What is Slum Survivor?

We want to make poverty personal

Slum Survivor is a simulation experience designed to help young people connect with the lives of some of the world’s poorest.

By spending a few days the way a billion spend a lifetime, living in a temporary shelter, eating a limited diet and facing tough challenges and choices it’s possible to both raise funds and awareness of the poverty and people that live in the world’s slums.

The Idea

You’ll first build your own “Slum” – an informal settlement made out of waste materials; anything you can find will become your home for the weekend. The aim is to help us understand a tiny portion of what the instability of life is like for those living in the world’s slums. This obviously cannot replicate that entirely but it helps us to understand, in a small way, something of life for the worlds poor.

You will eat a diet limited by amount and choice: you won’t get to choose what you want for any of your meals, neither will you be able to eat the quantity that is usual – in fact, you’ll eat only two meals per day, with snacks given as treats. You may be able to buy more food, if you earn enough to be able to do so.

You’ll also take on a variety of challenges – you can download of all of the challenges here - but generally the idea is that the challenges put in front of us some of the real life experiences of people who live informally.

It won’t, however, be exactly like life in a slum. The insecurity, the danger, the sickness and disease – many of these things we simply cannot replicate. But Slum Survivor will give you an inkling as to what life is like for a billion around the world, in the hope that you want to then go on and spend your life fighting to help alleviate extreme poverty around the world.

Finally, Slum Survivor will help you understand something of how God feels about the people that he loves who live in poverty. There are six sessions to go alongside Slum Survivor which look at what the Bible has to say about poverty and what our response, as followers of Jesus, should be. Check out the Youth Group Resource for more.

What else?

Participants in Slum Survivor will get sponsored to take part in the challenge and the money raised will go to the work of Soul Action partner projects working in poor communities throughout the world.

In addition, there will also be the opportunity to spend time in prayer, reading God’s word and connecting with God’s heart for justice. The idea is that through Slum Survivor we will be changed and so help to change the lives of others too.

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9 Responses to What is Slum Survivor?

  1. Peter Coot says:

    Having visited the slum villages in Nairobi, it is great to see what you are doing. God Bless.

  2. Valerio says:

    Do you have any group/partners in South Africa that i can join to do this

  3. danielle says:

    Do you do anything like this in the states ???

    • soulaction says:

      Hi Danielle,

      You are welcome to use the resource in the States, yeah…just download it and have a great weekend!


  4. Katie says:

    I was just wondering if you guys could provide any more clarity about the Illness Challenge? we are running our event this week and still can’t figure out how that challenge works. any help would be massively appreciated!

    • soulaction says:

      Hey katie,

      Yeah – just looked that through in the handbook and I can’t figure it out either! I’ll get some clarity and get back to you!


  5. Cate Harding-Jones says:

    Hi there, my youth group has completed Slum Survivor. Please could you send me the details to donate the money online as your donation page (Gvey) is not working. Many thanks

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Slum Survivor? That sounds intriguing...tell me more... Find out more...
Doing the Slum Survivor weekend? Sign up here and add your group to the UK map of Slum Survivors. Find out more...
Check out our Slum Survivor map, to see where Slum Survivor is going to be happening. Register your event to get on the map. Find out more...
Everything you'll need to run a Slum Survivor weekend! Need challenges? Here. Need the overall timetable...click on in. Need ANYTHING for Slum Survivor...you know what to do... Find out more...
You can download all of our lovely Slum videos from here. This includes the promo and 6 teaching sessions...!
Download away! Find out more...

Tell us your story

(Available after Week A) Have a read of other people's Slum Survivor experiences and submit your own. Have a browse through some photos and videos and maybe send us some of your own. We'd love to hear how you found it.