Submitted by Cassidy Christian, a member of the GSCO Global Action Team, Gold Award Girl Scout, and former member of the Older Girl Advisory Board
“Follow your dreams. Whatever you choose to do, leave tracks. That means don’t do it just for yourself.” -Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
What is Global Poverty Day?
Global Poverty Day is designated to raise awareness of the need to eradicate extreme poverty around the world. Poverty eradication is a leading part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With your troop, discuss the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #1: No poverty and its associated targets, which can be accessed from www.globalgoals.org. You can print copies of the No Poverty Targets and discuss what they mean. Ask your troop why it is important to address poverty, if they think the United Nations sustainable development goal is a complete plan, or if there are other things that must be done to address poverty. To make a change, we must understand what poverty truly is. We need to leave tracks.
How is this day celebrated?
To celebrate this day, girls around the world discuss the implications of poverty and what poverty means to them. They take part in activities to deepen their understanding of poverty and take action by doing community service to help those facing poverty in their own communities. For even more information, check out the Global Action Days Toolkit. The more girls we educate about poverty, the sooner we can make tracks.
Why is Global Poverty Day celebrated?
More than 700 million people around the world live in extreme poverty and struggle to fulfill basic needs that most of us take for granted, like health, education, and access to water and sanitation. Girls are key to ending global poverty. An informed and educated girl is more likely to earn a higher income in a career of her choice, prepared to make informed choices about her health and family, and pass along the benefits that she’s received to others in her community, meaning that everyone benefits.
Eat Below the Poverty Line Activity
One in ten people in the world live on less than $1.90 per day, which the World Bank defines as extreme poverty. Extreme poverty, which affects families in every region of the world, means more than hunger; it means lack of options. Have your troop virtually take a field trip to the grocery store (King Soopers Online). The girls can create their menus independently or as a group. Develop three meals that would equal less than $1.90 collectively. After that scenario, have the girls plan what else they could buy if they were given $2 per meal/$6 for the day. What does more money allow them to buy? Have the girls imagine that they are feeding their own families and how their diets would change if they could only spend $2 a person per day. Through this activity, girls can learn about empathy and truly see the difficulties that many individuals face on a day to day basis.
Discussion Questions about Poverty:
- What does poverty mean to you?
- In your opinion, what causes poverty?
- What country do you think has the best record for helping its poor?
- Do you know what welfare is? Should countries have welfare systems?
- Do you feel like the income gap between rich and poor is increasing in the United States?
- How has COVID-19 impacted those experiencing poverty?
- Has anyone you’ve known ever dealt with poverty?
Community Service Opportunities:
Ask the girls in your troop to create a list of perishable and non-perishable care items that could be donated to local shelters. Ask them to research where they could donate items in their community and find out what items are needed by the organization(s). Let the girls come to consensus about where they would like to donate their items. How can they impact the community that they serve? What organizations align with their core values?
Journey and Badge Connections
- Each year, Girl Scouts of all levels can earn their Global Action award. This award connects the WAGGGS sisterhood by helping girls work together to make a difference on a topic that affects girls and women all over the world. It is an official national award, so a girl can wear it just like a badge on the front of her vest or sash.
- The Sow What? Journey is all about food—how and where it is grown, harvested, processed, distributed, and consumed—and why it matters. Seniors share their knowledge and host a farmers’ market, inspire others to eat locally, or plan a community vegetable garden.
- In GIRLtopia, Seniors develop their own vision of an ideal world and the skills to make it a reality. By exploring women in history, interviewing mentors, or creating a short film, girls learn real-life lessons while building a brighter future.
We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.