The second session was held with group 2 on 27th October 2015 with 25 children aged between 8 to 14 years. In total there were 25 children participants and 6 adult observers. Once again this session was carried out at ADF offices in F11/1, Islamabad.
The main purpose of this session was to raise awareness on Children’s Rights and Protection in a non-formal manner through a board game, namely “Malamaal”. Malamaal is a game to foster life skills in children and adolescents. This game was provided by Group Development Pakistan. It is a well-known educational tool to help children understand the rights of children in a fun and child friendly manner.
The game aims to involve children in skills based knowledge and to make information seeking behavior more attractive to children. Generally children in marginalized situations tend to have low self-esteem; therefore they tend to play chance-based games. However, if these same children are engaged in playing a skills based game, then winning the game will help the child build and or raise their self-esteem. As information and knowledge is the essence of this game, this is highly valued. Like any other game, which is played by many children at a time, this game will also encourage and promote team building amongst the players. There are elements of the game such as transactions and donations which foster collaboration. Through various social agents, such as teachers, doctors, police and social workers, the game helps children receive information on various subjects. Most importantly, the game aims to provide children with a tool whereby they can receive, share and disseminate information on a range of topical subjects on their own, without supervision of adults or social workers.
Playing the game with young children encouraged child participation, communication and interaction with all in a friendly way. The game was interactive which involved all the children. Every child was involved and each child waited for his her turn patiently. This encouraged group participation as well as respect for each other. ADF facilitator was able to educate the children participants about different topics such as, general knowledge, laws, Children Rights and its different aspects such as health, protection education and diseases such as dengue, malaria, and hepatitis. The children learnt useful information and at the same time they also enjoyed the outcomes of this session, which included:
- Children belonging to different communities and backgrounds were able to participate (with their parents’ consent) in an educational recreational activity.
- Children’s awareness and knowledge was increased through discussions and by interacting with others and the facilitator.
- Children were encouraged to work in groups, encourage each other and help each other answer the questions correctly.
- Group participation, interaction and healthy knowledge sharing in a fun way.
- Day out for marginalized children who are not often provided with similar recreational activities or outings.
- Sense of importance and value, that these children had been selected to participate in this interactive session.
- Sense of responsibility that each child has to behave and conduct themselves in a good and proper manner.