Design For Change - Empowering Children
Empowering refugee children is crucial to advance their social skills and support their integration in their host communities. HOM partnered with the organisation Design For Change, to receive training on how to promotes children’s super-powers.
When working with refugee students belonging to a Portuguese Secondary School class, we applied a methodology that encouraged them to feel and imagine. They decided to focus on the abandonment of the elderly and invited nursing homes to school, where they danced, ate and played games with the elderly. This initiative was nominated by FAMO, with 100% of funds being reverted to the school to support the acquisition of educational materials.
About the project
The DFC methodology inspires change e believes that young people are its protagonists – more than that, heroes – through only four steps: Feel, Imagine, Do and Share.
HOM’s team on this project worked these four steps with the class through a local point of view. How can they be of service in town?
On the step “Feel”, the group identified some problems that exist near them, such as homophobia, racism, discrimination, global warming, pollution, low accessibility and others. After a vote, the class chose the main topic of the project to be elder isolation, a big problem in the interior city of Covilhã.
Then it was time to explore the theme on the step “Imagine”. The class thought about solutions to fight isolation, such as organising activities, such as games and walks outdoors, sending postcards and letters to nursing homes, sharing knowledge through computer classes, visiting homes or art workshops.
After organising the thoughts, it was time to “Do”. The group built the “Remember Me” project, which consisted in a get-together of elders at the school, organised by the kids. Stories were exchanged, games and music were played; the multiculturality of the class was also celebrated, which brought even more richness to the event. The class has also been planning the shipping of letters on holidays like Mother’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, Christmas and Easter.
With this project, we feel like everyone accomplished many obstacles and learned how to look around with thoughtful eyes, learning to value their skills, working as a team and getting to work for a better world – even if just on their city, for now. We are now completing the step “Share” and we hope it inspires more stories of change.
Takes from some of the young people from the class:
“It was really fun, we had music and it was nice to see them [the elders] again with a smile on their face, for seeing that someone cares about them”
“It was a phenomenal party, for them and for us”
“I really liked this experience”