The Start-Up Workshop 1 – I-SAVE

Workshop 1


Materials and Preparation needed:

Character Role Cards (See Appendix)
Character Cut-Outs (See Appendix)
Sheets of Paper
Paints, Glues, Pens, Markers
Banner from Kickstarter Workshop


Use any warm-up exercises from the Kickstarter Workshops.

Examples include:

  • Ball exercise
  • Stop / Start / Jump / Name! Also include Forwards / Backwards, Giant Steps / Baby Steps, Fast/slow etc
  • Mingle! Mingle! Mingle! exercise - initiate re-acquainting conversation about what the participants remember, enjoyed and learned from the Kickstarter Workshops
Rights in Context

Note For Facilitator
You are looking at Human Rights in everyday context – in an environmental, geographical, gender, societal and cultural context.

Read Eleanor Roosevelt Quote - her own interpretation of Human Rights:

'Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.'

Eleanor Roosevelt



Question: What is the group’s understanding of the quote?

  • Human Rights start here with us
  • Individual – Group – Global: In the kickstarter workshops we have investigated whatrights mean to ourselves, to our community and the world in general
  • We are promoting advocacy – How we need to advocate on our own behalf and onthe behalf of others
role card bio

Each participant receives a Character Role Card (See Appendix).

Notes for Facilitator

Choose Character Role Cards that are appropriate to your group. There should be a mixof Character Role Cards: of characters that will probably move forward and ones thatwon’t (much).
Character Role Cards will move forward or remain in the same place based on whethertheir representative i.e. the participant, agrees or disagrees to various statements.Genders, countries etc. can be changed as you see fit.
Using a mix of character role cards will help to show and identify the gaps and humanrights violations based on the characters’ personal circumstances.

One Character Role Card is given to each participant:

They are an unaccompanied male youth who has just turned 18
They are an elderly person during Covid-19 restrictions
They are a young child who interprets for their parent(s)
They are an unemployed single mother
They are the daughter of a wealthy local family
They study economics at university
They are the son of an immigrant who runs a successful business
They are an Arab girl living with their parents who are devout Muslims
They are a soldier in the army, doing compulsory military service
They are the owner of a successful import-export business
They are a young wheelchair user
They are a retired factory worker
They are a 17 year old Roma woman who has not finished primary school
They are a heroin addict
They are a sex worker and are HIV positive
They are a 22 year old lesbian
They are a qualified medical doctor, employed as a restaurant kitchen porter in theirhost country
They are a fashion model of African origin
They are a 27 year old homeless young man
They are a migrant worker from Mali with insecure immigration status
They are the 19 year old son of a farmer living in a remote country area

Give a Cardboard Character Cut-Out to each participant – this will represent one ofthe role card characters above.

Map of the World exercise - Like in Workshop 1 of the Kickstarter Workshops, place the Character Cut-Out where that character is on the world map.

Ask the participants to sit down at that spot and create a biography of their role card character based on the facilitator’s prompts – NB. Use “They” / the 3rd person.

Participants write words/answers on one side of their Character Cut-Out.

Prompts from the Facilitator:

  • Referring to the character’s past:
    What was their childhood like? What sort ofdwelling did they live in? What kind of games didthey play? What sort of work did their parents do?
  • Referring to the character’s present:
    What is their everyday life like now? Where dothey live? Where do they socialise? How muchmoney do they earn each month? What do theydo in their leisure time? What might excite them?What are they fearful of? What do they hope for?
step forward

Ask all participants to stand in a straight line, at a far wall, leaving enough room forthem to walk forward. Holding their Character Cut-Out in front of them, they are now representatives for their individual characters.

Holding their character cut-out, ask participants to take one step forward if they AGREE to the statements below that apply to the character they are holding. They will not move if they DISAGREE.

Step forward statements:

  • They have never encountered any serious financial difficulty
  • They have decent housing and are connected to Wi-Fi
  • They feel that their language, religion and culture are respected in the society wherethey live
  • They feel that their opinions on social and political issues matter
  • They feel that their views are listened to
  • They are not afraid of being stopped by the police
  • They know where to turn for help and advice if they need it
  • They have never felt discriminated against because of their origin
  • They have adequate social and medical protection for their needs
  • They can go away on holiday once a year or more
  • They can invite friends for dinner at home
  • They can study and follow the profession of their choice
  • They are not afraid of being harassed or attacked on the street
  • They can vote in national and local elections
  • They can travel abroad
  • They can practice their religion freely and openly and celebrate their mostimportant religious festivals with family and friends
  • They can buy new clothes when they want or need them
  • They can fall in love with the person of their choice
  • They feel that their abilities are respected and appreciated
  • They can use and benefit from the Internet

Acknowledgements: This activity was adapted from Compass - A manual on HumanRights Education with Young People ( 2nd edition) By Brander et al, Council of EuropeStrasbourg 2003 Council of Europe


Can you see who is moving forward?
Can you see who is being left behind?
Can you identify who is and who is not getting their needs met?

Acknowledge that violations can be subtle.

We are seeing the Human Rights violations through the role card characters.

Reference the Roosevelt Quote : Remember where Human Rights begin - they belongto us all.

We can find ourselves in others’ stories - we develop empathy and that’s the root ofadvocacy.

Ask Participants to line up the character cut-outs in a straight line along the wall,along with the Human Rights Articles / Images.


Ask the participants to move around the space. As they are doing so, tell them tosecretly pick a person in the room who is a “Sword.” The Sword is dangerous to them sonow they must secretly keep their distance from that person in the space.

After a minute or so, ask them to return to moving around normally. The Sword nolonger poses a threat.

Now ask the participants to secretly pick a different person who is their “Shield.” ThisShield is a protector to them so now participants will want to always be close to theirShield.

After a minute or so, tell the participants to return to normal.

As they are moving around, tell them the Sword is posing a danger again so they muststay away from their Sword (same person as before) but to stay safe they must stayclose to their Shield (same person as before) at the same time.

As the participants move around, it can become quite chaotic and funny.

Give a countdown of 10 and then say 'Freeze!'

Participants must stop and stay where they are.

Ask various individual participants how they are doing i.e. are they a safe distance fromtheir Sword? Are they close to and protected by their Shield?

They can reveal who their Sword and Shield were.

Relate the exercise to being oppressed – the Sword is the oppressor while the Shield isthe defender, protecting you from the actions of the oppressor.

step in to help

Participants stand in a circle.

The Facilitator tells the group that one person will stand in the middle of the circle.That person will take a breath and then hold their breath. The Facilitator tells thegroup that it is their responsibility to help the person in the middle out and they canonly be helped if someone from the circle steps in, puts a hand on their shoulder andtakes their place.

The person who stepped in now holds their breath until someone else from the groupsteps in and touches their shoulder. Only then are they allowed to exhale and breathenormally. The new person in the middle repeats the sequence.

The exercise is repeated over and over with different people stepping into the middle.It is possible the pace might get quicker and a few people might be in the middle.



  • Did you feel difficulty and a lack of confidence to step in?
  • Did you think/hope someone else would step into the circle instead? (So you didn’thave to.)
  • Did you feel an instinct to help?
  • How did it feel being in the middle waiting for help?
  • Did you get help easily?
  • Were there distractions when it got fuller with people in the middle? e.g. did youmiss seeing someone who may have needed help?

Reflection - Working together as a community is a way to survive and helping is ameans for our community to breathe and flourish.

We have to remember to breathe before we help others.

Look at the line of the character cut-outs in a straight line on the wall.
Human rights are everyone’s but not everyone gets equal access.
Human rights should be the great leveller - everyone is equal.
The only way we can do this is through empathy, representation, advocacy and ourduty of care to each other as human beings.

optional Exercise
Sword/shield part b

Instruct this exercise as before, but this time adding a 3rd person, referring to theprevious breathe exercise

  • Choose who is your Shield
  • Choose who is your Sword
  • Choose who you wish to be a Defender/ Shield for
    i.e. ref. the previous breathe exercise where you chose to step in and help someone

Do all parts separately first, and then combine all 3.
i.e. participants will move around avoiding their Sword, staying close to their Shieldand also staying close to the person they are choosing to defend.


Tell the group that this time they have been giving more conscious support - last timethey may not have been aware that they were someone’s guardian.

Discuss how you can protect yourself when you are protecting others – Self-care isimportant. Protecting yourself enables you to become a safe Shield for someone else.

When you are being shielded, how do you protect others while they are beingoppressed too? - We all have a responsibility, we all have to step up.

the island - revisited

Tell the group you are now going to re-visit the Island from the Kickstarter workshops.

Instruct them: Remember that you made a charter where you and your community shieldedeach other by creating the charter.

The Role Card Characters are joining the Island community too. Taking into account theirneeds and wants that you have recognised, you now have a responsibility to shield them too.

It is now your duty to create a new charter for the Island community moving forward. How can The Pillars support us? - Reference The Pillars in Kickstarter Workshop no. 3: They are Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural.

With this new charter, your needs and everyone else’s needs are being honoured andrepresented. As Islanders you are ensuring the equality of everybody on the island.

After they have created the new charter, remind the participants:
You are breathing new life into the document already created. It’s a living, breathing,organic document.

In education and educating ourselves we can learn how to contribute to the greater good. The community is obliged to help one another, whether with big steps or small steps and wecan step in to help others.

Read the new charter
Recognise that my needs, your needs and everyone else’s needs are being honoured and represented.
As islanders, you are insuring the equality of everybody on the Island.

Re-visit the earlier quote from Eleanor Roosevelt
Let the group reflect on their new perspective on it.
UDHR is a living, breathing document and we all have a responsibility to it, and a duty of careto it and to each other.

A right is something you have without earning it or deserving it. It is yours simply becauseyou are a human being. However, if it is a right for you, it is also a right for everyone else. If webelieve that rights belong to everyone, acting consistently with that belief will mean that welook for opportunities to promote the rights of everyone.

If you know that you are being protected and you are protecting others, we all have a chanceto flourish as individuals and as a community.

banner & closingcommunal ritual

Add cardboard Role Card Characters to the banner which was created in the previous Kickstarter Workshops.

Take a group photo - Place it onto the banner / Print it later and add to the banner.

Acknowledge that you are all one community now.

Congratulate the group and they can perform their communal greeting from the Kickstarter Workshops. This greeting can always evolve too!

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