My class English & Creole through Art went on a field trip in the end of the year from their neighbourhood and school in Carrefour-Feuilles to the museum in the ghetto of Grand Rue. The students were a little bit afraid in the beginning because this museum is associated with Vodou culture, something that is a taboo in Haitian society. Slowly they started warming up to the space and Andre Eugene, the founder gave them a small tour. The assistance bd participation of my friend Raphael was key to engaging the students since he is a Vodouiyzan and also very educated. The students with the support of Raphael had so many questions to ask Andre. After they were assigned to pick a work of art that they like and recreate it. They also had to give it a name and characteristics and write a small story in English. It was great because the kids from the ghetto also engaged in the activity. Then one by one they had to present their creation character which was inspired by a work of art in the museum. Art, art making and cultural knowledge as a method to connect, familiarise and fight prejudice.
During Children Rights Day we threw a Creole Day Exchange party in collaboration with GwaJeKa, an organisation from Guadeloupe that promotes traditional game culture. With their representatives, Linroz and Miranda we prepared traditional choreographies of the GwoKa that the children performed. We also did tribal face painting connecting to the African heritage of Creole culture, we braided hair, played a lot, danced even more. Through this activity of play and dance we aimed to promote diversity and knowledge for other cultures.
Collaboratively constructing, beyond race, gender, ethnicity. A truly beautiful moment where my students, despite their differences, collaborated together to make a natural looking Christmas tree. Although the majority is Muslim, we were surprised as to how much they wanted to celebrate Christmas and make decorations, so we listened to their needs. They were given the idea of making our own tree from natural materials, but I let them figure out its construction with very little intervention. Sometimes there are moments for educators where they can sit, enjoy and reflect on their group activity. Merry Christmas from our little multi-cultural center of non-formal education!
During the month long project Nutrition we did many fun activities with the students. We took photos of our faces and printed them. Inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo we used the technique of collage to make our own portraits with the use of foods, fruits, and vegetables from magazines. It was quite challenging for most of the students to "ruin" their image and make it funny but finally they did and found it amusing.
We also built a grocery store inside a classroom and engaged the students in role playing by shopping. Some picked the fruits and vegetable and then the other was the cashier and had to do the math by finding the prices. This activity engaged them in language and math practise as well as developing their communicational skills.
Finally with the older students we spent some time designing menus in groups of 3-5 by using our cell phones to translate and research. Then the menus were used for a second role playing game taking place in a restaurant. Some were the customers, others the waiters, others the cooks, some even decided to be entertainment by singing.