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Students Experience Poverty with Jubilee Village

Published: October 3, 2011

Twenty-one students experienced poverty for 48 hours by participating in Jubilee Village September 30-October 2 at the Portsmouth Campground in Portsmouth, RI, lead by Dr. Glenn Fell and organized by ENC professors Phil LaFountain and Bill McCoy. Students were divided into “countries”, given minimal amounts of food, basic materials for a rainproof shelter and a fire ring, a water balloon “baby” to care for, a physical handicap, and a unique resource used for trading with the other countries. Students also cleared branches from the campground and were paid $1.00 for their day’s work which they could spend in the community market.

In a Sunday morning debriefing session, the students were challenged to not let what they have learned go to waste. They were encouraged not to feel guilty about privileges, but should learn to use their resources to help those in need. Students walked away with a new appreciation for regular “boring food”, new insights about poverty, and skills in working as a team collecting resources, rainwater and trading with others. One student stated the weekend “was one of the most incredible experiences ever”.


Students gather hungry and tired after experiencing 48 hours in poverty.


Caring for one of the water balloon “babies”.


One of the makeshift shelters.


Still smiling!


Cooking their small meals.



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