Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2020

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Connected Immersion on a Limited Budget

Poverty Encounter, Children’s Hunger Fund, Sylmar, CA, USA

The Poverty Encounter team created a 90-minute, guided walk-through immersive experience with the purpose of educating children and their parents about the millions of children living in extreme poverty around the world. The guided walking tour makes excellent use of multi-sensory storytelling tools (narrative, environment, sensory stimulation, technology, and media) combined with knowledgeable tour guides to deliver on the mission promise.

Beginnng in a lobby themed as an airport terminal, guests explore a series of environments representing scenes of extreme poverty in four different countries and conveying a sense of how families and children endeavor to survive in those conditions. They visit a garbage dump in Guatemala, the aftermath of an earthquake in Haiti, a brickyard in Nepal and the sewers of Romania where orphans take refuge.

At the end of the tour, instead of feeling there is nothing one can do, guests have the opportunity to engage in a concrete activity, such as packing bags of pasta or beans to help feed a family of four. There are also ways to remain engaged after the visit. Children are given cardboard box piggy banks with suggestions for ways to earn 25 cents a day, the cost to provide one meal to a child in need. An additional way to help is to buy items from the gift shop in the lobby, which sells products from the four countries toured.



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