WORKSHOP ON FRIENDSHIP AND GOODNESS

SUNSHINE SCHOOL, Beelgrade, 28th October 2017

In this workshop, the first one of the school year, sixteen children of age six to ten were present. It was initially meant to be presented to children ages seven and eight, but several older children who had participated in previous school years wanted to participate. A special role was given to these older children to be teacher assistants and they were very proud of this assignment. Besides the teacher who lead the workshop, there were two teachers who are members of the SSIO educational group as well as three teachers from the Sunshine school. 

The goal of this workshop was to present hidden values behind visible behaviour in order to help children understand how our behaviour affects others around us, to teach them cooperation, respect for differences and the significance of friendship. 

During the experience with meditation, the children merged into peace while focusing on the visualisation that was lead by the teacher. Out of this peace a very dynamic storytelling emerged with moments of humour and warmth because the teacher ocassionally made intended mistakes and asked them to help with correcting them. The atmosphere and communication among participants was extraordinary as children were open, interested and drew very nice conclusions out of the story. For example, they found out by themselves that friendship and love are the way to overcome differences between people and animals since the main characters in the story were a mighty lion and a small meerkat. 

A game that the children played in the school yard was particulary successful. The game generated a lot of positive energy and helped children join together. Children wanted to play it over and over again.  The workshop was finished with the children drawing  a friendship symbol  which was first created by movements, hugs and joined hands and then drawn on paper. Out of these drawings  and photos a mural was created in the school hall that drew the attention of the other children in the school  and elder visitors to the school. The parents whose children attend our workshops have great respect for our work since children are full of positive emotions after the workshops, have new insights about human values and leave happy. The workshops are free which raises additional respect. 

Our regular classes of English were also full of positive energy as children spontaneously sang the song from the game in the workshop and shared the impressions from the workshop with other children who missed the workshop which motivated them to attend our next meeting. The next workshop is planned in December.  

Verica Sekulić-Opačić

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