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Many people, one world

#age_6to10

Around us there are different people – from different countries, different age, with different level of physical abilities. Everybody is a valuable person, with whom it’s worth to speak, worth to get to know, worth to help. But helping others requires empathy and mindfulness, only in that case you can be really useful. During the meeting participants will get to know the story of a changemaker with disability, they will try to put themselves in her shoes and they will think together how to change the world and help others – effectively, with care and mindfulness.

#GlobalEducation #Diversity

Main objectives:

Developing the sensitivity of the participants regarding other people and indicating working with people in difficult situation as one of the areas of changing the world.

During the workshop the participants will:

  • Understand and practice empathy and mindfulness.

  • Learn to notice other people, especially those who face exclusion or other kinds of difficulties.

  • Realize that disability doesn’t mean only limits and people with disabilities do important and beautiful things (they experience the world in a different, not necessary worse way).

  • Think what it means “helping in a good way”.


1. Starting the meeting with the chant:


We change the world together

To make everything better

For people and for nature

This is our adventure


2. Story

Read to the participants the third letter from our travelers.

Dear children!

This time we will tell you about an amazing changemaker – Yoshi from Japan. Yoshi lost her sight when she was a small child, but this doesn’t stop her from changing the world for better! Yoshi opened in Thailand a Mobile Library. She brings books to children and adults, trying to spread the beauty of reading and education. Some of the people she serves live in very remote villages. Others are sick or have different kinds of disability, which prevent them from going out from home.

Yoshi, together with her workers, brings books to those people, sometimes she also stays for longer to talk and listen what they need. Each person expects something different, that’s why it’s so important to ask about personal needs. Yoshi listens carefully because she knows how it is when you need help. She also had a lot of difficulties to overcome. She is not only blind, but she came to Thailand from another country – from Japan. A long time went by before the inhabitants of a small Thai town accepted her, but now everybody likes her and appreciates her changemaking job. Yoshi proved that everybody can change the world! Greetings from Thailand.

Anna and Andrea

You can find the full story of Yoshi, “See more”, here.

Ask the participants what they think about Yoshi’s work. How do they think – how it is to be a blind person? Speak about it together. Make sure that they know where Thailand and Japan are (show those countries on the map) and they understand all terms which appeared in the story (for example mobile library, person with disability).

Yoshi, during a class in kindergarten in a small village located in the Thai mountains. Thanks to the Children Centers organized by Yoshi, the younger inhabitants of remote villages can prepare themselves for studying in public schools, for example by learning Thai language (ethnic minorities use their own dialects).



3. Exercise


Make together exercises which will help participants to understand the situation of a person with disability.

Exercise 1. Divide participants in pairs. One person is blindfolded, another one gives him/her different things. The task of the person with covered eyes is to check carefully all things by the touch and guess what they are. After a while, the participants change roles in the couple.

Exercise 2. In the next exercise again one person is blindfolded and the second one becomes the guide. The task of the guide is to take the person with covered eyes for a walk around the room and – if possible – outside. The blindfolded person acts as a researcher, discovers the world from different perspectives. She/he tries to get it to know through senses other than sight. The exercise should be done slowly. Let participants get to know the structure of things, understand what you feel when you walk in darkness with the support of other people. After a while, the participants switch roles.

Summarizing the exercises, ask children how they felt walking with closed eyes. Do they discover something new? What emotions did they feel? Turn the attention of the participants on the fact that there are different emotions appearing. Each person in the same situation could feel differently. Compare your emotions with the theoretical discussion about how a blind person can feel, which you did at the beginning of the meeting.


4. Discussion

Ask participants also how they felt in the role of guide. Underline that a guide needs to be very careful, mindful (ask participants to explain what it means, correct their answers) to take proper care of the person they lead. Explain participants that mindfulness is something changemakers really need.

An important feature for helping others is also empathy. Sometimes it is said that empathy is to be in somebodies shoes. In the previous exercise participants were in the shoes of a blind person, but does that mean that they know for sure how this person feels and what does she/he need? This exercise helped us to realize what a blind person can feel, but it’s not enough. Participants had different emotions during this exercise. The same can happen to blind people and others who need help. Each of them can have different emotions and can need different things.

Ask participants who else can need our help. Maybe people with other kinds of disabilities or elderly people? Or maybe migrants and refugees who don’t know the local language?

Summarizing the discussion think together what is important while helping. What we need to do so our help is positive and effective? Write down few rules of good helping. Underline that it’s very important to make sure (ask) if the person you want to help really expects it and what kind of help is needed. Remember about empathy and mindfulness.

Examples of rules of good helping:

  • Look carefully around to notice people who need help.

  • Ask if help is needed.

  • Think how the person you help feels.

  • Check what has changed thanks to your help.


5. Artwork

Based on the rules of good helping written down before, prepare a tutorial with pictures. Every small team of 4-6 participants can illustrate one rule.


6. Drama

Exchange the illustration of the rules of good helping, so that every small team has a different rule than the one they created the picture for. The next task is to prepare a drama in which teams present a helping situation applying the rule they received. Make sure teams will play different situations, for example with people with disabilities, elderly people, people from other countries. After watching each drama, think together, if it was really an example of good helping. Support participants in explaining why yes or why not.


7. Summarize

Ask the participants to tell others about their experience connected with helping (when they helped somebody or somebody helped them).


8. Homework

Ask the participants to observe their surroundings with empathy and mindfulness. Who may need our help? Ask them to help one person in the proper way.


9. Finishing the meeting with the chant


We change the world together

To make everything better

For people and for nature

This is our adventure


Additional tasks for the group:

  • Ask 5 people what empathy means.

  • Look around and think what in your surrounding can be difficult for people with different kinds of disability. Can you help in some of those cases? If yes – do it!


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! --> hello@exchangetheworld.info


More Changemaker stories: exchangetheworld.info