In January this year, Mikayla Killip attended the World Vision Senior Scholarship Summit. The 3-day event highlighted the World Food Crisis and Systemic Injustice in New Zealand. A total of 30 schools from Auckland came together to discuss, listen, and become the change the world needs. With many speakers and workshops during the three days, Mikayla says, “This event has changed the way I see the world and the communities in New Zealand.”
On the first day, there were speeches from many different people. The first speaker who stood out to Mikayla was Emma Sharp, a social scientist who specializes on food politics. Sharp’s speech stated the facts and faults of the conventional food system. Mikayla was also impacted by the story of Vitalis Okwako. He shared his personal experience of the Global food crisis. Growing up in a rural Kenyan village, it was not uncommon for him to go days without any food. His story was emotionally captivating and was able to make everyone realize how difficult these hardships really were.
The next morning, World Vision created a roleplay experience to heighten the awareness of participants of what it feels like to be oppressed and to be treated inhumanely. It began with them randomly choosing a fork or spoon from a jar, those with a fork were forced to be on a tarpaulin with only a pot of porridge, while those with a spoon got to sit on a table with a whole feast. Those on the floor were mocked, judged and were treated cruelly by ‘law enforcers’. They were thrown into ‘jail’ for the most absurd reasons. Furthermore, they were being told that they were spreading COVID-19 because they weren’t social distancing, but they weren’t allowed to move off the tarpaulin. The oppressed group were called ungrateful whenever they complained about the disgusting porridge, their words were twisted by reporters and were painted in a foul way. Meanwhile, those with spoons continued to live their life in luxury without a care in the world for those at the bottom. By getting a fork, Mikayla was able to see how this was so much like real life and how it affects New Zealand’s community.
To help them understand how to begin change, World Vision treated them to dinner to an amazing restaurant in Onehunga called, ‘Everybody Eats’. By using food that was going to be thrown out and wasted, they used the food to instead make three course meals. Everybody Eats is working to help end food poverty by allowing people to pay what you think the meal is worth. This allows those who are food insecure to come and have a delicious meal without having to worry about paying. However, to keep this operation running they do rely on paying customers. Mikayla highly recommends trying it out and whole-heartedly guarantees an absolutely delicious meal.
As a group, they started work on how to tackle 40-hour famine in their schools. Through setting goals, brainstorming, and sharing, Mikayla learnt a lot and is really excited to share her knowledge with the rest of the school. Mikayla is passionate about fundraising money for the hunger pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
This experience of attending this World Vision summit has forever shifted Mikayla’s viewpoint on the world; she is no longer ignorant and oblivious to the injustice that takes place all around us. World Vision ignited her passion to make a change and to make a difference.
With the help of Ms Kevern, Mikayla was able to get the scholarship by seeing potential in her and putting her forward to go. So, she would like to give a massive thank you to her. Also, a big thank you to the team members at World Vision for all their hard work in making this an amazing event.