KELOWNA, B.C. – Poverty, war, illness: the reasons that keep children from attending school around the world are vast.
The issue became an eye-opening lesson for grade six students from Central Okanagan schools during their visit to the Global Schoolhouse project, part of Global Citizen week in Kelowna.
“I’ve been growing up in this nice city and then I see this. I feel confused,” said student Nahanni Martinson, who participated in putting on the display.
Students were led through child labour scenarios prompted by actors who shouted commands and reminded them they’d only be paid 50 cents for their 11 hours work.
“Millions of children, 250 million children [are performing] child labour right now,” said Peter Greer Elementary teacher Kayla Dominelli.
A slum scenario was also part of their tour, where children live without clean water, sanitation, electricity or beds.
“People did not choose to be in a conflict zone. They didn’t choose for drought. They didn’t choose for rebels to come in. They didn’t choose to be born a girl and have no value,” organizer Joyce Brinkerhoff said.
The Global Schoolhouse project has inspired students to initiate social justice projects around the school district over the years.