Contributed by: Safwan
Children’s thoughts sometimes are understood by them only. There are so many aspirations, so much curiosity, so much fickleness and yet so much depth! Sometimes they are the cause of laughter and sometimes their words have the power to shake the person who is in front of him.
Something similar happened on that day when the children started opening their heart during an activity we did, which required them to think of 3 wishes if they ever met the Genie from Alladin. The children said a range of their wishes and if we sit and talk about it then we can probably write a book, so I will mention only a few that really caught my attention.
One child said that ‘I want to enroll in the morning regular school’ (we facilitated this activity in a second shift school or an after-school programme run by a mainstream school). It probably means that somewhere in the mind, the difference between us vs them cries out. Some more answers were like ‘All thieves should get a job’, ‘I should be able to help everyone’, ‘I want that my father never suffer loss in business’, ‘I want a “full” family’, ‘family wishes become true’ etc.
As a facilitator of a programme like ours, we find it unfair to give children false hopes or make promises that we cannot keep. Instead, we can empower our children and enable them to make thoughtful and realistic advances towards continuous growth as a person and eventually as a community. The reflective discussion after the activity had taken this exact route. We did not discuss whose answer was the best or if anyone could have thought better, we acknowledged everyone’s wishes as relevant and significant, but instead of waiting for a magical lamp to reach them, we helped our children understand how that is somewhere inside of everyone, we just need to recognize it.