Children's rightsPage 3/4: Topic A: Planning activities to make children work with rights
Topic A: Planning activities to make children work with rights
For this dialogue you can discuss as staff, or you can distribute the rights paragraphs among the members of the staff group.
Please plan for some months so that the children are not overwhelmed by seeing all ten rights at one occasion.
- How can we arrange – for example at child meetings once a month – so that our children are informed about each right and learn to understand them according to their age? How do we introduce the subject to the children?
- What activities with children can we make (painting, writing, discussing, filming, role playing etc.) for each of these rights?
- Who will be responsible for arranging these training events?
The essence of democracy is that we can influence decisions in a group or in a family, and experience that our points of view are heard and respected. This makes it important to create a daily practice where children can be trained as important participants.Here are some suggestions for practices:
THE RESPONSIBILITY AND DEMOCRACY GROUP FORMATION
Please reflect on these questions in the staff group::
- Is an institution a place where the child is because nobody else wants it – just waiting for something else to happen?
- Or is an institution a place where the child plays an important part in daily life – where it is valued, people listen its thoughts and ideas and its work is appreciated?
- Nothing makes children prouder than contributing to the common good!
A suggestion for daily life organization, step 1:
- Divide the children into groups of 6
- These are the Secure Base groups where they will be members for the rest of their stay. Their “Home” group.
- Ask the children to find a proud name for their group (“The Supermen”, “The Flowerpots”, etc.) and a fine symbol (a bird, a lion, a sunrise, an Orang Utan, whatever). Ask them to make a poster with their group name and hang it up somewhere where it is visible for children and staff members.
- Divide some of the daily work between the groups. For example, on Mondays the Flowerpot group is responsible for cooking and serving dinner/ Tuesday for cleaning/decorating some rooms, and the Wild Tiger group is responsible for cleaning tables and washing up after dinner on Tuesdays etc.
- All groups are responsible for preparing the annual celebration party of the institution.
Help them find out what each child must do when they work together.
A suggestion for daily life organization, step 2:
- Make an election day: each group must vote for one child in the group to be the spokesman of the group. A spokesman is elected for three months.
- The spokesman is responsible for leading a half hour group meeting once a week. Here the children suggest activities, present wishes for improvements or they present problems that must be solved.
For example: “There is no more soap” or “One of us has problems in school and needs help” or “should we arrange a party?“
- Another child in the group is responsible for the group diary: write down at each meeting what was said and agreed upon.
- One caregiver is assigned to each group. The spokesman and the caregiver talk after the child meeting. They discuss how the problem or issue can be worked with.
- The spokesman is responsible for bringing the results back to the group.
- The caregiver is responsible for presenting colleagues with what the children’s group said, what they wish, and if and when it is possible to put this into practice.