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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

IPFW to Host Challenges of Poverty Simulation for Second Time

Written by: Communicator StaffDecember 05, 2014

Megan Mantica

FORT WAYNE, Ind.— For the second time, IPFW is hosting a Challenges of Poverty Simulation on Dec. 9 with the help from local non-profit organization CANI.

The simulation is a three hour-long event where students from IPFW and volunteers from CANI, Community Action of Northeast Indiana, act out the struggles of living in poverty. It shows participants, volunteers and attendees what it is like to live in poverty, Rachel Rayburn, assistant professor at IPFW, said.

“This is my second year doing the poverty simulation,” Rayburn said. “We did one last year, in December, and it went really well so we are doing it again.”

Rayburn said media from all over Fort Wayne such as, 21 Alive, WANE and The Journal Gazette, came to IPFW’s campus last year and covered the simulation. Rayburn said with all of the press that attended the first event was a major success. When Rayburn was contacted about hosting a second simulation at IPFW this year, she was more than happy to do so.

“We think that if people have not experienced living day to day, paycheck to paycheck before, that it is hard to understand all of the different issues that surround why you may not be able to get out of that situation,” Jennie Renner, development manager at CANI, said.

Renner said she believes that once people can see for themselves what it is like to have an impoverished lifestyle, they will be more open and willing to donate to organizations like CANI.

Rachel Rayburn has worked alongside Kristen Keuhl, assistant director of development for CANI, and together they have organized the event.

The participants for the simulation are Rayburn’s students and will play the roles of those who live at or below the poverty level.

Keuhl will provide the volunteers and the scripts and biographies for both the volunteers and participants of the simulation. CANI needs six more volunteers for the event. The volunteers will play the parts of teachers, police officers, food stamp directors, and or other members of the community.

Rayburn says CANI does a great job making the simulation seem “real.” Rayburn says the scripts and biographies that are given to the participants are very specific. CANI not only provides the participants with information on who the participant is supposed to be acting as, but they also provide baby dolls and other various props for the participants to use during the simulation. Rayburn describes the whole event as “quite elaborate.”

Rayburn encourages media and people to attend this event on Dec. 9. The event is going to be held in the Walb Union Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a space within the set for the attendees to watch the simulation from.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, contact Kristen Keuhl at CANI. You can contact her via e-mail at KristenKeuhl@canihelp.org.