A huge thank you to the children and staff of Year 4 from St Thomas More in Letchworth who spent the afternoon with our year 4 yesterday.
We shared with them our aim to use Catholic Social Teaching to help us think about global problems. The predicted population growth from 7 billion currently to 9.1 billion in 2050 means the world’s resources for food won’t feed everyone unless changes in food production, distribution and security occur. To put this in context for a child, they were told there was only 40 biscuits and 60 children and they had to decide how the biscuits should be shared at the end of the session.
From a starting point of Feeding the 5000, they undertook a series of tasks in mixed groups to encourage them to “think like a Catholic” in terms of sharing, equality and resource allocation.
All of the adults commented on the quality of children’s thinking and the maturity with which they considered these themes. They discussed the importance of fairness and that we can survive with less if we know our food source is secure for the future.
The children were asked how resources should be distributed across the world by placing ten pennies on a world map where they thought the money for food should go. Unsurprisingly Great Britain would be well fed under these children but it was an opportunity for them to say why. “Because there are still people hungry in London”.
As for the solutions to the biscuit problem:
They ranged from reducing the number of children to waiting until the next visit for a biscuit. Some even suggested taking half each and saving the rest “for future generations”.
I think we have some great social thinkers in our children and as we read in Gaudium et Spes
The future of humanity lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to provide coming generations with reasons for living and hoping (31).