Encouraging greater solidarity: Under 11
Identifying the problems:
Your project should respond to a specific need in your community. It is important to involve Scouts in this part of the project using participative and dynamic methods. Here are some creative ways of exploring your community with Scouts aged under 11.
Activity 1: All about me
Make a list of all the special things about each Scout. This could include their height, the colour of their eyes, their favourite colour, the size of their family etc. Use the same headings for each Scout. Think about different ways this information could be displayed, e.g. as a picture, on a website or as a story.
Activity 2: All about us
Play a game that shows the similarities and differences of everyone in the group. This could be a swapping game where everyone stands or sits in a circle, the leaders calls out a statement and people who have something in common with each other swap places. E.g. everyone with brown eyes, everyone wearing black shoes, everyone who has a brother, everyone who goes to school, everyone who likes playing football. For some statements only a few people will swap places and others might have everyone swapping places.
Activity 3: Who lives here?
Look at the community in which you live. Who are the people who live in the community? Are there many different types of people or are they all the same? What are the different roles of the people in the community and how well does everyone know each other? Are there problems in the community or groups in the community that need help - what are these problems and who do they affect? Draw a big map of the community, the different groups that live there and any problems that they face.
Developing awareness and empathy:
After actively participating in identifying the problem, Scouts need to be helped to develop their awareness of the issues, many of which are complex. Here are some activities which will help Scouts to explore the topic of their community and develop skills and empathy. These activities use the Scout method of active participation and exploration. The project in the community should help the Scouts use the skills that they have developed.
Activity 1: Who's who?
As a group look at all the different roles that you might find in your community. This could include nurses, farmers, teachers, religious leaders, parents, shop keepers etc. For each of the different roles, ask the Scouts to say what they think about people with that role in the community. Do the Scouts know a person who has that role and how does that affect their opinion of the person? Are there roles that people have in the community that Scouts do not know about?
Activity 2: Let's pretend
Scouts act out a small play about living in the local community. Different Scouts play the roles of different members of the community. They could act out a common issue or something to do with the way that Scouts are seen in the local community. The different roles should act as the Scouts think that they would in the same situation. After the play is over and the conclusion to the story reached, the Scouts can then talk about what they thought was accurate about the way the different people were played and what they thought should have been different.
Activity 3: True or false
Use a list of people and jobs that are found in the community. For each person / job the leader can read out several facts. Some of these should be true and some of these should be false. The facts can be based around stereotypes and prejudices as well as the truth. After each fact is read out and the Scouts have shown if they think it is true or false, a short discussion can be had about the correct answer.
Activity 4: The Community Circle
The Scouts all sit in a circle. Only the person holding a particular token (talking stick, ball etc) can speak. Each Scout should take it in turns to say something positive about the community in which they live. This could be about something very small or something very large. Everyone should make at least one positive statement about the community. After the token has gone round the circle, the topic can be changed to look at a different part of the community (this could be about the people that the Scouts go to school with, the families and parts of the community that they don't know etc). See the Circle Game in the Activity Treasure Chest.
Your project should make a difference in the community. Actions need to be developed which are appropriate to the community and are challenging and fun for the Scouts involved. Here are some projects which may be appropriate for Scouts to respond to the subject of encouraging greater solidarity in your community.
Project 1: Building Friendships
Having identified parts of the community that the Scouts know the least about, choose one or two of these to focus on. Invite people from these parts of the community to join in some activities. This could be in the form of an open Scout meeting. The guests could also be asked to bring some traditional activities or food to represent their part of the community. Try to set up regular meetings, especially for the young people in the community, so that the different groups get to know one another better and increase their understanding of each other. This might also lead to new Scouts joining.
Project 2: A celebration of Our Community
Plan a celebration for all of the community to be involved with. This could take any form, but it should be something that everyone in the community can be part of. Look to invite members of your community to the event. Use this to so that the Scouts can show different ways that the community can be united and what the Scouts have discovered about the different parts of their community.
Project 3: The Good Turn
Identify a project that the Scouts can carry out that will be of benefit to the community. This might be picking up rubbish in a local park, painting buildings or helping less able people with basic tasks. Look for projects that can be carried on over a period of time as well as those that can make a difference immediately.
The project is designed to help young people to develop their capabilities, attitudes and values in response to situations where there is conflict, and then apply these to a project in their community. Scouts can make a difference in their communities and develop capabilities and empathies related to peace education. Two dimensions of change should be measured - change in the communities and change in the Scouts themselves. Measuring change should be built into the design of the project in a fun, participative way. Here are some activities which will help to measure change.
Activity 1: What our community thinks
Carry out a short survey to ask the members of the community that have been involved with the project about how they think things have changed - see Interviews in the Activity Treasure Chest. Compare these results to those that were found before the project.
Activity 2: What we think
At the end of the project, ask the Scouts to talk about the different people in their communities. Compare this to their initial thoughts. The Scouts should also discuss the project that they have taken part in, what they thought was good and what they would change about it. Repeat the games that were carried out at the beginning of the project and see how the opinions of the Scouts have changed as a result of the project.