Written by Isabella Madsen, MELLEMFOLKELIGT SAMVIRKE
Youth engagement in primary school
In a Danish school yard, eighteen young people are standing ready. There is a break between classes, and they are preparing an activity for the younger kids. Every day they facilitate games as football, hide and seek and more. A volunteer project they have kept running since they participated in the PAClife training sessions in March.
During the training course the young people were taught how to facilitate activities for kids in safe environments with PAClife exercises and ongoing reflection. Through the sessions we discussed collaboration, teamwork, inclusion, leadership and diversity. They improved their existing skills or developed new competences to facilitate activities for the younger kids. After the trainings the group should make a voluntary placement in the school yard.
It wasn’t just easy – many of the young people found it difficult to manage the kids. But the exercise also revealed how much preparation it takes to facilitate games for others. It becomes a part of their journey and learnings.
In Denmark the voluntary placement was centered around the peer-to-peer method. Many of the young people remembered the play patrol from their childhood and wanted to recreate the experience. In their experience the play patrol became role models for the younger kids in the school. Hopefully it will inspire the smaller kids to one day become a part of the play patrol themselves – and thereby give back to the next generation.