Families and Friends

'' ''Children have the right to be with their family or with those who will care for them best''

This is one of the stated rights of a child and it acknowledges that it is not only the family who can care for the child but also their friends (that is 'those who will care for them best').

The size and structure of families around the world varies. In Uganda, without social security, continuous employment or stability, the family is an extremely important element in the life of all Ugandans. The civil war and the AIDS crisis has lead to many deaths, which has meant that the family unit has become extended to include grandparents as well as friends and neighbours.

Know your Spuds(15k)
Due to the fighting, many traditionally male tasks are now being performed by women. In the United Kingdom, the tasks and roles within the family are also being redefined with the development of equality between the sexes.

Programme ideas

1. Lifeline

In pairs ask everyone to draw a lifeline and include on it the important events in their lives, both past and future. Then highlight one or two future aspirations and discuss with the group how these will be achieved. This same lifeline could then be re-drawn as if it was being completed by an Ugandan. The two charts could be compared.

Here are some facts, which may be useful for your discussion:

United Kingdom: Uganda:
  •   Total population
 57.2 million 18.8 million
  •  Annual number of births
 786,000  985,000
  •  Life expectancy
 76  52
  •  Secondary education
 100%  25%
  • Number of T.V. sets per
    1000 population
 435  6
  •  Number of radios per
    1000 population
 1146  99

2. Know Your Potato

This game is unusual, good fun and helps everyone realise that all living things are different and unique and that this applies to human beings too.

Every member of the Unit needs to have a potato. Get to know your potato and describe it to the other members of the Unit for instance size, shape, dimples and so on.

Put your potato back into the middle of the circle and mix them up. Close your eyes and search for your potato. As well as helping you with observation and description, this activity can be used as a starter to discuss everyone's individuality

As we are all unique, we all have different skills and strengths. A typical group of people consists of five or six individuals and is characterised by its strengths, skills and individual personalities. It is amongst our families and friends that we can test out our skills and learn of our strengths.

This activity also shows that despite all the differences of each potato, it is only when several are cooked together that a meal is produced.

3. Photofit

Provide photographic profiles of three (slightly stereotypical) people. Everyone is given a sheet with questions about age, job and income, and more subjective questions such as 'Who is the nicest?' or 'Which one would you lend money to?'.

The game should engender an awareness of stereotyping by asking the teams why they have arrived at a particular conclusion.

 Picture 7.5k)

This activity could be run on varying scales such as a'Big event' where darkened room, slide projector, music, voice over and so on could be used.

Or a small unit scale using photocopied photos or magazine pictures.

    Points to consider

  • How do we 'label people'?
  • What is the effect of first impressions?
  • What is the result of judging by first impressions?
  • What subjective views do we have of others?

4. What's my life

This activity aims to look at our own values and lifestyles and then to compare our expectations and lifestyles with those of people of other cultures and in other parts of the world, particularly Uganda.

  • Divide the Unit members into small groups (maximum five or six in each). Give each group a felt pen or crayon and a large oblong sheet of paper, folded in two.
  • Explain that the purpose is to take an honest look at our own expectations and values.
    Ask them to print in the left half of the page the words 'Success is...'
  • Allow the groups ten minutes to list those qualities or possessions which they think are indications of success, for instance a detached house, a Rolls Royce car, a deep freeze, power to choose where I live and so on. (Alternatively, simply instruct the group to produce a short definition of success.)
  • Tell each group to sign its work, and display the results at various points around the room (have a general discussion at this point)

Success is...

  • Fast Car
  • Money.
  • Power.
  • Winning the cup
  • Getting a job

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