During this workshop participants will put into actions skills and values connected with changing the world for better. Participants will plan and implement changemaking action, which will empower them and make them believe that they can change the world around.
Author and translation: Anna Książek
Proofreading: Andrea Pucci
Planning and realizing social actions.
During the workshop the participants will:
Learn to notice social problems, analyze them, create solutions, plan and implement actions as well as work in group.
Be empowered to change the world.
1. Story and discussion about changemakers
Tell the participants about the idea of changing the world:
During today meeting we will become changemakers. How do you understand this word? Who is the changemaker? We can use this term for a person who notices problems, finds solutions and implements them to change the world for better. Saying “world” we don’t really mean the whole planet, but our own, personal world, the local community, city, district, family. Changemaker is quite a new word. Do you like it? Maybe you have some other proposition how we can name somebody who changes the world?
After a short discussion provoked by the introduction above, present the participants short stories of changemakers who change the world for better. You can get inspired by the examples from Asia, included in this book. Ask the participants to share examples of changemakers they know. Then ask them if they want to become changemakers. Propose to lead them through the different phases of preparing a changemaking action.
2. Step 1 – noticing the problem (survey)
Explain the participants that before making any change, they have to notice a problem. Think in small groups what kind of social or environmental problems you see in your surroundings? To get inspired you can go for a walk around; observe, ask people you meet on the way, what according to them should be changed? It can be many things, for example lack of trees, stray dogs, lack of relations between neighbors, rubbish, loosing sense of community, elder people who need help, etc. But don’t give participants those ideas, let them choose the problem they want to work on. This is the most important goal of the meeting. You want to arise in the participants the feeling that they can change the world themselves and empower them to do so. After finishing the walk and discussion, choose together one problem you want to work on today.
3. Step 2 – analyzing the problem
Once the problem is chosen, let’s have a closer look at it. What are the causes of the problem? If you discuss for example the lack of relation between neighbors, why it is so? Maybe people have no time? Maybe they are not used to talk to each other? Maybe they don’t know each other? And what are the consequences? Maybe loneliness? People don’t smile?
After an initial discussion, visualize the problem as a tree. Write the problem you want to work on in the trunk of the tree. From there the causes spread down in the roots and the consequences branch out in the crown. This will help you to better understand the problem. Maybe today you will plan a solution for just one root, instead of trying to tackle the whole problem at once. Sometimes it’s worth to work with small steps.
4. Step 3 – What can we do?
Spread into smaller groups and through brainstorming try to come up with different solutions to the chosen problem. Each group should have at least 5 ideas. Then, together, read all of them and choose those which you want to work on in the nearest future. It can be one idea or few of them, you decide how much you are able to do.
5. Step 4 – Planning
Write down all things which need to be done to put your idea into action. If, for example, you want to organize a Neighbors Day, you need to find a room, prepare invitations, deliver them, prepare a program, snacks. Share tasks between small groups. If the task is to deliver invitations, think who can go where and when. Appoint a person in charge and set specific dates. Think what else is required to fulfill the task, who can help you, also outside of your group.
6. Step 5 – Action
Everything planned? Are you ready to act? Check if everybody knows exactly what he/she should do, if you haven’t forgotten anything, maybe somebody still have some questions, doubts. Meet in small groups to fulfill your tasks. Let’s do it!
Young people from all over the world participate in actions changing their surroundings for better.
Additional tasks for group:
Put your project into action!
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More Changemaker stories: exchangetheworld.info
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