Great Sessions with Oaklands!

CAFOD Education Volunteer, Alison Humphreys has just completed 16 sessions with the fantastic pupils of Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville on the causes of hunger and how CAFOD works in emergencies. 

Alison used the great ‘Can you beat the system?’ game produced by Oxfam with Year 7 and 8 to explore some of the reasons why 1 in 8 people across our world go to bed hungry every night.

Pupils had to imagine they were small scale farmers living in a less economically developed country who make their living by growing maize to sell at local market. Each group had to produce a crop by drawing/cutting out as many maize as they could in 5 – 10 minutes.

Everyone started off with exactly the same materials but after a short time had passed, different groups received different news. Some groups had been hit by extreme weather, some had to cope with high food prices and one group had their land bought by a wealthy company so they could not longer farm it.


The students thought about how it felt when their crops were destroyed and they had to start from nothing or how they felt about half their materials being taken away when food prices began to rise and they had to sell their materials to get by. However one group had received investment from the government and produced more than anyone else (which has happened in some countries such as Vietnam whose number of hungry people halved in just 12 years).

They then thought about the actions they could take in their own lives by supporting Fairtrade, buying more local food, and other actions as suggested here.

With other classes, Alison explored just what happens when an emergency takes place round the world and took the opportunity to thank pupils for their fantastic support for our Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. The school raised £2,200 which is incredible!  Classes looked at a film which explores CAFOD’s response in the Philippines and discussed the kind of support that would be immediately required when faced with an emergency of this scale.

The students explored the possible immediate needs of survivors and the kinds of problems an aid agency may encounter whilst responding to an emergency. They also thought about issues that may have to be considered before a response is made and how an emergency like this could lead to long term programmes of work.

Our thanks go to Alison for all her hard work and for all the pupils, parents and teachers at Oaklands for their unstinting support for CAFOD’s work. They are a truly inspirational community!


Click here for more information on CAFOD’ Hungry for Change campaign which calls for a fairer global food system.

Click here for more information on Oxfam’s fabulous ‘Can you beat the system’ workshop.

Click here to donate to CAFOD’s Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal and find out more about our work there.

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