Good Practices Belgium

Due to Covid 19, the workshops presented here couldn't be tested by our international erasmus students during mobilities.

So these activities were part of the geography lessons of 28 students last year students (17-18 years old) in april and may 2021. Only two of these students were actually involved in the erasmus migration programm. Alltough the description is in English, the activities were animated in Dutch, because the students follow an immersion education.

Activity 1: Game of the chairs (refugee version)

This activity was developped by Annoncer la Couleur, Quinoa and ITECO (original version). It's a tool for developping international solidarity. The game allows the students to visualise the spread of the world population and the inequalities  of wealth between different regions. The 'refugee version' makes a link with the migration movements.

objectives:

  • visualise and shed light upon the worlds inequalities
  • visualise migration movements and deconstruct biased opinions and prejudices concerning migration movements

particpants: 15-30 particpants of 15 years or older

duration: 50 min

materials: big classroom with as many chairs as participants, each student has to bring his/her schoolbag, region posters to put on the walls (see attachement), table of figures (see attachement)

content:

Step 1 - Distribution of the world's population
1. The facilitator sticks the posters on the wall in six different places in the room. The facilitator explains what the different placards refer to and allows time for participants to read the list of countries on each placard. The grouping by area rather than continent shows a certain economic (GDP per capita), geographical and political homogeneity. The chairs were grouped together in the centre of the room. Lanimateur asked the participants to stand around, standing and in a circle.
2. The facilitator announces that the whole group constitutes the world population by the formula:
"Welcome to Earth! All of you gathered here represent the 7 billion people who live on Earth. Each one of you represents a certain number" (see Table 1 - Distribution of the world's population).
3. The facilitator asks the young people to divide themselves up under the placards according to their idea of the distribution of the world's population in reality, and gives them a few minutes to decide on a distribution, without intervening. The facilitator will note down or remember the arguments that lead participants to place more people under one or other of the placards, as well as the few thoughts and stereotypes heard, so that they can be questioned later.

Step 2 - Distribution of world wealth
1. The facilitator announces that the chairs in the centre of the room represent the wealth of the world's people.
Eventually approaching the world, each one is equivalent to a few hundred billion dollars. The facilitator will take care to explain to the group that wealth is represented by the GDP (gross domestic product) indicator, expressed in PPP (purchasing power parity - a currency conversion rate that eliminates differences in price levels between countries by comparing
of the typical baskets of the housewife). It will also be able to inform about the dollar rate
against the euro. Once these clarifications have been made, the facilitator informs the group of what each chair represents in billions of dollars (see Table 2 - Distribution of world wealth).
2. The facilitator asks the young people to distribute the chairs under the placards according to their idea of the distribution of wealth on the planet in reality and gives them a few minutes to think about where to place the chairs, without intervening. He takes note of the any comments.                                                                                                             3. After more or less short negotiations, the group distributes the chairs under the placards. The facilitator gives then the actual figures and invites the young people to move the chairs according to the actual proportions given in
the painting.

Step 3 - Visualisation
The facilitator then invites the participants to go back under the poster they were under during the first phase of the game and to climb on the chairs placed in their area. No chair should remain unused and no participant should leave a foot on the floor. The chairs may not be stacked. The facilitator takes the time to visualise with the group the distribution of population and wealth. He asks the participants how they feel in their respective positions.

Step 4 - Distribution of refugees and displaced persons
1. The facilitator announces to the participants that we are going to visualize the distribution of refugees and displaced persons on the planet. These are represented by the pupils' school bags (1 bag per pupil). Each bag represents
x hundreds of thousands of exiles (see Table 3 - Distribution of refugees and displaced persons). The facilitator states although it is a question of the distribution of refugees and displaced persons according to their destination, it is therefore a question of posing suitcases in the areas where these people go. The facilitator takes care to explain what a "refugee" is, and a "displaced person".
2. The facilitator gives the group a few minutes to decide on the most realistic distribution, taking into account the situation in the group. notes the various reasoning.
3. As in the previous steps, participants should divide the suitcases by continent. The facilitator then gives the actual figures and invites the young people to place the suitcases according to the actual proportions given in Table 3.

if you do the animation with a small group it is possible that there are no schoolbags under the poster of the OCDE countries. It should be well explained to the participants that this does not mean that there are no people, but far less than X people and that we are talking about a category of migrants (refugees and displaced persons).
Refugees = people who leave their country to flee a war or a political regime and ask for the protection of a country other than their own. They may be threatened or persecuted because of their ideas, religion or nationality. These migrants seek refuge.
Internally displaced persons = Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or man-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border - NHRC definition.

Exploitation phase
Several questions can be asked after the game:
What surprised the participants the most?
What did not correspond to their initial representation regarding the distribution of population, global wealth and refugees and displaced persons?
How did they feel in their respective positions?
What is the problem - is there not enough wealth for everyone or is it poor distribution?
Do you feel that you belong to those who have a lot of chairs?
Do you feel that the situation is new? Is it getting better?


Activity 2: Moving Debate

This activity was developped by Amnesty International (concerning MENA = unaccompanied foreign minors) and CIRE as a means to discuss and deconstruct prejudices .

A moving debate is a kind of playful exchange that facilitates participation and listening while the students move around the (class)room as the debate evolves.

objectives:

  • free the speach of the more shy students by associating oral expression and fysical positioning in a debate of opinions.
  • facilitate the emergence of presentations, prejudices, and biased ideas a group of people (students) may have concerning MENA.
  • develop personal reflexion, critical spirit and argumentative capacities of students

particpants: min. 5 particpants, max. 30 particpants. Ideal is a class group of about 20-25 students.

duration: 50 min

materials: big classroom with space to move, list of 7 prejudices to use in the debate, these can be completed by 3 prejudices proposed by the students themselves.

content:

Step 1. The positioning
- The facilitator/teacher invites the participants to stand up. The facilitator explains the "rules of the game" and the participants position themselves in the space of the debate. The space for debate: In the middle flows a river, the river of doubt. If you have doubts, you can stand there. On either side are the river banks. On one side, there is the edge of the "rather agree", on the other side the edge of the "rather disagree".
- The participants are invited to react silently by positioning themselves in the space after having listened to the proposal of the theme of the debate. The proposal is expressly divisive (if everyone agrees, there is no debate). Its reading does not engage the opinion of the facilitator/teacher but relays what is said, the commonplaces, the clichés about migrants in the most ordinary conversations.
- Once the participants are positioned in the space of debate, the facilitator checks that everyone is in their place by checking that the proposal is well understood in each sub-group.

Step 2. Production of common arguments in sub-groups.
- Facilitator asks participants in each sub-group to discuss why they are in the same place, and to find at least two common arguments.
- A rapporteur notes down the arguments and will explain them to the other sub-groups once the time for reflection has elapsed.

Step 3. Presentation of the arguments to the sub-groups
- First round. Each rapporteur presents the first argument of his/her sub-group in turn. The facilitator notes them on a board.
- Second round. The rapporteurs of each sub-group explain their second argument.
- The facilitator summarises the arguments of each sub-group and invites those who wish to change to move around the space of the debate.

Step 4. Participants move around the space of the debate and share reactions
- The facilitator gives priority to participants who decide to change sides. Everyone can then speak individually to explain their position in the debate.
- Priority is also given to those who have spoken the least. Each participant has the right to only one intervention. During this 4th stage, the facilitator relaunches the debates and brings up contradictions and gives information.

Activity 3: Waking dream

This activity was developped by LED Justice migratoire CNCD-11.11.11 and uses a technique that can be described as a guided meditation. It allows students to feel emotions through an imagination excercise. This is followed by a fase of creation (theater, art, writing...) or action (visit to refugee center, solidarity activity with refugees, sensibilisation campaign,..). Only the first fase will be explicited here.

objectives:

  • waken the imagination of students
  • create a better understanding of the circumstances of migration
  • make students express themselves on the them of borders/frontiers in different ways with a sheet of paper (drawing, writing,...)
  • going from imagination to creation or action (fase 2)

particpants: min. 5 particpants, max. 30 particpants. Ideal is a class group of about 20-25 students.

duration: 2x50 min

materials: big classroom with floor/gym/yoga mats for the students, text to read 'live' (see attachement) or recording of the text + audio system, paper and pencils, .... for everyone

content:
1) THE DREAM

Upstream: arrange the space: ideally, there should be a quiet room, without a bench or table to be able to lay out the floor mats on the floor (gym, refectory, library). If lying down is not possible, ask the students to stay at their work table but to rest their heads on their arms to relax. Ask participants to settle in according to the configuration of the premises, accompanied several blank pages, a pencil or several coloured pencils.

Begin the activity by asking the young people to sit in a circle. Explain to them that they are going to be "taken away".
somewhere and they will simply have to lie down, close their eyes, listen to the story, let themselves be guided.
Explain to them that after the reading, they will be invited to stay where they are and tell/express on paper in the
greater peace and quiet.

Reading of the text "Beyond Borders": you can read the text yourself or pass the reading on to others.
At the end of the reading: give everyone time to "wake up" before starting to write as instructed.

2) THE EXPRESSION

After the reading, allow participants to express themselves freely on their blank page. Depending on the audience (children, adolescents, adults) instructions can be given. They can be stated or written on a board, as a medium of expression. The instructions can be bypassed if participants wish to address things differently. It is important to make this clear.

Leave the rest of the lesson time to complete this text/drawing. Put on some quiet background music if you
deems it appropriate.

3) THE EXCHANGE

Ideally get back into a circle.
Those who wish to do so read their text aloud to others or show and explain their production. Exchange.
Discussion on the issue of borders. The information on the reverse side of this document "To fuel the
 border discussion" can help you in this exchange (see attachement).
Here are some questions that can help you build the discussion:
What did you think of the "waking dream" workshop?
Did the images come up easily? Why yes/no?
Did a text or a drawing particularly touch you? Why did it touch you particularly?
What subject is indirectly addressed through the "waking dream"?
Have you ever heard of "freedom of movement"?
Do you think it is possible/necessary? Why is it necessary? If so, under what conditions?