One of the most important tasks we have as human beings is to leave this world better than we found it. It’s important to empower children from the young age to do good deeds and give them the feeling that they can change the world for better. The aim of this meeting is to get participants interested in changing the world and explain them the basic definitions connected to the topic, above all the term “changemaker”.
Author and translation: Anna Książek
Proofreading: Andrea Pucci
Getting to know the term “changemaker” and the aim of changemaking actions
During the workshop the participants will:
Get a better grasp of the many countries in the world.
Get interested in changing the world.
Try to analyze the word “change”.
Get to know examples of changemakers.
Try to define which features and skills changemakers need.
Search for inspiration to take their own actions.
Read loudly the letter the participants got from the travelers:
We are Anna and Andrea, a Polish girl and an Italian guy. We are traveling together around the world, visiting different continents and countries, often really different from our own. We admire beautiful monuments, spend time in nature, in the jungle and close to the sea, but above all we meet people, adults and children. Their life is so much different than the life we know in Europe.
With pleasure and curiosity we get to know inhabitants of various countries, we speak with them, try to understand how their daily life looks like – where they live, what they eat, what they learn. We really like to travel, although the longer we are on the way, the clearer we see that on the world there are so many things which need to be changed. A lot of children don’t have a proper place to stay for night, they can’t go to school and adult often are sad and lonely. What’s more, also nature is in danger, there is so much rubbish and pollution!
Fortunately, we meet on our way wonderful people, who want to do something to solve those problems. We call them changemakers. And they are everywhere. They don’t change the whole world at once, but they start from their closest environment – and this is important. Changemakers are so interesting that we decided to share their stories with others. We want to share some of those stories with you as well. But first you have to understand well who is a changemaker, and then decide together if you want to become one of them. We keep our fingers crossed and we hope you decide to listen to our stories and change the world together!
Anna and Andrea
You can read about Anna and Andrea’s journey on the website: exchangetheworld.info.
During the meeting we will get to know changemakers from all over the world. Let’s see what we actually know about the world itself. Do participants know the continents? Ask them to show continents on the map. Add or correct something if needed.
Put on the walls, at some distance from one another, papers with the names of some continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, North America and Oceania. You can also mark (for example with a string) which part of the wall belongs to which continent.
Then, name one country, for example France. The task of the participants is to touch as fast as possible the part of the wall named after the continent to which France belongs. Repeat few times, giving names of countries belonging to different continents. Then, come back to the map of the world. Ask participants how many countries there are in the world. How many of them in every continent? Let participants guess and then give them the right answers (Europa – 47, Asia – 48, Australia and Oceania – 14, Africa – 54, South America – 12, North America – 23, according to the UN).
Participants know already how the world looks like. Let’s see together what the word “#change” means. Participants in small teams of 4-6 people do a survey. Their task is to ask different people – pedestrians, workers from nearby shops, etc. – what it means “change”. How can we define it?
Attention! Participants can go outside only with an adult person.
Summarize the survey. Compare the answers which different groups got. What did you learn about change? Speak shortly about people’s reaction. Pay particular attention if children met unpleasant or surprising response. Why did it happen? Why some people react for change with anger, fear or sadness? Ask the participants to think about changes which happened in their life, for example the first day at school. Is it easy to change? Probably not always, but it can bring a lot of good things, if it is properly prepared.
Participants know already what the word “change” means. But what it means “changemaker”? Ask them to try and guess the meaning of this word. What does a changemaker do? Summarize and add if needed that changemaker is a person who does something good for the society or the environment (nature). She/he doesn’t have to change the whole world which – as participants know already – it’s really huge, it’s enough that she/he does something in the closest surroundings, in her/his country, city, district, school or family. Tell the participants about few people which can be called changemakers. You can get inspired by stories from exchangetheworld.info or share stories of people from your community (a neighbor who helped to create a play ground in your district; a person who organized people to build a road together; a volunteer which is helping in a shelter for animals). Encourage the participants to look for their own examples.
Divide the participants in small teams of 4-6 people. For each team prepare two set of papers of different color reporting on one set some changemaker’s skill and on the other color its explanation. Hide or spread the papers in the room. The task for the teams is to find the papers and match them together, for example:
empathy – can understand what other people feel
responsibility – fulfills the tasks she/he agreed to do
creativity – has ideas how to solve different problems
collaboration – can work with others, act in group
mindfulness – listens to others and observes what is happening around
perseverance – keeps going, doesn’t give up
At the end of the exercise tell about the travelers from which the participants got the letter. Explain that Anna and Andrea, speaking with people who change the world for better, ask them what is needed to be a good changemaker. Oftentimes, the skills are those you’ve seen in the exercise. Does everybody understand now what each of them means? We will get to know some of them better during next meetings.
Participants create portraits of a changemaker, trying to depict the skills discussed on the previous exercise. They can choose any technique they want, for example crayons, markers or collage from old newspaper. Showing the artworks, name once again the skills presented on the portraits.
Participants one by one tell about the work changemakers do. Direct the discussion the way they understand that also children can be changemakers. Ask if they want to change the world around them. Decide together if you want to continue the journey with Anna and Andrea and get to know next changemaker’s stories. Agree also that from now on participants will observe the world around them and look for things they can change for better.
Every participant, at school or at home, should do at least one good deed. Make sure that participants know what it can be (for example making shopping for an elderly neighbor, helping a classmate in doing the homework, prepare with the parents a Christmas gift for a family in need).
9. Finishing the meeting
Participants learn a chant which they will use at the beginning and at the end of every meeting about changemakers:
We change the world together
To make everything better
For people and for nature
This is our adventure
Additional tasks for the group:
Prepare a collection of stories of changemakers which operate in your city/village. It can be a great gift for a friend of your team. Or maybe you can do an album of children – changemakers?
Do you see any mistake in the text? Do you want to support us in translating scenarios and stories to different languages? Don't hesitate to contact us! We are constantly looking for people to help us with any language. Let's make together changemaker materials available for more people! --> firstname.lastname@example.org
More Changemaker stories: exchangetheworld.info
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