A poverty simulation by the Global Issues Network club stressed the importance of KIS students venturing beyond the luxuries we take for granted in our daily lives and develop a better understanding of our society.

Globally, around 600 million children live in extreme poverty and are put under harsh conditions. Families don’t have enough money for basic necessities—food, clothes, shelter, and education. This also means that people are forced to live in an unimaginable low poverty line, which is 11,667 KRW for Korea and about $2 globally.

For us, it is difficult to imagine living under the poverty line.  Lunches from our school cafeteria cost 5,000 won, and that doesn’t even include the other food most of us get from the deli or the convenient store. Spending 5,000 won on lunch is already two times past the poverty line budget. Most of the students from our school are used to having no trouble spending a large amount of money, which raised the question—would KIS students be able to survive under the international poverty line?

In order to further investigate in this, Global Issues Network decided to try a poverty simulation which lasts for one day in order to fully understand what being in poverty actually meant. On February 25, volunteers from the club went through the day with no more than 2,200 won, which is about $2. The volunteers were not allowed to eat any food from their house or get any additional parental assistance. To document their day and record the simulation, members recorded themselves in different parts of their day talking about how they were feeling and how they were going to use the 2,200 won that they had. Through this simulation, students were able to physically understand and learn first-hand the struggles that people in poverty had to face.

In order to have a better insight into this simulation, I met up with Hannah Kim (Grade 9), a member of Global Issues Network who participated in the poverty simulation.

How was your day like during the simulation?
I feel like it was a new opportunity for me because normally I spend more than 22000 won per day. Ramen was the only food that I was able to afford and when I thought about how people were forced to eat it every day, I was able to connect with their hardships.

What were some hardships you faced?
The change of food was my biggest hardship since I was used to eating cafeteria food that costs around 5,000 won. Especially because Thursday was a special menu day, and it was hard for me to endure myself from eating the food.

What did you learn from this experience?
I learned to appreciate what I already have and be grateful for my parents who provides me enough food and resources.

Are there any ways you can apply what you learned into our daily lives?
In order to not forget the lesson, we can try to use as little as possible. For example, when we go to the market, we can reduce to the absolute necessities.

All of the members said that this was an eye-opening experience for not only understanding poverty but our world. The Global Issues Network Club stressed the importance of KIS students venturing beyond the luxuries we take for granted in our daily lives and develop a better understanding of our society.

– Jenna Jang ‘22

Featured Image: Global Issues Network Club