Ten Questions Kids Have about Africa

11/08/13

Are your kids curious about Africa? Every time we have a meal packaging event at a school, the kids have tons of great questions about the way children in Africa live. Here are ten questions the third- and fourth-grade students at Montverde Academy in Florida asked our Orlando staff member, Laura Cook, during a recent meal packaging event. Maybe they’re the same questions your kids are asking.

 
Students: “How do the children get to school?” 
Laura: The children have to walk to school, sometimes more than a mile on dirt roads.
 
Students: “Do they get lost on the way to school?” 
Laura: No, just like you, they remember how to get to school.
 
Thanks to partners like you, the children in COTN’s care can go to school
                             Thanks to partners like you, the children in COTN’s care are able to go to school.
 
Students: “Who teaches the children?” 
Laura: They have teachers, just like you. Sometimes, Children of the Nations is in charge of the school, other times they attend a public school nearby.
 
Students: “Where do the children live?” 
Laura: Many of them live in huts that are made of sticks, mud bricks, and thatch roofs.
 
Typically, homes in African villages are built by hand with local materials
                  Typically, homes in African villages are built by hand with local materials like mud and sticks.
 
Students: “If a child loses their parents, can they live with a grandparent?” 
Laura: Yes, many of them are able to live with their grandparents or other relatives.
 
Many children in Africa must babysit their brothers and sisters
Many children in Africa must babysit their brothers and sisters while their parents are at work. Sometimes this means they must bring their siblings to school with them!
 
Students: “If you have to bring your baby sister or brother to school, how do you sit at your desk with a baby strapped to your back?” 
Laura: They sit at their desk so that there is enough room for them and the baby!
 
Students: “What do the children play and what toys do they have?” 
Laura: Just like you, the children love to pretend and play games. They can make all kinds of toys out of things they find. Sometimes they make toys out of sticks, grass, cardboard, or something they find in the trash. I’ve seen children make soccer balls out of plastic bags.
 
This little boy in Haiti made a toy car out of an empty milk jug
Children in Africa and other impoverished countries make toys out of anything they can find. This little boy in Haiti made a toy car out of an empty plastic bottle and some caps.
 
Students: “Why do children carry things on their heads instead of holding it in their arms?” 
Laura: Carrying firewood or water on your head sounds really hard. However, once you’ve learned how, it’s actually easier to carry more things or heavier loads on your head than in your arms.
 
Students: “What if some of the water spills out of the bucket on the way back to the house?”
Laura: If the children need more water they have to go back and fill their bucket again!
 
People in Africa carry everything from food to firewood on their heads
People in Africa carry everything from food to firewood on their heads. They make it look easy but it takes lots of practice to develop enough strength and skill to do it right.
 
Students: “Do the children see jungle animals like lions?” 
Laura: No, these animals do not live near the villages our children live in.
 
 
So what about you? Do you have any questions? Leave your questions as comments below, and we’ll do our best to answer them!