This session has been my favourite topic we have covered: valuing yourself and valuing others.
We start the session with each group discussing what they value and what it’s important to value. They then write their name on a piece of paper which is passed around the group, and each person writes something positive about everyone in the group. The most interesting part of this activity was seeing the thought processes of some of the boys; at first they felt uncomfortable writing these things down, however, when they got their own paper back it made a difference to their self-confidence and understood the importance of valuing other people.
We then asked each child to write a letter to their family or someone they value. For some children this was very difficult, as they may not have a family or have issues at home, but it also gave us the opportunity to encourage and work alongside them.
An interesting discussion was around your own value, a profound example used by one of our team was the value often associated with westerners. People with blonde hair or white skin are often associated with success and wealth, however, should this ever mean we value more?
To illustrate this dynamic, we use a monetary note e.g. £20. Each child wants the money. You then crumple and stamp on the note. Each child still wants the money. The note is then spat on or chewed, and the children still want it – the value has not changed. This is the same for them; although bad things may happen to them, this does not change their value.
I think this week has been an interesting one for the team and we have all learnt a lot. We have seen more of the difficult issues some of these children are facing, but also begun thinking about our time here and the value of our team.
As a westerner I will be coming away with the learning that what we value should not be material, but based around people, what we do, and the time that we give. Although it’s not always easy to see, we each have intrinsic value and something to contribute to whatever we decide to do.