Friday, October 2

World Issues 1/4

EDIT: Health issues and other things stopped me from writing the follow up posts. I'm afraid their is no resolution for this one. We had fun though.

For the next three weeks I’m helping with Brownies. Brown Owl (the woman in charge) is also an assistant at guides with me and she needed a bit of help.

I said I’d come in to do a badge. Being a visitor like this helped me decide on what to do. I like talking about world issues with our girls but the added respect and detachment I get from being just a visitor was a big help in bringing up more difficult problems.

So I have the chance to do the World Issues badge. And – as it’s the centenary year – I’m going to be asking the girls to identify an issue they feel strongly about and have them work to make thing better.

This week we took on children’s rights. Not the easiest of issues to explain. Teaching about hurt and pain and the horrible things people do to each other is difficult for them and me. Add to that children who are being treated like crap by the people who are supposed to protect them the most – parents, teachers, governments – and yeah. Hard.

But we got there. To explain the concept of children’s rights with them we started with a game. They chose the game and started playing. It was All Brownies for those who know it (I didn’t!) and I walked over and announced that the winner would get a prize. They played the game and the winner stepped forwards.

I told her I didn’t much like the idea of giving my prize away, that I was going to keep it and she had no say.

After the complaining settled down I asked them if they thought it was fair? No. I asked them if they thought it was right? No. Then I asked them how it felt to be ignored and treated unfairly.

Then we used an Oxfam produced activity to introduce the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We discussed what we thought was important and why.

I pulled my map out and attacked it with sticky notes. ‘Does anyone know where Sierra Leone is?’ We talked about war, drought, and access to medicine. All with real life examples.

Then we went back to playing games. Right before we finished for the night we held the big vote. What issue do the girls want to work on in the next three weeks? What do they want to change?

All hands went up for stopping Animal Cruelty. Check back next week when we’ll have more of that plus talking about the work of international charities.

You can see the World Issues badge here, sign your daughter up for Brownies here, or become a leader yourself here.

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