Activity 1: Community stories
· to enable group members to
identify important issues and problems facing their community
· to help build a feeling of team spirit and mutual
· to generate group self-esteem
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· 1-2 hours
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· tool: unserialized
· sticky tape
Sample unserialized posters
What to do
1. Ask the participants to form groups of 5-8 persons. Give each
group a set of materials.
2. Give the groups the task using these words:
Each group will choose 4 drawings from the
set Working together, develop a story about your community using the 4 drawings
you have selected. Give names to the people and to the place where the story is
taking place. Your story should have a beginning, a middle and an
3. Give the groups about 15-20 minutes to make up their story.
4. When all the groups are ready, ask each group to tell its
story to the other participants using the drawings it chose. Let the groups
decide how they will tell their story to the other participants. Possible
- a single person selected by the group
number of persons selected by the group
- participants act out their
5. Invite the other participants to ask questions about the
story and let the group answer them.
6. Once all the stories have been told, invite the group to
discuss the main points of each story.
7. The following questions can be used to help stimulate the
discussion, if the group is very quiet or silent:
- Are these stories about events happening now in
- What issues were raised that could be considered to be
problems in the community?
- How could these problems be resolved?
other (or similar) problems does your community face?
8. If the group did not come up with any problems related to
water and sanitation, try the activity again using a set of drawings which are
less general. Use instead a set of drawings which are more directly related to
health and sanitation issues. Facilitate the activity in the same way as before.
9. Facilitate a discussion with the group on what it has learned
during this activity, what it liked and what it did not like about this
1. Let the small groups make up their stories by themselves. Do
not offer guidance or assistance on what the subject of the groups' stories
2. The purpose of this activity is to help the group express
issues that are of concern to it. Don't worry if health issues are not directly
identified. (The next activity will help the group to do this.)
3. If it appears that the group would like to work on issues
which are not related to environmental sanitation, try to put it in touch with
appropriate institutions, government departments, development agencies or
4. Groups will frequently find this activity stimulating and
enjoyable, and may come up with two stories or ask for a second chance. If time
permits, carry out the activity again since it may help you to discover
important information about the