Gender and poverty teaching pack launched by Christian Aid

By agency reporter
February 1, 2015

UK-based churches' global development agency Christian Aid has launched an interactive action pack for schools as part of a new initiative to teach pupils about the challenges faced by women and girls living in extreme poverty worldwide.

The ‘Mooove Over Poverty’ pack features an assembly plan, a children’s film and a series of engaging activities that tell the story of a pastoralist community in east Africa where females are marginalised due to lack of access to the main livestock, cows.

The educational resource takes children on a journey to a rural village in Ethiopia, where Christian Aid is tackling gender discrimination by giving cows to poor women.

A cow enables women to earn an income by starting a business selling milk and butter; but just as importantly, in a community where owning cattle gives you status, the cow also gives women a voice in community decision making.

‘Mooove Over Poverty’ uses the cow theme to help pupils engage with a global issue and understand the impact of inequality. It features a ‘ready-to-run’ assembly on the theme of gender, equality and participation, providing teachers with a step-by-step assembly guide to hosting an interactive simulation activity for pupils.

Teachers are being asked to screen a short online film, The Difference a Cow Makes, during the assembly. Produced by Christian Aid especially for young viewers, the film focuses on an Ethiopian woman, Adi, whose life was transformed after she received a cow.

The pack also invites to schools to take up the challenge to raise £150 – the cost of a cow in Ethiopia – for Christian Aid Week. It offers a range of ideas for hosting cow-themed fundraising activities, such as a milkshake bar or a ‘dress-as-a-cow day’.

An online ‘action planner’ has been created to help pupils and their school councils organise their fundraising events and submit money raised by the school.

Christian Aid’s Church Youth Manager, Pippa Durn, said: “We hope the ‘Mooove Over Poverty’ resource will bring to life the reality of gender inequality and will show pupils why, for Ethiopian women, owning a cow is the difference between going hungry or having food to eat, and the difference between being sidelined or being heard.

"The resource has been developed to coincide with Christian Aid Week 2015, which runs from 10-16 May. Primary and secondary schools never fail to amaze us with their ingenuity and enthusiasm, so we hope this pack will fire their imaginations.

"We hope it will also encourage them to take action on behalf of the world’s poorest people, while gaining a little bit of understanding about how traditions and cultures around the world can make it difficult for some women and girls to be treated as equals to men and boys.”

Primary and secondary versions of the ‘Mooove Over Poverty’ resource are free to order online, alongside other Christian Aid Week materials for young people, including a youth fundraising pack and a children’s activity sheet. The action pack is being sent out to 20,000 primary and secondary schools this month.

* To order the resources, call 020 7523 2165, email schools@christian-aid.org-aid.org or visit www.christianaid.org.uk/cows

*To find out more about Christian Aid Week 2015, visit www.caweek.org

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