Our self-esteem workshop which was designed and delivered by our UK volunteer Melinda Nyoko proved successful with the children at FIDIF School Complex as well as the teachers. Her reason for implementing this workshop with the school was because she believed young people will only believe in their dreams if they believe in themselves.
Being a writer and a poet, she also wanted to source out young writers in the school so that she can mentor and work with over the next few weeks to get their writing recognized internationally. However, she believed first they needed to have confidence in themselves and boost their self-esteem. We were fortunate enough to be given three classes to run the workshop with who were between the ages of 9-6.
The workshop began with two games. The first game we did was called ‘Positive Mixer’ which was pretty much the same as ‘Fruit Salad’ where they run to the next available seat if the fruit they are is called except this time they were given positive attributes like ‘Confident’, ‘Strong’, ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Love’ and when ‘Positive Mixer’ was called they all had to run up and swap seats. This game was enjoyed by everyone as even the teachers got involved!
We then played ‘21’ where the children had to all try and count to 21 but no two children were allowed to say the same number twice and if they did they started counting all over again. The kids all seemed to really enjoy this also and we had a lot of great laughs especially when they struggled to even reach 10 for quite a while.
We then proceeded to our first activity. The plan was to have three activities but unfortunately due to time and the fact that the games had rolled over we only managed to complete one but it was just as effective.
The kids had to make a flower with four petals and in each petal, write why they liked themselves or why they thought they were special. For the first few minutes they all looked at each other blankly as if to say ‘why would I be special?’, they were encouraged to write anything that came to their head and to be creative with the design and colours of their petals. A few of the children struggled to find something special to say about themselves and often had to be prompted by myself or the other teachers but when they got into it, there was no stopping them! They even changed the game to ‘I am amazing because…’ Reasons included things like ‘I am beautiful’, ‘I can sing’, I can make people laugh’ or ‘I believe in myself’.
It was good to see them talk about themselves positively and share it with the rest of the class. We ended the workshop by encouraging the children that nothing is impossible and if they believe in something they should follow it wholeheartedly. They were reminded that there was no limitations to what they can do except what was in their mind as we are often our own biggest setback
We also asked them to share with the class what they wanted to be when they got older and some of the responses were brilliant! They included, a pilot, pastor, comedian, doctor, soldier and journalist. They were told to remember their dreams, remember why they are amazing and every time they feel down, to read the amazing things they said about themselves and to use it also as their positive affirmation.