The Poverty Challenge is an intensive summit designed to educate participants on the challenges of living in urban poverty.

2016 Students
2016 Wealth Squares
2016 Agency Interaction
. If you are not successful, you'll have to find another way for you and your family to survive.

As a participant, you’ll be given a profile to follow and challenges that you’ll try to meet by seeking help from local agencies during a simulation involving real procedures and documents from community and government organizations in your hometown.

You'll have to do your best to succeed by providing the necessary answers, information and documentation. If you are not successful, you'll have to find another way for you and your family to survive.

After the simulation, you’ll have a chance to talk to other participants at the Challenge, and learn from experts about the difficulties of living on social assistance.

Poverty is a complex issue that affects hundreds of tens of people in Ontario alone, but some of the problems that cause it to exist can be fixed.  The Poverty Challenge will give you experience and support you need to become an agent of social change.

2016 Debrief

Comments from Poverty Challenge participants:

“It was extremely valuable for my class to be exposed to a hands-on learning opportunity on this social issues they will be inheriting as future voters and current stakeholders in our community. The optional debrief was incredibly valuable to allow students to share and process their experience. Their outlook and insights evolved from morning to lunch, and then again from lunch to the debrief.”

"It was a great learning experience! It was also frustrating and exhausting! I thought it was very well run, the volunteer agency "actors" were amazing and so convincing. I encountered kindness and cold, hard reality from them."

"It was the most eye-opening experience ever. I learned so much today and not just in a superficial way, but actually having a glimpse of what it feels like [to live on social assistance]"

“The Poverty Challenge truly touched my heart and made me realize that people are living these realities way more than I thought. I hope that more and more students attend this field trip because they will leave with knowledge they could have never acquired in a classroom. The more we learn, the more we can help and I think that educating people on this issue is the first step to making progress."

"This workshop should be taught all over the country because I believe that my generation can make a positive change in this world if we are given the resources to inspire that. I walked away from The Poverty Challenge a better more aware person, ready to teach what I know and learn what I do not.”

Plan a Poverty Challenge for your Community

You can run a half day or full day event in your own community!

To learn about The Poverty Challenge, visit our YouTube channel where you will find walkthroughs, footage of events, and practice simulations!

YouTube video