Parishioners from St. Bernard’s are teaming up with Catholic Charities to launch an educational program that simulates the problems of poverty. Starting in June, workshops will be presented to churches, schools and groups in an effort to raise awareness and understanding about the day-to-day challenges faced by families with low income.
Each presentation requires 25 volunteers to act out the parts of banker, social worker, teacher, police and other characters at various stations such as: utility company, pawn shop, mortgage company, jail, and daycare. Opportunities for volunteers are flexible since the workshops will likely be offered in daytime and evening sessions, and weekday as well as weekend. One-hour training sessions for volunteers will be offered at 2pm on Sunday, April 29, in room G8 at St. Bernard’s, and also at 7pm Wednesday, May 9. Please come to one of the training sessions to learn more about poverty simulation, a unique tool to build compassion and awareness.
Poverty simulation uses fictional scenarios – based on the lives of real people – in subjecting participants to the stress of job loss, delinquent bills, eviction, homelessness and other hardships. Each participant in the simulation is assigned to a pretend identity and family, navigating poverty together. In four, 15-minute increments of a “week”, participants get to role play a month’s worth of financial adversity. Afterward, volunteers and participants are invited to share their thoughts and emotions in a debriefing session that incorporates teachings on Catholic social justice.
For more information, contact facilitator Lisa Williams at 918-713-1594 or Deacon Tim Sullivan at 918-299-9406.