Last week at Group of four we continued to make comparisons between our country and those of our sponsor children. This time we focused on food and water. Normally we end our time together with a snack, so the children were a little surprised, but totally willing, to have a snack at the beginning. We sat them all at the table and proceeded to bring out a plate of food for each child and a glass of water. They were not at all slow in realising they were part of an illustration but it was still entertaining to listen to them deal with the inequity of the situation. Some of those who received less than others immediately started asking for more. They tried asking the adults but found that we would not involve ourselves so started pleading with those who had more than they did. Hands reached out towards the stacked plates accompanied by cries of,”Sponsor me”. The two boys with very full plates did start giving some of their riches away as did some children who did not have so much. Some stealing went on too. When we retired from the table to discuss the experience they were quick to realise that “rich” is a relative term but slower to accept that they did not “need” a fair share.
While we looked at the availability of clean water in our sponsor children’s countries the children took turns lifting a bucket filled with ten litres of water. Everyone found it heavy but some of the smaller children found that they could only hold it up for a minute or so. As I gave the children some of the reasons that access to clean water is an issue in Nepal, Mexico, Honduras and Bolivia, one of the girls marked off squares on a grid. Each square represented a litre of water. We were all amazed as we saw the quantities of water we use daily for showers, washing machines, flushing, etc. Canadians have the second highest water consumption in the world. By the time we had finished making the comparisons the group had carried the ten litres of water for 35 minutes. Children their size often carry twice as much for twice as long, two or three times a day!