Our staff recently held a day-long workshop for students, aged 8-22, teaching them about their rights and how to stay safe from sexual predators online.
Morning Session: Rights & Responsibility
Kids from all over came to the event–including a lot of kids who don’t normally come to the resource center. After a small icebreaker activity, a representative from ECPAT, with whom we’ve worked closely over the years (they helped us write our child protection policies), told an interactive story to facilitate a discussion on Children’s Rights. The story involved a small boat that could only take 5 people to safety. Volunteers from the kids represented 10 different types of people: a girl, a pregnant woman, a disabled person, a pastor, a strong man, etc. The participants had to discuss which 5 people they wanted to bring to safety and why. The ECPAT representative spoke about the awareness of rights for all different types of people.
Participants got into groups of 10 people to complete a Rights & Responsibility Activity in which they drew a child on a poster and had to write down what the child’s rights were and why. They also wrote down what role the parents/adults play in the safety and rights of the child.
Next the groups were given pictures of children in difficult situations (like a child stealing food). The group had to discuss what issue of Children’s Rights was behind the picture and who the responsible party was. i.e. why did the child need to steal food? What might be going on at home? Who is responsible that for the child feeling safe and not hungry, etc.
Afternoon Session: Online Safety
The first Online Safety activity was role playing. The participants were in four groups and had several scenarios to act out in the categories of: real online situations that came from within the community, good situations online, bad situations online, and the prevention and solving of online problems.
Then, the participants played an experiential learning game to demonstrate what happens when you give your information out online. The game is called Atoms and Molecules: an adult plays the Atom who tags the Molecules (the kids). In the second round of the game, someone is appointed as the protector. As long as the kids stand behind the protector, the Atom cannot tag them. The discussion afterwards asked the kids who the Atom was in real life, and who Protectors might be in real life.
The last activity of the day was an art activity where the kids traced the outline of their hand on a paper and then labeled each finger with people they trusted and could go to for help: a family member, a friend, a teacher, someone in their community, and any other name they wanted to add of someone they trust.
The event closed with sharing about organizations in the community that the kids should know about for helping with rights or safety issues. In all, 65 students participated in the event!
We are always grateful to our donors and partners–the support they provide make activities and events like this possible, and are critical to protecting our students from trafficking and exploitation! If you want to help ensure we can continue to host events like these, please consider a small monthly donation!