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We are all equal – but some are more equal than others.

We are all equal – but some are more equal than others.

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Published by Europak Online

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Published by: Europak Online on Nov 02, 2012
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29. Take a Step Forward
 We are all equal – but some are more equal than others.
General human rights, iscrimination, overty and social exclusion
evel 
 –  years
Group size
 –  children
 Type of Activit
ole play, simulation, discussion
6 minutes
hildren imagine being someone else and consider inequality as a source o discrimination and exclusion
• To promote empathy with others who are different• To raise awareness about the inequality of opportunities in society • To foster an understanding of possible consequences of belonging to minority groups
• Adapt the roles and ‘situations’ to your group. Make a role
card or every child.
• Copy the sheet of roles, cut out the strips and fold them over.
ole cardsist o situationsptional: art materials to make name tags and/or pictures
ntroduce the activity by asking the children i they have ever imagined being someone else. sk or.examples. xplain that in this activity they will also imagine that they are someone else, anotherchild who may be quite different rom themselves.xplain that everyone will take a slip o paper with their new identity. ey should read it silently and.not let anyone know who they are.  a child does not understand the meaning o a word in his/herrole card, they should silently raise their hand and wait or the acilitator to come and explain.iscourage questions at this point. xplain that even i they don’t know much about a person like.this, they should just use their imagination. o help children get into role, ask them to do a ew spe-cific things to make the role seem real to them. For example:Give yoursel a name. ake a name tag with this name to remind you o who you are imagin-a.ing yoursel to be.raw a picture o yoursel b.raw a picture o your house, room, or street.c.Walk around the room pretending to be this person.d.o urther enhance their imagination, play some quiet music and ask the children to sit down and4.close their eyes and imagine in silence as you read out a ew questions such as these:Where were you born? What was it like when you were little? What was you amily like whena. you were little? s it different now?What is your everyday lie like now? Where do you live? Where do you go to school?b.What do you do in the morning? n the aternoon? n the evening?c.What kind o games do you like playing? Who do you play with?d.What sort o work do your parents do? ow much money do they earn each month? o youe.have a good standard o living?
What do you do in your holidays? o you have a pet?.What makes you happy? What are you araid o?g. sk the children to remain absolutely silent as they line up beside each other, as i on a starting line..When they have lined up, explain that you are going to describe some things that might happen to achild.  the statement would be true or the person they are imagining themselves to be, then they should take a step orward. therwise they should not move.ead out the situations one at a time. ause between each statement to allow the children time to6.step orward. nvite them to look around to see where others are. t the end o the activity, invite everyone to sit down in his or her final position. sk each child7.in turn to describe their assigned role. ter the children have identified themselves, ask them toobserve where they are at the end o the activity.Beore beginning the debriefing questions, make a clear ending to the role-play. sk the children to8.close their eyes and become themselves again. xplain that you will count to three and then they should each shout out their own name. n this way, you conclude the activity and ensure that thechildren don’t stay caught up in the role.
Debriefi ng and evaluation
ebrie the activity by asking questions such as these:.What happened in this activity?a.ow easy or diffi cult was it to play your role?b.What did you imagine the person you were playing was like? o you know anyone like that?c.ow did you eel, imagining yoursel as that person? Was it a person like you at all? o youd.know anyone like that person?elate the activity to issues o discrimination and social and economic inequality asking questions.like these:ow did people eel stepping orward – or not?a. you stepped orward oten, when did you begin to notice that others were not moving as astb.as you were?id the person you were imagining move ahead or not? Why?c.id you eel that something was unair?d.s what happened in this the activity anything like the real world? ow?e.What gives some people in our community more opportunities than others? Fewer opportu-.nities?
Suggestions for follow-up
e concept o the stereotypes is not easy or many young children to grasp. einorce the learning o this activity with others that also develop this idea, such as ‘ICTURE GAMES’, P. 130; ‘WHO’S BEHINDE’, P. 195; ‘WORLD UMMER AMP’, P. 205; and ‘ZADERILIO’, P. 209.
Ideas for action
iscuss with the children who in their community has more or ewer opportunities. What first stepscould be taken to make opportunities more equal or everyone? re there inequalities in the group orcommunity that the children can address?
Tips for the facilitator
ake your own role cards! ose offered here are meant to serve as samples. e closer your role
cards refect the world in which your children live, the more they will learn rom the activity. lso adapt the roles to avoid embarrassing any child whose personal situation may too closely mir-
ror that o one o the roles.Because the acilitator cannot always be aware o every child’s personal lie situation, a child may 
be very disturbed or emotionally caught up in one o the roles. e acilitator needs to be very sen-sitive in this exercise, and to pay particular attention to children who don’t manage to drop the roleaterwards or who display unusual behaviour. n such a case, the acilitator should try to speak tothe child individually.t is very important that the children keep silent as they receive their role, imagine the lie o the per-
son they will represent, and move orward according to the lie o this person. ot only is suspensecreated about the children’s identities, but keeping silent helps maintain the concentration on therole and avoid distractions, and acting out o roles.ake sure every child gets a chance to speak during the debriefing. is activity can call up strong
emotions, and the more the children can express themselves and their eelings, the more sense they will get out o it. pend more time on the debriefing i needed.is activity can easily be run outside or in a large room. Keep the children in their final positions
when they reveal their roles, as young children need visual reinorcement to recognize the disparity and associate it with the person’s role. owever, to make sure that the children can hear each otherin the debriefing discussion, either draw them into a circle or move inside.e power o this activity lies in the impact o actually seeing the distance increasing between the
participants, especially at the end. o enhance the impact, choose roles that refect the realities o the children’s own lives. djust the roles so that only a ew o people can take steps orward (i.e. cananswer, "Yes").uring the ebriefing and valuation especially explore how the children knew about lives o the
person whose role they had to play. Was it through personal experience or through other sources o inormation (e.g. other children, adults, books, media, jokes)? hallenge them to question whethertheir sources o inormation were reliable. n this way you can introduce how stereotypes and prej-udice work.hildren are generally aware that others have materially more or less than they. owever, children
are oten unable to realize their own privileges. is activity can help the children to put their livesinto a larger perspective.

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