H1 Street Children
Aim: To explore the world of a street child. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Community, International H1
• World Map’ template
• Inequality Playing Cards’ template
• Paper and pens
• Feeling Cards’ template
• Blue-tac / Drawing pins
• A Snatched Glance Script’ template
Activity 1 - Welcome to Brazil
Aim: To Introduce Brazil and explore the differences and similarities of life In Brazil to that in the UK.
• Begin the session by using a map to show where Brazil is in relation to the UK
• Ask the young people some of the things they know about the country (e.g. famous Brazilians, well-known football teams, places they have maybe heard about, music, carnival etc.).
• Tell the young people that today they are going to find out some facts about Brazil and how it differs from the UK.
• Divide the young people into two equal teams and ask them to nominate a scribe.
• Lay the ‘Inequality Playing Cards’ template face down on a table or on the floor in front of the young people in the same way as they are arranged on the template.
• Turn over the first card. On this will be a category (e.g. population).
• Tell the young people that they must decide as a group what the figure for the UK is. They can confer and then must write it on a piece of paper. The groups then reveal their answer and the card is turned over. The group who was closest to the actual figure gains a point.
• Then ask the young people if they think the figure for Brazil is higher or lower than that for the UK. Again they can confer before sharing their answer.
• Proceed in this way through the categories, drawing out the differences that surface or focusing on any statistics that the young people find surprising.
• At the end of the activity add up the scores and announce the winner. That a winner emerges is not the point of this game, nor that facts and figures are learnt. But, instead, it is to highlight that in various ways absolute poverty is a tact of life for many in Brazil. According to UNICEP 8% of the population of 184 million live on less than $1 a day, some 14.7 million people. Many of these are young people who live and/or work on the streets.
Tips / Advice:
Statistical information such as that used in this activity is often difficult to communicate. It is tough to get a handle on just what such large numbers mean, we become blinded by their enormity and lose sight of the details of individual experience. Here it is useful to start from the young people’s own experience by using comparators they will be familiar with, e.g. the population of their town or city.
Activity 2 - Your home is the Street
Aim: To explore the meaning of home & street In the context of a street child’s life and the experience of living on the street.
• Blue-tac the heading cards ‘Street and ‘Home’ from the ‘Feeling Cards’ template onto a flipchart pad, pin them onto a wall or simply place them on a table in front of the young people,
• Give each young person a set of the twelve ‘feeling cards’ and ask them to place these under the heading home or street according to the place they most associate with this feeling. Some may fall between the two headings.
• Then, as a group, attempt to reach some consensus about the location of the various feelings (and, of course, that consensus decision maybe that they cannot be definitively placed under one or other heading).
• If the previous activity, Welcome to Brazil’, has already been done use this opportunity to connect back to the statistics explored there surrounding the number of young people in Brazil who work and/or live on the streets. If not, raise the issue That for the 7-8 million street children in Brazil, their home is the street.
• Look again at the array of feelings on the pad, wall or table and encourage the young people to think about what life would be like for a young person their age living on the streets of Brazil. Would they feel safe or afraid? Where would their source of comfort spring from? Would their friends become their family?
• Grounding this exercise in the young people’s imaginative experience hopefully allows them to start to empathise with the lived experience of street children. It should be remembered however that it is very easy to shift from this empathy to a stereotype of street children as victims. Challenging this. it is important to stress that street children are poor children out of place and that it is these wider structural issues that often lead to the street becoming their home. Hope springs from the fact that these structures can be challenged, changed, and made to work to improve the lives of poor young people in Brazil.
• Both the wider issue of the stereotyping of street children and the importance their visibility plays in fuelling these stereotypes are explored in more depth through drama in the final activity of this series, ‘A Snatched Glance’.
Tips / Advice:
Given that this activity will involve some discussion on the young people’s home lives care should be taken to remain sensitive to the diversity of experiences within the group.
Activity 3 - A Snatched Glance
Aim: To examine the stereotypes associated with street children and consider our connection to their lives and how we might respond.
• Act out the short drama on the A Snatched Glance Script’ template.
• Ask the group what stereotyping is / means.
• Use this as a prompt for discussion. In this sketch the street boy clearly stereotypes the man and the man stereotypes the street boy. Ask the young people to think about these stereotypes: what assumptions are made about the street boy and about the man?
• Suggest to the young people that for both the man and the boy, in the eyes of the other, their position in society is framed as a personal choice. If the earlier activity ‘Welcome to Brazil’ has already been z done remind the young people that street children are largely a consequence of poverty and gross wealth inequality. If these issues have not previously been explored, raise the issue of structural poverty with the young people.
• Re-read the story again and ask the young people to reflect upon the second boy’s comments at its close about the connection between the street boy and the man. In what ways are we connected to the lives of street children? How might we act to improve their experience of living on the street?
For full details and details of resources see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Community, International H1
- Street Children
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