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Sustainable Development Games: The Paper Bag Game

On Friday, 26 July 2019 at the House of Democracy the SDG Games were held.  The Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) in conjunction with its project partner Namibia Youth Coalition on Climate Change (NYCCC). 

Each of the participants were in a “family”, the family business was to make durable paper bags out of newspapers and sell them to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper would then determine the price he was willing to pay for the paper bag based on the size, design, creativity, finesse etc, etc.A quick demonstration on how to make a paper bag was given.

All the families were allotted 7 mins to construct as many paper bags as possible. Each family was also given a shopping list as well as a budget sheet. The moderator gave each family a chance card. The chance cards made life for each of the families exponentially more difficult which is similar to everyday life for some in the word. One family lost a family member, so that automatically disqualified that person from helping to make paper bags. 

An entire family contracted chickenpox and had to budget for medicine once they received funds from the shopkeeper. The last family had to attend a wedding but only one family member could attend, and the cost of transport was N$ 600.00.

 After the first round it was time to sell to the shopkeeper. Each group had varying design styles and functions for their bags. After the sale of goods each family needed to calculate if they made enough money in order to survive that month but also taking their chance cards into consideration. 

The second round allotted 5 mins to make paper bags. The final round saw cohesiveness, good teamwork and a good fighting spirit coupled with and quick work. The families were in it to win it and make as much money as possible. More fun was had in the final round.

In the debrief, participants discussed their overall experience with the SDG’s. Melba Mabukn said that, “In a group you get to learn, and one needs to be associated with others.” Another participant sympathised with people who live in poverty. She acknowledged that it was frustrating to make money but not have enough to cover basic necessities. 

The turnout was not as expected, but the knowledge gained by those in attendance is priceless. The SDG’s are a fun and interactive way to learn about the sustainable development goals that the world is trying to work towards.