Aid agency

Includes: Indoors, Helping others, World issues

Activity time:
1 meeting


Print this activity pack

Take on the role of an aid agency

This is a fascinating exercise which puts girls at the aid front-line.


  1. Divide the girls/young women into groups of about six.
  2. Each group should imagine that it is an international aid agency.
  3. Each girl/young woman could take on a specific role in the aid agency.
  4. Groups should then be asked to set up a campsite in preparation for the arrival of several hundred refugees.
  5. They should discuss what would be needed to set up and operate a refugee camp and write a list. They should consider things like:
    • shelter
    • water
    • food
    • medical facilities
    • schools
    • a photo wall – for families trying to locate lost relatives
    • security (if the camp is likely to be attacked)
    • a play area for children
  6. When the groups have discussed their requirements you should give them a list of constraints, such as the following.
    • There has been severe drought in the area so water will have to be imported or sourced from another location.
    • There have been continued attacks on refugees by local militia (unofficial military forces) so they can't leave the camp to work or shop in nearby markets.
    • There is an outbreak of cholera in the camp so urgent medical assistance is needed. The number of people injured when fleeing their homes during the war is adding to the demand for medical care
    • After the groups have discussed these circumstances and have decided how best to deal with them, you should tell them that there has been a funding crisis for the international aid agency and they will only be able to keep half of their provisions for the refugee camp! They should now discuss what items to choose. They should also discuss the effects on the refugees of losing the other provisions for the camp (for example, no school would severely disadvantage the children).
  7. Groups should discuss if the things on their lists are essential or luxury items? What luxury items do you think would be the hardest to sacrifice? Do you think that refugee camps usually have all of the equipment and resources they need? What do you think would happen if people did not have access to a) water, b) food or c) medicine?

Consider and be sensitive to the experiences of the girls before beginning this activity - don't assume that none of the girls have ever been refugees, and consider that if they have been this exercise may be emotionally difficult for them.

Planning checklist

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed