The kids were there when we arrived, and we got started after finding everything we needed. We mainly did an introduction and helped create a good environment for participation, and to help the kids feel comfortable and have clear idea of what would happen in the next 3 weeks – introductions, name games, objectives for the project and the 3 weeks, short introduction of the partners and their specialties (video, art, theatre), and we made our constitution of how we would act, rules to follow for the week. Everything was facilitated by the different partners, with Crystel and Isaac and me supporting them, and Joseph and Baptiste translating for me. PAJER is the main facililitator, and the other 3 partners focus on their technical areas.
The kids are all between ages 12 and 18 and they are all out-of-school youth due to economic and other issues. They had a lot of questions about what they would learn, would it help them to earn a living, and where would the materials and equipment be kept in the end.
The first day went pretty well. We met to debrief and made suggestions to improve tomorrow:
--be more on time (i.e. make sure the hotel gets breakfast to us on time!).
--We noted that the children are very free and open and not afraid to participate. Many of them took the microphone and led singing and dynamics with the whole group and in general they are not shy about speaking in public and saying their opinions. That means that we are ahead of the game.
--There were lots of 'street kids' coming in – should we let them participate or not? We agreed that if they were few it would be OK to incorporate them, but they needed to get permission and we need to know that they will participate the whole 3 weeks.
--Be sure to review our sessions ahead of time to avoid interrupting them to get materials, etc.
--Do more integration activities tomorrow to integrate boys/girls and kids from different sectors/communities.
--Reminder to not become ‘problem centered’ - to start from resource and strengths standpoint.
At dinner debated for about 2 hours on what should be the topic for the youth debate…. We decided it would be “Parents should talk to their children about sex.” We then mixed into groups to take sides so that we could do a mock debate tomorrow to show the kids what a debate looks like.