June 11, 2014

Dagoretti jr. youth group evolves

the Shining Stars singing 'Regard man as a mine rich in gems..'
today at st. luke's educational center the jr. youth groups went through the fun process of naming their group.  the 11-12 year olds came up with many suggestions and finally chose 'shining stars' for their name.  the 13-14 year olds tried coming up with their own suggestions but ended up unanimously voting for one of the two remaining possibilities up on the board: 'spiritual warriors' (which i had added without them knowing amongst the younger group's suggestions).  it was a joyful moment that brought the students closer together as a group.

a great process of learning how to be a group occurred when we consulted about the money needed to buy fruit for next week's service project.  originally they all agreed to contribute 20bob (which is like 30 cents).  today we learned that 6 of them are not able to do so.  we calculated 6x20 to get a total of 120bob remaining.  we discussed how others may be able to contribute just 5bob while others may be able to contribute more to add up to 120.  a handful of students raised their hands to contribute more than the 20bob they already had in order to cover the amount needed to buy fruit to bring to the hospital.  it was a thoughtful and honorable process because they are learning to trust as well as help each other.

i learned today - while we were playing with a soft ball that i had brought - that there is a rift between the girls and the boys.  the girls feel that the boys are not sharing with them and then they ruin the ball and now the girls do not have a chance to play with it.  when the boys were playing with the soft ball the girls started complaining.  it was definitely challenging to face this issue all of a sudden with a large group of arguing kids.  i tried diverting their attention away from the ball issue by introducing step dancing as a new skill to learn (which ended up attracting almost all of them).  but by the end of the session the boys asked if they could keep the ball and the girls started arguing again.  i gathered them all together and described how half of the world of humanity is like one wing of a bird and how the other gender is the other wing.  i explained the necessity of cooperation and mutual respect.  i then asked them to offer suggestions about what to do with the ball.  one girl said alternate days; another girl suggested alternating between break and lunch times; and then a boy offered that they already have a ball so the girls must have this one.  i asked them all to vote and they all voted for the boy's suggestion.  it was a brilliant moment of practicing consultation and establishing a sense of justice amongst the group.

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