2nd Prize 2011

Country: Austria

Region: Vienna

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Early childhood education, Poverty, Non-formal education

Project owner: Verein ScienceCenter-Netzwerk

Responsible person: Dr. Kathrin Unterleitner

Website: Weblink

What is it about?
7-12 year olds at primary school, university for kids (KinderUni) and integration houses are discussing in small groups whether children in their age group featured in 10 everyday stories, complete with images, are rich or poor – and how they came to this conclusion. It’s not a matter of right or wrong but more about confronting different kinds of social exclusion. The children use coloured cords to depict poverty lines and think about whether and how they can offer these children concrete help. Multiplier workshops are used to disseminate the information and serve as a basic introduction for organisers of the discussion game sessions. Experiences gained from the discussions are then channelled back into developing the process.
Appreciation of the Jury
Simple to apply with impressive consequences. A complex issue is disseminated through play to make it comprehensible to children: what does being poor mean to me? Where do I place the boundary between rich and poor? Children should have opinions and be able to express an argument as well as being sensitive to social issues. They need to find solutions to the poverty of the children featured in the 10 stories. The game clearly and carefully motivates children to develop thoughts on this issue and even the organisers are not immune! Let’s hope that ‘Poverty line?!’ is applied in various different ways to help define narrower boundaries for poverty!