Holidays! Most children love them, but if you live in an under-developed area there is not much to during this period. During the past two weeks, Earthchild has been running 2 holiday programmes in which children from grade 7 can develop their leadership skills.
Every morning the programmes starts with an hour of yoga, and there are lots of songs and games involved. Because the theme is leadership, there is also a good amount of time for personal development.
This holiday program we had Amy Silverman as a guest facilitator coming from the United States to give a work shop about Authentic Relating This methods teaches participants relating skills to understand one another on a deeper level.
In the 1.5 hour workshop, the children first learned to listen to each other. We paired up, and told each other: “I feel happy when……. “ They shared sentences like: “ when I play soccer with my friends, I get something new, I have a good grade“. Now the listener had to repeat what the speaker told him. “I heard you say that you feel happy when….” By using this method, the speaker really gets the feeling that someone actually listened to him.
After several similar interactive activities, we rounded off with a circle of appreciation. Standing in a circle, everyone went up to at least one other person and shared a positive feeling regarding something they did. They shared; “When I was sad, but you still wanted to play with me, I felt much better, thank you for being my friend”.
For most of the children, due to their cultural background, this was a completely new method of communicating. During the evaluation some shared this was the first time they had the feeling someone actually listened to them! They found it interesting to learn about each others’ feelings, and mentioned that it made them understand each other better. So the seeds are now planted, and as these children grow up, perhaps they will spread this new authentic way of relating to one another.
Would you like to know more about Amy and the workshops she gives all over the world? Take a look at her website: http://www.bewellliving.com/amy_silverman.html