What is getting in our way?! (Flower mapping part 2)

Exploring what obstacles prevent participants from enjoying their rights and identify ways in which they show strengths to overcome these.

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It is important as facilitators to be mindful of any trauma that participants may have experienced in relation to the rights they are discussing.  This activity is designed to look broadly at challenges and specifically at the fact that in their own personal journeys they have already found ways to overcome these challenges. The idea is to help clarify some of the calls to action they will bring into the messages they develop later in but emphasising a solution-focused and future facing process.


Take some time to reflect on the flower maps from the previous session. Explain that, just as there are external factors that impact their ability to enjoy their rights, there are also external obstacles that they have face. In this session we are first going to think about those ‘pests’:  you could use an analogy to help them understand what you mean e.g. in England, slugs destroy plants so they don’t grow. You could brainstorm some ideas with the group.


When you are sure participants understand the purpose of the activity, give each participant a few sheets of paper and ask them to draw a ‘pest’ on it. Individually, they should think about the things that get in the way of them enjoying their rights. For example: ‘I experience violence because the public don’t see me as a child’; ‘I cannot go to school because I cannot afford a uniform’; ‘I have no legal identity because I do not know who my parents are’.  They may have as many ‘pests’ as they want to and, when ready, should stick them around the flower(s): 


Invite each participant to explain their ‘pests’. Then ask if they have any experiences of overcoming these as a result of their own journeys e.g. education – we go to a street corner school.  This aspect of reflection on their own progress is of the utmost importance:  they are the experts in their own lives.


Explain that the strengths they have and the solutions they have found are like the ‘bug spray’ for fighting the ‘pests’ on their flower. As well as those they have identified already, ask participants to think about what other things would act as ‘big spray’ to combat the challenges they face in having this right realised. For example, if a pest is violence from the police, a ‘bus spray’ could be training in child rights and protection for local police officers.


Using paper and pens, ask participants to draw cans of bug spray and for each pest, to write on the can the things that would help them overcome this challenge. They can then stick these with Blu-Tack or tape on to their flipchart, either next to their pests or over the top (as a flap that can be lifted to reveal pest underneath). 


Ask groups to nominate a spokesperson to share highlights from their flowers and encourage discussion. What are some of the similarities and differences, across different groups, rights, pests or solutions? 


Ask for reflections on the activity from the groups.


Explain to participants that in this activity, they have done a huge amount of work. They have discussed why a right is important to them, what is standing in their way, explored their strengths in overcoming these and developed demands for what they need from others in order to have the right fully realised.

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