Strong Girls Safe Communities


The goals of this module are

  • to identify perceived safe/unsafe places in the community,
  • to make children aware of others’ perceptions of the same living environment,
  • to develop creative ideas for positive changes in the community,
  • to enhance the girls to think of future targets for social life,
  • to improve self-presentation and communication skills and
  • to enhance bonding/cohesion to the community and its members.

Ideal Group size:

n/a

Duration:

40-45 minutes plus discussion

Preparation:

Material:

  • Blank A4 sheets of paper and red/green crayons, pens, markers for posters/maps (no. depends on count of participants)
  • A ball of wool for the “Community Network” (alternative: a ball)
  • If possible: old magazines or newspapers to cut pictures and articles out for posters/maps, scissors, glue

Materials for download:

External resources:

How it’s done

Notes: This session should encourage the girls reflect on their living environment. Furthermore, everybody is supposed to gain an impression of how other people see their community. Together, the girls can develop ideas to improve their living environment, which at best improves their social cohesion.

Introduction

  • Bring all the girls together, sitting in a semi-circle.
  • Talk about you walking around the community this morning and watching all the people on the street carefully. You asked yourself the question: “Does everybody see and feel the same thing as I do right now?”
  • Tell everybody that this question was in your mind the whole day and that in this session you want to find out more about the girls view on their community.

Instructions and description of exercise

Step 1 – “Community Net”

Bring all participants together sitting in a circle and explain the rules:

  1. The coach is also a part of the circle and has a ball of wool in her hand
  2. To hold the ball of wool means that you’re the person with speaking authority
  3. The person with speaking authority is supposed to complete the following sentence: “I feel safe in my community at … “
  4. After the statement, the person grabs a part of the wool, calls out the name of another person and throws the ball to her (but sill holding a part of it)
  5. Every girls tells a place she feels safe at. In the end, a web of wool will connect everyone in the circle
  6. The coach starts the exercise with an exemplary statement herself
  7. After everybody made a statement the coach gets the ball of wool again and starts the 2nd round with the statement: “I feel unsafe in my community at …”
  8. The process of the first round is repeated
  9. After every girl said where she feels unsafe, Encourage everybody stand up and present the created network as a symbol of the community and the different perspectives on it

Step 2 – “Community Map”

  • Bring all the girls together in a semi-circle
    1. Brainstorm about significant places in their community
    2. Remind the girlsof places named in the “Community Net” exercise
  • Randomly divide in groups of 3 girls who will work as a team
  • Hand out paper and pens, crayons etc. to each group after explaining the next exercise:
    1. All groups are supposed to draw a map of their neighbourhood, including places that were mentioned in the brainstorming
    2. Include your personal significant places that you perceive as safe or dangerous and mark them visibly (red – dangerous/ green – safe)
    3. In the end, the groups are going to present their maps and explain what changes and improvements they wish for their community
  • 15 minutes later, bring the girls together in a semi-circle and encourage the girls to present their “Community Maps” in front of the group with a short explanation for their selection of safe/dangerous places
  • Send the girls back to their groups after the presentation and encourage them to reflect about the ideas of other groups.
  • Ask them to write down ideas to make dangerous places safer.
  • Start the group discussion after a maximum of 10 minutes

Reflection and discussion

Notes: After the exercise, bring all the girls together and create a comfortable situation with everybody sitting in a circle and being able to see each other.

  • Start asking the groups about their ideas and discuss them in group.
  • Everybody is supposed to be included into the discussion! Make sure that every group member shares the collective group ideas. Involve everybody and try to ask shy and more quiet girls directly.
  • Specific questions for reflection and discussion round:
    • What ideas did you write down in the groups?
    • Why do you think this would make the place safer?
  • Ask other groups for feedback and their opinions about the ideas.
    • How could we start realizing this idea?
    • How do you want your community to look like in the future, when you are an adult (in 5, 10, 20 years)? Why?
    • What needs to change significantly (facilities, infrastructure etc.) to realize this dream?

Notes: This is just a selection of possible questions that could help to lead a discussion. It is important to react on the answers given in the discussion round and to be able to adapt your guideline to individual experiences and perceptions.


 

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