United Youth against Poverty

My exchange to Palestine did not end at the same time I arrived my home country. My contract could inform that I was obligated to do two months of follow-up work on behalf of the organization YMCA-YWCA Norway. Because this part of my exchange was unspecified I didn’t imagine I would enjoy these months as much as the main part of the program. But I should have known better. It turned out to be a great experience and the two months were compressed to two weeks – which means even more fun, and at the same time – an intense period, people from all over the world gathered around you 24/7, and lack of private time. Result: Exhausted! – happy and enriched!

The two weeks were divided into two parts. First of all me and a couple of volunteers and a staff member were responsible to run a leader training course for a group of internationals. 20 youths from the different countries Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Palestine and USA. Together with 12 norwegian younger leaders we were going to develop campaign tools. The relevant campaign is the STOP Poverty project which aims to put pressure on the states to commit to set new goals for global developement and peace. The background if this initiative is the soon expired millennium goals where the UN member states agreed to cut extreme poverty with 50%. Now it’s about time to be more ambitious and delete the human created disaster of poverty once and for all.

We asked ourself the question – how to make young people involved in our campaign? And here is one of our ideas which was developed into a campaign tool. It’s called the Stop Poverty Board Game. Here are the rules:


Four to eight participants who will choose which country they would like to represent. Their home country will be their starting point of the game. Dress up in your minister banner.


The main mission of the game is achieved when all the participants are gathered in New York UN general assembly where they will demand a binding contract between all the member states to erase poverty by 2030.

Before going to the UN, the participants have to collect a flag from every country of the world. This will illustrate that the state has committed to the Stop Poverty Campaign. The group will cooperate in their effort to cover all the 15 (!) countries of the world.

You will receive the flag when you get a question and answer it correctly. In your next turn you have the opportunity to travel to another country.

When all the participants are gathered in general assembly of UN, you could lay down your claim and raise your voice together to STOP POVERTY. Now you can uncover the conclusion of the UN. Either the entire group of players will win, or you cave in and everyone will lose.

In action: the players represent their chosen state and have to travel the world in order to spread the word about the STOP POVERTY campaign. Soon they are ready to meet up in the UN and decide new developement goals.


The participants agree who will start. One player will do its turn before the next player could continue. The one who is playing could always travel to another country according to the route on the map. When arriving a new country they spin the arrow, and will either receive a question card, advantage card (+), an obstacle card (-) or a joker card.

If you get a question and answer it correctly, you receive a flag, and now the mission in this country is completed. Next time it’s your turn, you have the opportunity to travel on. If you answer the question incorrect, your turn is over.

If you get an advantage card, read the information and share it with the group, and you can spin the arrow again. If you get the obstacle card, pass a round. The joker card tells all the players about a global issue, which affects everyone in the game. Deal with it!

General Assembly of UN, New York


When the participant has collected all the flags of the world, the delegates could go to the UN. When everyone has arrived, uncover the conclusion.


The board game was brought to our next stop. The participants at the leader training were going to volunteer in part 2 of my follow-up work: the TT-festival for YMCA youths in Norway. This involves 2200 youths, load music, education, entertaining and energizing activities, making friends and enjoying life for one week in the middle of nowhere in Norway. Fun, fun, fun. If you are 14 years old and has no responsibility. For us it was more like FUN, LOAD, WORK – GIVE ME BACK MY FREEDOM, but then later on even more fun. Have a look at this video –


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