3 and 4
- To point up the differences in expectations between rich and poor countries.
- To introduce students to Jesus's teaching on sharing and the concept of Jubilee.
- To introduce the work of Jubilee 2000
- Prepare a presentation comparing a week's living costs in this country with a week in
the life of one of the world's poorest countries. You could use 'real' examples or take
some illustrations and make them into OHP transparencies. For example:
- Some students can help in preparing an awareness-raising presentation about the differences by collecting the packets/packaging of a day's food consumption in the UK (avoid using real food as this will involve waste).
- Another group can 'cost' their spending on clothes (with examples) and leisure.
- A third group can lay out three or four plates leaving a handful of rice on each. Add a couple of empty plates and a plate with some weeds/grass on it. Get a couple of empty bottles and put dirty water in them.
- Display a ragged dress /shirt / trousers - no shoes.
- On a flipchart, have a large sheet of paper with the title 'Cost of running a home' and leave it blank.
Prepare two OHPs with the following texts:
"In Africa alone, the money spent on annual debt repayments could be used to save the lives of about 21 million children by the year 2000."
(Human Development Report, 1997 - U.N. Development Programme)
"Must we starve our children to pay our debts?"
(Julius Nyerere - former President of Tanzania)
Play the first minute of the music Crushed by Garbage from the soundtrack of Romeo and Juliet.
Ask the question: 'How many days have already passed in this new year?' If you want, have a large sheet with the number written on it ready to display.
Ask a second question: 'And how different for you is this year from last year?' Don't wait for answers; say something like 'Probably there's not much change.'
Recall that last year there was a lot happening to help the poorest countries have their debts to the developed (rich) world cancelled - debts that they would never be able to repay anyway.
Depending on time, ask a student to make a brief presentation on an example of progress made to relieve debt. There are examples to choose from in the websites listed at the end.
Use the resources you have prepared to illustrate that for most people in the world poverty is still an issue. It means
- Lack of a balanced diet for good health
- Lack of clothing
- Lack of a home, education and access to health.
Compare that with how we spend freely to live so well.
Explain the Jewish tradition that every 50 years there is a 'Jubilee', when people cancel debts and other obligations and give the poor a chance to have a fresh start. It discourages one group getting too wealthy and powerful and is a reminder of God's interest in everyone's freedom
Jesus developed this theme in his life and teaching, calling us to support, not exploit, the weak and disadvantaged. He used the words of the Jewish prophet, Isaiah: Luke 4.18-19.
In this Jubilee year there is an opportunity for everyone to put those words into practice.
The Jubilee Prayer can be found at www.rathgarparish.com/page6.html
Jesus, bless us this Jubilee Year; bless us with joy and with hope, forgiveness and love; bless us with the new life of your cross and resurrection. May we join with you in spreading the peace and love of the kingdom of God. Amen.
Show the two OHP transparencies with texts from the UN and Julian Nyerere's words while playing the first minute or so of Track 5, Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet.
Soundtrack from Baz Lurhmann's film Romeo and Juliet, Tracks 1 and 5.
This Collective Worship material is used here by kind permission of the National Society and Culham College Institute. For further Collective Worships visit the site at www.natsoc.org.uk or www.culham.ac.uk