Hesperian Health Guides
Activities to advance organizing
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At every step along the way, the activities in this book can help you move forward while organizing in your community. Which activities you use depends on what you want to accomplish.
Start with experience. For example, activities can:
- start a conversation about an issue. See: Use drawings to discuss benefits of family planning; and A walk in her shoes.
- help people feel more comfortable talking about topics that are difficult to discuss. See: Reproductive aprons; Sexy bingo; Where do we feel pleasure?; Playing with condoms; and Story game: A tale of 2 families.
- uncover what people already know. See: Secret questions; More powerful vs. less powerful; A family planning board game; and A guessing game with skits: it’s an emergency!.
- help people gather more information and share knowledge. See: A treasure hunt to find resources for community STI prevention; Group investigation about roles and duties of local authorities; A map to safe motherhood; and A fishbowl about birth experiences.
Build on or analyze experience. For example, activities can help a group:
- explore the connections between different experiences and different issues. See: The balance of burdens; The dominoes game; What is sex for a man? What is sex for a woman?; and An STI drama.
- look more closely at the underlying causes of problems in their communities. See: A Problem Tree to discuss obstacles to family planning; Building a chain of causes; Role play why pregnant women do not get care.
- see ideas in a new ways, or develop new ways of looking at things. See: Gender boxes; Changing the rules; The world of ads — sexy women and manly men; and The power shuffle.
- understand different points of view. See: A fishbowl to help youth and adults talk about birth control; Many points of view!; and Taking a stand.
- imagine change. See: What if there were no gender boxes?; The way we were; Changing stories, changing lives; "Happy ending" role plays to think about change; Crossing the river to health; and Imagine the health services we want.
Plan for action. For example, activities can help a group:
- think about who they need to influence or work with to build support. See: Role play a panel discussion on family planning; Make a power map; Make an opinion map.
- make a plan. See: Making an action plan; Reaching your dreams; Role play the bystander; A yarn toss to brainstorm solutions; Voting with dots, to choose between different issues or strategies; and Making advocacy messages that work.
- learn and practice new skills needed to take action. See: Practice talking about sex with a partner; A guessing game with skits: it’s an emergency!; Saying no to blaming and shaming; and Replay drama: Saving lives after an abortion.
Evaluate and reflect on action.