, the young people and their leaders developed their understanding of poverty and had a glimpse of some of the challenges that living in a slum entails.
Though hungry and sleep-deprived, all eight Slum Survivorites successfully completed their weekend and, like the hundreds of other youth groups undertaking 'Slum Survivor' across the UK this year, they succeeded in raising both funds and awareness for those who live every day in slum environments.
Click for more details of youth events at West Kirby URC.
Scroll to read the Slum Survivor Diary