Traveling exhibit gives a first hand look at poverty through a self-guided tour


TYLER (KYTX) - If you've ever tried to live on $1.25 a day. It's not easy. But nearly 1.5 billion people do it every day. A traveling exhibit in Tyler is giving tour goers an inside look at what it's like for children around the globe who live in poverty.

CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey takes us through "The Compassion Experience".

Dirty walls, empty bowls and trash, tell a story about poverty.

"It takes you to a place where you can only get a glimpse of  what they go through."

The scenes recreated by a non-profit ministry called Compassion International -- are taken directly out of the lives of three children: Brinda from India, Rueben from Bolivia, and Julian from Uganda.

"For Julian's life, she's a girl and can be sold...she even says at one time her mother's friends're sitting on a  gold mine," said Nikki Martinez who took a tour through the Compassion Experience.

"People who walk through this will have their eyes open to what poverty is like around the world and how different life is  for them than it is for us in the united states," said tour manager Amy Soden.

Before taking tour of this recreated world of what it's like to live in poverty you're given two items, a pair of headsets and a ipod. Depending on which child you choose to follow you're able to listen to their corresponding story as they  walk you through their life and you'll get to see what it's actually like.

The tours are part of the bigger organization "Compassion International"  which focuses on giving impoverished children a second chance at a better life.  The organization collects money to sponsor children - providing food, shelter, education, and spiritual guidance. 

Soden said in reference to Compassion International, "It's about releasing children from poverty in Jesus name."

The children highlighted here, have gone to live better lives thanks to sponsors.

Tour goers admit, just seeing this re-creation is a lot to take it.
"I still had to grab a Kleenex at the end," Martinez.

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