Diversity and Empathy – Life Skill Session @ Kisumu Children Remand Home

Activity Report

Location: Remand Home
Activity Date: 08.11.2023
Start Time: 10:00 AM   End Time: 12:00 PM

Facilitators: Adelaide, Sophia, Dilara, Spencer, Ruth, Calvin, Samambo
Number of Participants: 15
Male: 15   Female: 0

Activity Purpose/ Summary:
Our purpose was to sensitize the children to the topic of diversity, aiming to enhance their ability to tolerate and understand people who are, or may seem, different from themselves. When discussing diversity and delving into the understanding of people with different habits, backgrounds, beliefs, appearances, etc., empathy becomes crucial. Since empathy is one of the most important personal skills to possess, we also focused on teaching the children what empathy and compassion look like, using personal examples and referring to situations we experienced with the children throughout our work in the Remand Home. We highlighted how these situations and conflicts could be improved through empathizing with the other person.

Personnel Input:
We began by exploring the concept of diversity and its importance in our lives. Children were encouraged to share their thoughts on what diversity means, and we created a mind map on the board to visually represent their ideas.

Defining Diversity:
We provided a child-friendly definition of diversity and gave examples, emphasizing that differences, whether in plants, animals, or people, contribute to the richness of the world.

Small Group Discussions:
Children were divided into small groups to discuss various questions related to diversity, teamwork, and problem-solving. They explored topics such as the value of differences, diversity in the Remand Home, and the role of diverse perspectives in solving problems.

Reflection on Diversity:
We engaged the children in a reflective discussion on the importance of considering diversity in interactions. Understanding each other’s stories, triggers, strengths, and weaknesses contributes to tolerance and empathy.

Defining Tolerance:
We introduced the concept of tolerance as the willingness to accept different behaviors and beliefs, even if one disagrees. We emphasized that tolerance is a foundation for understanding others.

Defining Empathy:
The session continued with an exploration of empathy, teaching children to perceive, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of others. Practical questions were posed to help them develop an empathetic perspective in their daily actions.

As our beloved volunteer, Adelaide, was leaving the same day, we concluded the session with an open Questions Circle, allowing the children to ask her any questions they wanted. Simultaneously, the children expressed their desire for us to pose questions to them, leading our discussion into lively conversations about their cases and the reasons why the boys are in the remand home. This gave us the opportunity to encourage them to explore more helpful strategies to meet their needs upon leaving the remand home. Despite the societal challenges and the lack of employment opportunities in Kenya, making it very challenging for young boys like them to receive the support they need, we remain committed to helping them become better individuals as they leave the juvenile justice system.

Expanding the children’s perspective towards diversity and why empathy is important when living/working/being with human beings.

Unanticipated Achievements:
– The knowledge that the boys already had on the topic of diversity
– How open minded some of the boys are by sharing their life experiences.

Supporting Partners:

November 8, 2023

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