Poverty Simulation Teaches Lessons

Alpha Media Ryan Piers

Heart of Illinois United Way plays host to a poverty simulation.

The event took place Thursday at Dream Center Peoria.

Caterpillar Engineer Adwait Joshi, on the sound of a whistle, hustled from work to the hospital, hoping to heal his brother. Unfortunately he ended up in juvenile detention.

“I didn’t know that taking a sick brother when I was 13 would get me in trouble,” Joshi said. “Supposedly I was supposed to work with my parents, who were in jail.”

Fortunately for Joshi it was just a simulation. He was playing the part of a 13-year-old girl charged with helping his younger sister. The hope is to help those in community better relate to those in need.

“It’s an opportunity for individuals to navigate someone with the life of an individual in poverty,” said HOI United Way Vice President of Social Development Stephen Peterson.

Like in real life, participants had to pay bills, use resources and get their kids to school while working at extremely low-paying jobs.

“Start a deeper conversation about how people can get involved in the community and help with their time, their talents, their treasures,” Peterson said.

Representatives from a variety of different businesses, including CAT, CEFCU, OSF HealthCare and small businesses were in attendance.

The Community Action Poverty Simulation Kit was created by the Missouri Association for Community Action.

Joshi hopes those participating will encourage their peers to help out those in need.

“There are sort of initiatives we can write for a certain community,” Joshi said. “Spend some time personally within communities and help with education and other things on a day-to-day basis.”

 

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