“Slum in the Cellars”: Cambridge charity group organises POVERTY SIMULATION at Clare

They deleted the event quickly afterwards

Two charity groups have created a Facebook event that aimed to transform “Clare College cellars into a run-down, oppressive slum.”

The event intended to “place participants in the position of those living in extreme poverty.”

After the poverty simulation, which was supposed to last for two hours, organisers hoped invitees would stay “afterwards for a drink in the bar.”

Organisers said they were “delighted to put this event on free of charge for participants.”


The event was organised by the Cambridge branch of “Giving What We Can”, which according to Wikipedia is “an international society for the promotion of the most cost-effective poverty relief, in particular in the developing world.”

Several people quickly took to Twitter to criticise the event, before it was deleted on Facebook, including the BME representative at CUSU Women’s Campaign Lola Olufemi.

Audrey Sebatindira, JCR BME rep at Tit Hall, expressed outrage on Twitter.

Nungari Mwangi, co-president of the African Society of Cambridge University, also took to Facebook to decry the idea.

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But it is not the first time Giving What We Can has hosted such an event. Another, called “Struggle for Survival” was co-hosted with Global Hand in London last year, with allegedly “beaming” responses from the likes of Richard Branson.

Clare JCR President Joe Landman told The Tab that the booking for the event had been cancelled as of this afternoon.

In a statement published fully on Facebook, the Cambridge branch of Giving What We Can said “We are deeply sorry that our event with Empathy Action has caused offence. We see now how this might have come across problematically, so have decided to cancel the event to prevent any further offence.”

“We are contacting the person who posted the comment and those that ‘liked’ the comment to apologise and ask for advice on how to approach these issues in the future.”

“Our mission is to promote the best approaches to overcoming poverty and the last thing we want is any distraction from this goal.”