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Community Play

Educating children through creative storytelling about Health, Nutrition and Life Skills such as interaction with others, good habits, time management by performing a community play.

Photo of Bidur Gurung
19 15

Written by

The first 5 years of a child is the critical time when they learn the keyskills which they carry throughout their lifetime. During this period, it is important that parents provide care and support to their children so it will help them thrive. One of the creative way to teach children is through  play.

In Villages in Nepal, mostly mens are out during the day working hard for the survival of the family and womans stay at home doing household chores , cooking food and looking after the children. Since they are not getting the right education they lack necessary skills and guidance that a children accquire to learn life skills and be creative. If these basic skills are mentored and developed by an expert volunteer then the parents can raise their child effectively. Also in a community there might be people who specialise on certain skills like cooking, farming, if they could teach other people and share their skills it would help develop the community. These skills can then passed down onto their children which can employ newer abilities.

What is the Idea?

A group of expert volunteers are sent to rural villages in Pokhara during midsummer when the children are on holidays, to teach the parents nessary parental skills such as Health, Nutrition, Life Skills and demonstrate what they have learnt by performing a play for their children. Thus this way they are teaching the children as well as learning themselves. Children pay more attention when their own parents are performing on the stage. This would also be a great opportunity for children who cannot afford to go to school.

How it works?


 

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Rural villages in Pokhara, Nepal. It's a free educational event so there are no restriction to any cast system, age or gender. It provides opportunity for both parents and children to develop life skills. Children will have a direct influence from their parents as they will most likely associate them to be their prime role models. Parents will excel themselves as they are teaching and learning , engaging children. Overall, the whole community is involved and learning throughout the process. Thus, this will help to create a healthy community and the children are embedded with a brighter future with life-long skills.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Find out how much fund NCVO are able to supply for this project so accordingly number of volunteers can be sent to a community. Find out how many volunteers Tracing Nepal have/ can provide volunteers to work on this project and also with different level of expertise. Check if the parents are willing to spare their time onto developing their parental skills for the sake of their children's future.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

For this idea, we need funds NCVO (Funders). They support volunteer organisations and represents voluntary sectors. They connect people partners and resources to make the biggest difference. (http://www.ncvo.org.uk) Expert Volunteers to be supplied by Tracing Nepal. They get volunteers from the UK, to go to Nepal and help out rural communities and charity events, such as dancing and balls games. (http://tracingnepal.com) NFHP are already doing similar programs (FCHV) (http://nfhp.jsi.com/Res/Docs/TB1-FCHV.pdfin ) to help mother and children under 5 yr in Nepal. We could use networks and resources these organisations have and perhaps get help from their expert sector. Feedback from OpenIdeo team and where this idea can be further develop into.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.

19 comments

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Spam
Photo of Ana Paula Menezes
Team

Great idea! I love the fact that it is really aware and sensitive of local traditions. Your idea is quite similar to our teams'. Maybe you could check ours and we could discuss ways of helping each others' ideas!
Good Luck!

Spam
Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Hi Bidur and team I think your idea is really great. I like the fact that it is like a summer school system . Maybe look into organsisations where people volunteer in exchnage programmes in 3rd world countires, maybe this could be where the staff for the summer school could come from.

Spam
Photo of Ines Bernal
Team

Yes, that's a good idea, we'll check that out.
Thank you for your contribution!

Spam
Photo of asif masood
Team

Hey Bidur great idea! children will always learn more from there parents than anyone else. Its great that your bringing education and entertainment in to one idea as it will keep the kids attention whilst making it a fun experience for the parents. maybe you could make a video on some of the topics you have mentioned im looking forward to what you have in store.

Spam
Photo of Petrit Kasabaqi
Team

Hello Bidur , well done to you and your team for this amazing contribution. I specifically like the fact that you've picked your home country which means your more familiar with the culture and language and you've already got one foot through the door. This also means you can design with those in Pokhara rather than at them. Maybe you could call some of your family members back home or skype them and ask them what they think of the idea? their feedback could be invaluable. Also have a look at our idea, maybe you could use this theatre platform to show the audience and locals how to make life hacks. One particular life-hack which is very simple and I know applies in Nepal is the mosquito trap.

Here is a video of how to make one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAT3Kq_w_VM

Anyway well done so far , keep moving forward and evolving this idea.

Spam
Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Thank you Petrit for your feedback and the link! Awesome fun video on making mosquito trap. Pest borne diseases are one of the main issues in Nepal especially Malaria. Villages in Nepal have limited if not no health facilities, so in the play we can definately teach the people in the community these life hacks to educate and prevent from catching diseases

Spam
Photo of Emmanuel Agu
Team

Thanks for the feedback Petrit. As a group we agreed to stay away from the pre-assumed countries of which most people might precieve and focus on a country with vast traditions and of which people may not have much knowledge about. With Bidur on our team, as a group we figured we have a first hand insight from a primary source, in order to gather informations about the lifestyle and culture and upbringings in Nepal.

i think skype would be a very interesting way of communicating directly with relatives and other people living among our target location , this would help us bring further informal resources we may not have found.

Spam
Photo of Julia Starzyk
Team

Hi Bidur and team. Actually this idea seems very similar to our one. Please can you also give us your tips on what interexting you have found out. Regarding your idea you probaby need to consider what do you mean by necessary parental skills? We found out that this is very broad theme. Maybe choose one or two skills which you think are most serious problems and focus on fixing those. How is the hole 'teaching' going to look like ? Hot exactly is going to be performed? Who are the volountees? Wgat do you mean by 'expert volounteers'? Experts in what? Do parents need to be experts ? Etc etc etc. Look forward to hearing from you.

Spam
Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Thanks for feedback Julia! There are mainly two themes we are focusing on Health and Nutrition. Life skills are building the skills that they already possess such as creativity, confidence and these are to be achieved through interactive storytelling. On the other hand the parents expand their knowledge about these health and nutrition by teaching it to their children. The " expert volunteers " are people who are already involved in NFHP who does similar programs in developing rural communities in Nepal and also a request being made to provide volunteers from Tracing Nepal who have people from UK going to Nepal for charity work. In terms of parents being experts, not necessarily every needs to be or will be, but we'd like to encourage people in the community who are good with certain skills to share their knowledge and understanding and teach other from their experience. Thus this will help build a health community.

Spam
Photo of Jonathan Joanes
Team

Hi Bidur,

I think its a great idea to engage children through an interactive theatre. Its good to communicate health issues to groups of children, so that children are all taught the same thing.

Would be nice to implement role play activities for the children so that they can exercise what they have learnt. But most importantly, the things that they have learnt are exercised correctly (I was thinking something like the 'Recovery Position').

Spam
Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Hey Jonathan! Children are involved in the play through taking part in decision making, so for example during the play parents would ask their children what they would do if someone collapses. They are given couple of options they would do and then parents will correct, educated them the right procedure to perform at those scenarios. To help them recall these procedure Lee suggested if we could incorporate children re-inacting what their parents did so that they will learn and remember.

Spam
Photo of David Citrin
Team

Hi Bidur ji, Thanks for your posting. Where we work in Nepal, in Achham, educational skits and singing are often incorporated into FCHV programs. Will you utilize the already existing networks of these community health workers as a resource? Looking forward to seeing this idea develop further

Spam
Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Hello Mr David! First of all great work on FCHV program! We would definately love to use resources that NFHP can provide and also from your collaborating agenices USAID, UNICEF, UNFPA. Perhaps you could help us with getting expert volunteers who have had experience on FCHV programs thus it will teach and boost confidence on other fresh volunteers to help in villages in Pokhara. Infact, we could add Community Play on FCHV program as one of their activities so we can educate rural communities in Nepal through play!

Spam
Photo of Vishagan Baskaramoorthy
Team

A theater play is effective way to remember what you learn through actively taking part. It's also a really interesting twist by having the parents put a play on for the kids when its usually the other way round. Could there be a way to involve the kids more with the play itself? (maybe through some form of audience participation?) What could you implement to encourage the community to keep these plays going themselves after the volunteers have left?
For prototypes, perhaps try illustrated storyboards without text for the various play scenarios and show them to others to see if they can understand what is happening.
How will this offer a solution for having to travel far distances to access the essential supplies and resources? Could this aspect be integrated to the volunteers role?

Spam
Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Thank you Vishagan for your feedback! We wanted parents/grand parents to perform on the stage primarily because children are more attentive towards their parents and also they are the ones with most experience. Through those experience and a help from expert volunteers we want children to learn different life skills such as farming, cooking, dance etc through play. As of now children are involved by asking questions and suggestions. Perhaps we can get children to manipulate the play and have its own story. For example give 4 options to choose on what should happen next?

We planning to have volunteers to monitor this program for 4 weeks and during that time parents/ grand parents who have the capable skills and shows commitment for this program will be appointed as a representatives of the organisation (Tracing Nepal). The representatives will then take over from volunteers and continue to educate their children or perhaps could get involve in other communities and spread the knowledge. Slowly we can setup many representatives from different community and create network of Tracing Nepal.

Spam
Photo of Emmanuel Agu
Team

Thanks for the intriguing questions Vish. the idea is to make the children be the prime learners so they would be involved in practical plays during the sessions themselves and not just the parents.
After the volunteers leave, to keep the community as engaged as ever we would make sure that no play gets repeated even thought it might be teaching a similar topic/message. there is a special trained leaders living within the community that would report back infos on how the people are developing and how the process is been operated, and also maybe at the end of every session food an refreshments will be provided to everyone who has taken part on the programme.

in terms of materials for the stage, it will all be gathered from elements within the rural community for example find a location that is open access to the public, near by couple of trees trunks (or find two 3ft tall tree planks) to hold up banners and decorations and platform that is higher than the standard ground surface of the community. it will also all be put together by specialist carpenter.

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Photo of Diini Omar
Team

The Idea is great however, kids also remember if they are participating, what if you add kids games on the performance how many people live Pokhara, what is percentage of kids, man and woman.

Spam
Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Yeah Dini, we are trying to involve children in the play, not necessarily them acting but maybe let them direct the show, thus the outcomes are different and parents will be guiding and educating throughout their decisions.

Spam
Photo of Emmanuel Agu
Team

Omar thanks for the feedback. i do believe been practical with children is the best form of learning for them, through social interaction and visual demonstrations from their parents, they would be more attentive and engaged to the task or play.