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Poverty issues to be addressed this week

Many of the poorest countries are expected to survive off $1.25 a day and during “The Hunger Games” Poverty Awareness Week students are encouraged to attempt the same.

“The event will help participants understand the difficulties of living on $1.25 per day,” Ashley Taylor, specialist for educational programming with Diversity Advocacy, said.

Taylor said the event will also show how poverty affects our community and what can be done to eliminate it while still understanding the challenges people in poverty face. Students who choose to become fully engaged in the week-long challenge will have chances to discuss their progress and enlighten others.

The first event called the Reaping was on Sunday. Students received their Hunger Games information packets as well as rules and guidelines for the week.  Throughout the week there will be an information session, discussions, a service project, and a screening of “The Hunger Games.”

“Although this is a Hunger Games themed event, the awareness week is not a game and we are not trying to make light of poverty,” Taylor said.

“We hope this event will equip students with the awareness and knowledge they need to take action and become activists about poverty issues.”

Diversity Advocacy partnered with Home Sweet Home Ministries, a service agency that gives the homeless food and shelter, for the service project on Wednesday. It is limited to 15 participants and will give statistical information and resources about poverty right here in Bloomington-Normal.

The week will conclude with the District 15 Poverty Simulation on Friday. This event will put participants in the “day in the life” of a low income family. Dinner will be provided as well. This will serve as one last eye-opener for those who did not gain much from the week or want to take action.

“This is an awesome educational opportunity to learn about poverty or possibly share their story and educate others about poverty,” Taylor said.

Taylor said volunteering and donations are only a temporary solution and an actual program like this week will be more effective in treating the problem.

For a schedule of events and to learn more about Poverty Awareness Week visit www.DeanOfStudents.IllinoisState.edu.

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