Our Village

Our Village
Main Topic
Solidarity - Civic Activities
Additional Topic(s)
Empowerment and Inclusion – Diversity
Mobility - Ownership of Public Space
Solidarity - Participation
Solidarity - Social Activities
1-2 hours
Implementation Mode
Indoor F2F
● To think about the challenges and values linked to European Citizenship.
● To reflect upon how further development can be made in terms of participation and decision-making in small groups and in local communities.

Expected Results
● Increased understanding of European Citizenship
● Identification of challenges and issues
● Development of critical thinking skills
● Building of a sense of community
Overview of Activity
“United in diversity” is the motto of the EU and there are many diverse nationalities within the EU. Furthermore, the EU tries to construct a common European identity alongside European Citizenship. In this “Our Village'' activity, participants collaboratively draw the house and then a village they would like to live in. The aim is to experience the challenges and values linked to the idea of European Citizenship.
Description of Activity
1. The facilitator should ask all participants to close their eyes and imagine the house they would like to live in for a few minutes by asking the following questions:
● What does your dream home look, i.e. the colour of the walls or the type of furniture?
● What kind of atmosphere or feeling do you want your home to have?
● How does your home reflect who you are as a person? What values or beliefs does it embody?
● What are some features of your ideal neighbourhood or community? Is it diverse and inclusive, or more homogenous?
● What role does your home play in your life? Is it a sanctuary where you can relax and recharge, or a place where you can entertain friends and family?

2. The participants should then be grouped into pairs and asked to draw one house between them.

Each pair can only have one pen to draw the house they would like to live in. It is forbidden to talk in pairs for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the pairs can talk and continue drawing their houses and can add some trees, fences, paintings, and other items. That should take another 5 minutes.

3. The facilitator should place a big sheet of paper on the floor, bear in mind that participants can use more than one big sheet of paper, and every pair should place their drawings on the paper as if planning out a village. The individual houses have now turned into a “village”.

The participants can work all together on developing the “village” further. They should think about roads, buildings such as hospitals and schools, services, more houses etc. Importantly, the whole group has to agree on what to add to the village before it is added. That should take roughly 25 minutes.

4. Once the village is ready, the participants should take a walk around the village and talk upon everything that is in the village, individual houses, roads, neighbourhood, public buildings and so on.

5. Time for a debriefing… The facilitator should ask the group the following questions:
● How did you feel while you were drawing?
● Were there any issues with your colleague/s?
● When it comes to the process of what to add to the “village”, how were the decisions taken? Why?
● Why were different people in or out at different moments or for certain tasks?
● How did you embrace different kinds of wishes?
● What were the limitations?
● How do we deal with those limitations/obstacles, in order to ensure equal involvement of all people?
● What does this exercise tell you about citizenship?
● For example, about living together?
● Now, think about Europe as a big village, what are the common points between the European reality and your village?
● What are the barriers and challenges to realising the concept of European citizens?
Sources & Additional Materials
Adapted from the activity “Our Village” in “T-KIT 7 European Citizenship in youth work”. https://pjp-eu.coe.int/documents/42128013/47261290/T-Kit+on+European+Citizenship.pdf/7beade8c-aa21-9855-8fc6-6b53481ece2b
Additional Notes
● This activity is tested once and participants told that it would be better to have those who are around the same age.
● Asking who the village would deal with migration, solidarity, currency and finances, and some common places, ie. for youth would be beneficial for the discussion part.

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