...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHERIntroductionAny work that asks people to look at topics of a controversial kind or to use imagination and explore feelings can onlysucceed if people feel comfortable with each other. So, time spent on getting to know each other, even if it seemswasted (not on the topic), is actually vitally important. A variety of activities can be used. Only a few of them arementioned here.Activities1. First NamesAsk each person in turn to come and write their name on the board or paper and tell something about it - the origin; whythey are named it; whether they like it; if they prefer. shorter or longer versions etc.2. Talking in PairsPeople are asked to speak with one other person that they dont know, or dont know well, to introduce themselves toeach other. They are encouraged to spend five minutes each. It is possible to give more specific questions to talk about.Afterwards each person in the pair could introduce the other to another couple or to the whole group.3. Ball of woolPeople stand in a circle. The first person throws a ball of wool to another (anywhere in the circle) saying their first nameand where they are from (or any other single thing that you decide on). The next person does the same. The wool shouldcrasscross the circle. A point could be made at the end about the fact that everybody in the group is connected in someway by the wool and their being together right now.4. What I would rather doSitting in a circle each person says their name and what they would do with their life Oob perhaps) if they couldchange. For example: llaria - Actress. The next person then introduces their neighbour, saying their own name andwhat they would rather do. This continues until the last person introduces everybody and then themselves. This is notonly a way for people to learn the names of others but to discover something more about them at the same time.5. I AM...Each person is given the I AM... sheet (copy attached) and asked to write largely and clearly three things aboutthemselves that are not obvious. So not, I am female or wear spectacles or have red hair. They can be as revealing orordinary as each person wants them to be. Then they attach the sheet to their front. Stand. Walk around and introducethemselves to all the other participants by shaking hands; exchanging names; looking at the sheet of the other personand briefly commenting or asking a question. This allows a real personal connection between each person at the start.ConclusionThe Personal Shield and Human Bingo, also in the pack, can be used as getting to know each other exercises or later asre-connection ones. The value of all of them is that they stress that each individual matters and is being valued forthemselves, before anything is done in groups or on the content. This is essential for this work that looks at respectingothers and accepting difference. It sends a very clear signal right from the start.PERSONAL SHELDIntroductionA short exercise for people in a group who do not know each other very well or who have not seen each other for awhile. To encourage easier communication between -group members.A BC DMOTTO
...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Each person draws - or makes - their own shield including the following:A - 3 Favourite things to do in leisure time (drawn);B - 3 Ambitions (drawn);C - 3 People you admire (drawn);D - 3 Places you like or would like to visit (drawn);Alternatively: A Three depictions of your family, personal life.B Three depictions of your work or study life.C Three spare time activities.D Three places you like or would like to visit.Other variations are possible.They also adopt a phrase thats applicable to them which will be their motto.Once complete, with a partner each person talks about their shield and motto for ten minutes and then listens as theirpartner explains theirs for ten minutes.They can then be put on the wall of the meeting room for people to look at and guess which belongs to each person orwith names on the top.HUMAN BINGOIntroductionA game best used as an energizer, after lunch or a break away from each other. Not advised as an icebreaker. A short,fun inter-active exercise to help re-establish a sense of being in the group.Process1. Each person is given a copy of the sheet with the Bingo grid. It is suggested that twelve boxes form the grid, withstatements that group members must find the answer to. Therefore, statements like is a woman or is wearing a watchare not appropriate, as these things can (usually) be clearly seen.The statements should cover a variety of topics,suitable for the group you are working with. See enclosed sheet as an example.2. Ask the group to stand, push chairs away and retain only the Bingo sheet and a pen. The object of the game is to get afull house (all twelve boxes completed) by funding one other person from the group for each box. They should do thisby mingling, forming pairs quickly, to ask one question each way. If they get a positive response they put the name ofthat person in the box and circulate to find the next positive response.3. 7he winner is the person who fills all twelve boxes first. It is not allowed to put your own name in any box. At theend, have a show of hands to test responses to each statement. The leader of the group should usually join in.ConclusionVariations are possible. There can be more boxes or less. The statements can be on a theme. They can be deliberatelycontroversial, provocative or risque. If this latter option is chosen, then you may need to allow more time to de-brief theexercise afterwards. In other words, although the main aim is as a group-bonding exercise, it can also be used as adiscussion starter.FIND SOMEONE WHO:KNOWS WHO BARBARASTANWYCK WASIS A CAR-DRIVER HAS BEEN ON HOLIDAY INTHE LAST MONTHIS A VEGETARIAN IS A SPORTS FAN HAS A PET
...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"LIKES THE SAME MUSIC ASYOUIS A PARENT HAS NEVER SMOKEDIS WEARING WHITEUNDERWEARLIKES SCIENCEFICTION FILMSWEARS CONTACTLENSESTHE TREASURE, THE PIRATE AND THE KEYIntroduction: Show a picture of a Treasure Chest being locked by a Pirate. Inside, treasure shouldbe seen.Explain that some treasure is going to be locked inside and that only one key will then be able to openthe chest. Show some copies of keys drawn on paper (all with seven different sized teeth). Give eachperson a copy of the key and tell them that they will have to design a key that will open the chest.The treasure: Could be one of the following -1. Future generations of young people with an understanding of, and sympathy for, the work of theRed Cross and Red Crescent Movement.2. Human contentment.The key: In these two cases it would be:1. In our dissemination work, the seven main things young people need to be educated about.2. The seven main things that a human being needs to be content.The clues: Some clues can be written on stickers and placed around the room. These are possible answers.Participants can look at them, or not, as they wish.The exercise: 1. Alone, each person comes up with the seven most important things that would unlock the treasure.They must put them in order of priority (largest tooth = top priority).2. Small groups should be formed (at least three, preferably not more than seven). Each group is givenone different coloured copy of the key. They are told to somehow, someway, reach a group consensusof the seven in order of priority.3. The keys can then be put on the wall or theseven priorities written on a grid on a large sheet ofpaper. Each group should be asked:- Was it easy or difficult to reach consensus?Did everybody get to express their views?Why did your first choice have top priority?4. Either the large group should then be encouraged to discuss and come to a large group decision or ageneral discussion should take place on the issues that arose.Conclusion: The discussion will largely depend in the nature of the treasure and the key that you originally chose.Some points may well apply in every situation:
...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"- Is it necessary to have a large group key? Or, are the individual and/or small groups ones enough?Will any key work?!- Is it useful, or not, to prioritize in this way?- Are there cultural differences of perspectives involved?- How did people feel during the various stages of the task?- Can anything be learnt from this exercise about difference and communication as well as the officialcontent?Under no circumstances should the person running the exercise tell the group at the end that they havethe one and only correct key to the treasure. This would rather ruin the point of the whole exercise.Note: Depending on the topic and the structure you choose and the group and the level of discussion thisexercise can take a short time (45 minutes minimum) or it can provide the material for a 1/2 daysession.An example of the treasure, key and possible clues that could be used follows:The Treasure A world without violence and war.The Key The seven main things that individuals can do to achieve this.The Clues Learn to accept differences;Gain wider knowledge of people and the world;Show tolerance and respect;Develop empathy and understanding for the views and actions of others; Read widely;Challenge prejudice and discrimination - even in friends and family;Write to, and lobby, politicians and other leaders;Actively encourage more equal distribution of the worlds resources; Consume less, so that othersmay consume more;learn to deal with our own anger and fear in a constructive way;Talk about problems rather than hiding from them;Live non-violently and non-aggressively - be a good example;Pretend it is the problem of everyone else but you;Use your own knowledge and skills to convince others in your own life;Support - by membership, fumce or promoting them - organizations working towards conflictprevention and peace;Complain, campaign, march and demonstrate if necessary;Boycott companies and governments which actively encourage violence and war;Support the death penalty for violent criminals and the assassination of religious and political leaderswho encourage violence;Protect yourself and those you care about - and ignore the chaos and suffering elsewhere;Feel it as all hopeless and rum to sex or drugs or materialism or career or...These clues should be placed on slips of paper all around the room. People should be told that, like all clues, some maybe helpful and others not. Nobody has to look at them, they can choose whether to look at them, before doing their ownkey, or after, or not at all.THE TEN SYMBOLS OF THE PACK METHODOLOGYThe methods used in the pack are very simple. They are mostly not difficult and not dangerous. They are, though,harder work for those running them and those participating. They will be for some people a change from what they areused to. (For a description of peoples varying reactions to change, see the exercise Change). The following tensymbols explain something about the methods and their rationale.1. The lecturer or expert style of telling people what they need to know is not encouraged. Nor is sitting in rows orbehind desks. Sitting in circles, so that everyone can see each other with no barriers, is encouraged. Also, breaking up
...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"into smaller groups of two, three or five people gives everybody the opportunity to contribute, as well as providingvariety.2. Any activity or session or workshop or pack cannot provide everything for people. It is, rather, like building blocks.It can add some more blocks to whatever the individual is building (a wall, a house, a palace etc). Some things can beoffered which some people will find useful and others may find less so. Some people may reject any kind of blockswhich are different shapes to the ones they expected. Others can transform blocks into shapes suitable for their ownbuilding.3. Although strengths and positive aspects are concentrated on, weaknesses and more negative things should not beignored. All people can learn new things if they are open to do so. By facing difficulties and problems and less pleasantthings about ourselves, we can learn and develop.4. Any activity/session/course/pack can stay on a safe, secure level and people will, of course, learn and move forward.If, however, things move beneath the surface a little... if some risks are taken.… if participation and dealing with realissues and feelings are promoted, then difficulties and some unhappiness can occur. The chances are much greaterthough, that real learning and development will take place at a much higher level.5. If the left-side of the brain only is engaged then learning can only possibly reach a certain level. This side is thelogical, rational one that controls reading, writing, number, tasks. If, however, the right-side is also engaged (the side ofimagination and feelings and creativity) than the whole person is involved and learning can reach a much higher level.So colour; visual, musical and dramatic aspects; emotions and creativity, should be used and stimulated.6. The educational theory underlying this work is based on Dales Cone of Experience. This suggests that people onlyremember 10 to 20% of what they read or hear. If they see and hear then it approaches 50%. To get higher they need tosee, hear, say and do. If they are actively involved they can integrate up to 90%. These methods all involve activeparticipation and experiencing to encourage the greatest learning possible.7. Sharing and equality are two of the key elements of the approach. Not the patronizing Adult telling Child; Mantelling Woman; North telling South; West telling East or Geneva telling everybody, what to do and how to do. Instead,a belief that everybody can learn from each other, if they are open to receive as well as to give.8. Accepting difference, in the world at large and within the group, are stressed. It means accepting people fromdifferent cultures and backgrounds; those with different lifestyles and opinions; those who want to be a part ofeverything and those who sometimes want to withdraw; that people are individuals as well as members of a Society. Itmeans giving quite a lot of responsibility - including for their own learning or lack of it - to people themselves and nottrying to lead, control or shape too much.9. The hope of this work is that people will feel motivated to do something about it themselves in their ownlocal/personal situation. It can then have a snowball effect. gathering pace and momentum and increasing in size. Firstcomes some awareness and sharing together and then can come some action with solidarity. Like light, weaksnowflakes joining together until they form a formidable snowball.10. People - whether on a course; in school; at work; in a refugee camp; in a relationship etc - can be treated like one ofthree vegetables.The Green Bean: the grower tightly controls its growth, to make it perfect. The grower knows what size, shape, colourand texture it should be to make it marketable. It becomes perfect but at a cost: no freedom.People treated this way are controlled to ensure that they have the right/best information, skills, etc.The Mushroom: the grower places them in a dark place (a dungeon, under a box) and leaves them to grow. They mightoccasionally be given some manure. They grow or they dont.People treated this way are given nothing. They are ignored, not told anything, except on occasions, something useless.The Tomato: the grower prepares the ground well; protects them from birds, waters them and cares for their growth,especially at first. After a while some may grow smaller/larger; greener/redder; sweeter; different shapes etc. All areconsidered worthwhile.This way of treating people, is to offer some things, especially at first, but then they are free to grow and developthemselves.
...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"The whole ethos of this pack is that it is better to try to treat people like tomatoes, rather than green beans ormushrooms. Neither perfection nor total freedom are the goals. The goal is to offer something, to share and toencourage real awareness and responsibility.IDENTIFYING NEEDSASSESSING: COMMUNITY NEEDS EXERCISEPurposeThis exercise is designed to help us see how the priorities set by professional workers and newcomers to a communityare not always those that the community members would choose.QUESTIONNAIREPriorities of Mathari Valley PeopleThe Nairobi City Council recently made a survey of over 2,000 families in Matliari Valley. They asked the people whatproblems the people saw as most important in their lives in the valley. They then asked the people to rank thoseproblems in order of priority.Instructions: Rank in order of what you think the people in the Valley answered as their first, second, thirdpriorities etc. Place a number 1 by the one you think they ranked first, a number 2 by the one you think they rankedsecond, etc. up to 10.Write your numbers in the left hand column.Your Ranking----------- Land----------- Clean water----------- Shelter----------- Clothing----------- School Fees----------- Money to expand business----------- Educational facilities----------- Food.----------- Better standard of housing----------- SanitationTaken from "Health Care Together" by Mary Johnson and Susan Rifkin (1987), published by Macmillan Publishers,London.HUMAN SCULPTUREIntroductionAn inter-active activity to demonstrate cooperation and acceptance of difference. This is often the hidden aim. Theintroduction can state this or it can be billed as a warm-up activity or one on a completely different topic.Process1. Ask people to form groups of three or four. Then ask them to demonstrate, by forming a human sculpture,something on the topic you give them. The topic can be:the benefit of cooperationaccepting the difference of othershow this group or class worksconflictnightlife in the areacats(Clearly almost any topic can be chosen, depending on the group, situation and your aim).
...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"2. The group are told they cannot talk at all during the exercise. They are given a set amount of time and told theywill then present their sculpture to all the other groups. Only after this will talking be allowed.3. One person in each group is given a disability by the leader. They must keep their hand behind their back or intheir pocket. Alternatively they must stand on one leg or stay bent over. Other variations are possible. No reasonsare given for this, however they must stay this way until the end of the presentations.4. After each group has made their presentation, allow each group some time to talk about what they achieved, howthey felt about it and what, if anything, they learnt from it.5. Open this out to a general discussion. Some specific questions should also be posed:What did it feel like working without words?How well did the group work together?What helped or hindered this working together?How did the individual wish the imposed disability feel?How did the group react to this person and how did they feel about them?What did you learn about: human sculptures; the topic you were asked to sculpt; cooperation; difference?(Many other questions could be posed depending on the group, the time and the nature of your work. Forlarger groups, or even for smaller ones, these questions could be raised with small groups first before the largegroup discussion).ConclusionSome difficult issues could arise during this exercise and time will need to be allowed to look at them properly. Theleader will probably need to make choices about which questions to focus on.MY HEROIntroductionThe world of fantasy can be a useful tool in helping young people discover and express their thoughts and feelings. Forthis exercise, we will use the notion of the hero figure as another tool for helping young people to look at their personalvalues in more depth.In order to have a clearer understanding of the nature of the activity, the following remarks should be taken intoconsideration:1. Consciously or unconsciously, almost everyone has one or more hero figures;2. Hero figures play an important role in the lives of young people since they normally serve as a centre ofattraction or as a figure with which to identify and in this way they help young people to adopt a number ofvalues;3. It is therefore important to realize that hero figures are not neutral, they have a certain image and convey anumber of values;4. Viewed from a collective dimension, hero figures can also play a very important role in the life of largercommunities, such as a racial or ethnic group or a country.For this reason, a hero figure can be a most important factor in national unity (when it is shared by the whole populationof a country), but it can also cause division when it is shared by a particular sector of the society, community or ethnicgroup and not recognized by other sectors of the population.
...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"This aspect must be carefully taken into account for this exercise. Only the general setting is given here, but it can andshould be adapted to local circumstances.The main aim is to encourage people to realize that other people in the same country, community or city may have otherheroes and to understand and respect their choices.Process1. A few volunteers should be asked to give their definition of a hero. It is not important to give a dictionarydefinition. Some of the following aspects may possibly emerge:A hero is: a noble person admired for his or her achievements of noble qualities, someone with superhumanqualities, someone who has special talents, someone who has dedicated his or her life to the service of others,etc.2. Give out the MY HERO form. State that:a) A hero (for the purposes of this exercise) could be a real or fictitious character. It could be a patriotof the country, a religious figure, a popular character from a TV series or commercial, an historicalfigure, a her