Section 2: What makes me human?
In this section, you will begin the process of personalising HIV/AIDS. For some of your participants, this will have already happened as they struggle with their own or a loved one's HIV status. For others, HIV/AIDS may still be something that happens to them, anyone other than me - but in order for people to protect themselves, be effective educators of others and offer support and compassion to the infected and affected, they need to explore and understand their own vulnerability as humans.
This section contains six activities that work progressively towards creating foundations for the personalisation of HIV/AIDS.
Who am I?
This activity is aimed at introducing learners and facilitators to each other and at establishing a sense of the group value system.
Divide the class into groups of four. Tell each group that they are going to answer four questions. Write these questions on the board or on newsprint so that the learners can refer to them during their discussions.
- What is my name and what does it mean?
- Where do I come from?
- What am I really good at?
- What are the three most important things to me?
Each member of the group will report back on one question on behalf of the whole group.
What do I bring with me?
This activity is aimed at introducing the learners to life as a classroom and at helping them recognize that they can participate and make valuable contributions to the sessions.
Facilitator led brainstorm:
Lead the learners in a brainstorm around the question: Where do we learn from? to identify the range of places that we can learn from. Write this up onto newsprint and paste it on the wall. You should keep this sheet up for the whole workshop / programme and add to it each time a new source of learning or support is identified.
Ask the learners for each place or person on the list: How many of you have been here / know a person like this? Get a show of hands.
Say to the learners, Reach up with one hand, pat yourself on the back, because you come to this workshop / course with lots of knowledge and skills already. Please do not be shy with your skills and knowledge – we can all learn from each other. And remember, when you leave here today, you can continue to learn from all of these places and people.
How do we know things?
This activity is aimed at introducing the learners to an holistic approach to learning.
To be a happy and fully developed human being means balancing all the bits that make up who you are:
- Head: Mind, knowledge, intellect, reason, memory.
- Hands: Body, skills, abilities.
- Heart: Spirit and emotions, inner person, values, beliefs and attitudes.
Get the class to guide you as on a large sheet of newsprint you draw a generic learner showing Head, Hands and Heart drawn in. Make sure that your drawing is large enough to write on for the Summary activity at the end. Paste this picture onto the wall. You should keep this sheet up for the whole workshop / programme so that you can refer to it when needed.
Tell the learners: This workshop / programme will be helping you to develop all of these areas of yourself.
What does being human mean?
This activity is aimed at getting the learners to think about what humans have in common.
- Think: Tell the learners to think on their own about this: “What makes us human?”
- Share: Ask each learner to share his/her ideas with the group.
- Create: While the learners are sharing their ideas, you demonstrate how these ideas can be written in a mind map by drawing this up on the board or on newsprint.
What do we need as humans?
This activity is aimed at introducing the learners to a menu of basic human needs that will inform investigations of HIV/AIDS.
Give each learner a sheet of paper and dump a pile of communal crayons onto each table. Each learner must draw him/herself at the centre of the page and then list or draw pictures of all the things s/he has or needs to make his/her life happy, safe and fulfilling.
Paste the pictures up. Get the class to walk around looking at each of the drawings.
Now paste up a large copy of the following list derived from Max-Neef:
- Self worth
Talk the learners through each of the needs on the list.
Get the class to see how many of the things on their pictures match the needs on the Max-Neef list. Write these real examples onto the list. You may want to keep this chart of needs and examples up throughout the whole workshop / programme so that you can refer to it when needed.
No person exists completely alone
This activity is aimed at introducing the learners to a central concept in HIV/AIDS education: The pebble dropped into the pond of human life and the ripples caused. This links the idea of the needs thrown up at the individual level with the broader social impacts and vice versa.
Point out that most/all the self portraits show people with friends, family, community: people with other people.
Drawing and discussion:
Paste up a large sheet of newsprint. Onto it draw five concentric circles. In the centre of the inner circle draw a pebble. As you write in the label for each of the circles, talk the learners through the different elements of the drawing.
- The pond is the whole human race all being human as explored the previous activities.
- The pebble dropped into the pond is HIV/AIDS.
- The first circle is the impact of HIV/AIDS on the individual affecting his/her ability to meet his/her needs.
- The second circle is the impact of HIV/AIDS on families and friends.
- The third circle is the impact of HIV/AIDS on the community.
- The fourth circle is the impact of HIV/AIDS on the nation.
- The fifth circle is the impact of HIV/AIDS on the world.
(If you are running a full-length programme, these categories could form a simple and cohesive structuring device.)
Paste this drawing up on the wall. It will be a good idea to keep it up for the whole workshop / programme so that you can refer to it when needed.