Virtual Meeting: Rally for Rights

This is my virtual version of the GF Platform’s Instant Meeting Rally for Rights. My Brownies were super-keen to explore the idea of Rights this summer. Maybe with the pandemic and all the civil unrest going on right now, the girls are picking up on some salient points.

Background

Human rights are the things every person is allowed to do, be or have so we can all live in a free and fair world. They make sure all people, no matter who they are or where they come from, are treated fairly and equally. Our human rights are outlined in a document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document was created by a group of countries called the United Nations in 1947. It’s a list of 30 rights, and it describes the things we all need to survive, feel safe, be treated with respect, and live in peace. The United Nations also created a special document about the rights of children. The document is called the Convention on the Rights of the Child and it protects the rights of all children under 18 years old. The Convention lists the rights that all children have to be protected from harm, to have their voices heard, and to grow and be healthy. Although all people should be guaranteed their human rights, many people’s rights are not respected. This means they get treated badly and unfairly. By getting to know more about the human rights that belong to everyone, we can help protect ourselves and stand up for the rights of others.

Rally for Rights

Objective

To explore the rights of all people and the values that help protect those rights.

Meeting Itinerary

Activity DescriptionWho is leading it?Program to be coveredMaterials NeededTime needed
GatheringZoom PollROWorld StageZOOM5 min
OpeningOpening songs and PromisesROOur Story5 min
Activity 1Read: I Have the Right to be a ChildROWorld StageI Have the Right to be a Child by Alain Serres Aurelia Fronty5-10min
Activity 2Is it Your Right?ROWorld StageList of Rights, Is it your Right? Kahoot!15-20 min
Activity 3Shining RightsROWorld StageStar Template, Colouring/writing tools15 min
Activity 4Read about Malala YousafzaiROWorld StageGoodnight Stories for Rebel Girls5-10min
Activity 5The Path to SchoolROWorld StageN/A5-10 min
Activity 6What if I could not Read?ROWorld StageN/A10 min
ClosingClosing SongsROOur StoryN/A3 min

The Meeting

Activity 1: Read I have The Right to be a Child

I Have the Right to be a Child by Alain Serres and Aurelia Fronty is a great book for any Spark or Brownie Guider. With a very simple text accompanied by rich, vibrant illustrations a young narrator describes what it means to be a child with rights — from the right to food, water and shelter, to the right to go to school, to be free from violence, to breathe clean air, and more. The book emphasizes that these rights belong to every child on the planet, whether they are “black or white, small or big, rich or poor, born here or somewhere else.” It also makes evident that knowing and talking about these rights are the first steps toward making sure that they are respected.

Activity 2: Is it Your Right?

Is it Your Right is a Girls First Platform (GFP) Activity. Rights are things you’re allowed to do, be or have. Human rights are the things every person should have to live a healthy, happy life. In this activity, you’ll help your unit learn about some of our human rights as they decide whether each statement is a right for all or not.

  1. As a unit, share what you all know about rights.
    • What are rights?
    • What are some examples of things every human being deserves and should have?
  2. Go the Is it Your Right Kahoot! and let the girls play the game. Make sure to discuss each answer afterwards.
    • Girls can share why they choose true or false for each answer and you can talk about the associated rights.
  3. At the end, discuss which rights that were discussed are the most important to each girl.

Remember that for the younger girls, the idea of human rights is likely a new concept. it’s okay if takes some time for them get the hang of it. With Sparks, you may want to play a couple of rounds of “Want vs Need” before attempting the Kahoot! Some additional resources for Sparks are: You Have the Right, What’s Missing, Should Have or Nice To Have, Food, Water, Shelter.

Activity 3: Shining Rights

Shining Rights is another GFP activity. Kids have their own set of rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was created to make sure all children, including those in your unit, can grow and live a happy, healthy life. In this activity, your girls will learn about some of their basic rights and think about what they look like in their lives.

Use this template as your star:

  1. Discuss: What are some things all kids need to have the best possible life?
  2. Read the instructions below, ask the girls to listen to the instructions and follow along with their templates:
    • Every Child has the right to a name. Write your name in the centre of your star.
    • Every child has the right to shelter. In one point of the star draw where you live.
    • Every child has the right to food and clean water, in another point of the star, draw your favourite meal.
    • Every child has the right to learn. In another point of the star, draw or write something you enjoy learning about.
    • Every child has the right to play and to rest. In another point of the star, draw something you like to play or something you do rest.
    • Every child has the right to feel safe. in the last point of the star, draw a picture of something that makes you feel safe.
  3. Ask your unit why they think the rights we talked about in this activity are important for all children.

Activity 4: Malala’s Story

No meeting on Children’s Rights would be complete without talking about Malala Yousafzai. She is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. As a girl, Malala was attacked by the Taliban for her activism, promoting education for girls. Malala survived the reprehensible attack and went on to fight even harder for the rights of girls to receive an education.

I am a big fan of the Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls series. I use them all the time at my Guiding meetings from Sparks to Rangers. The first edition has the perfect entry for explaining Malala’s story to young children.

Activity 5: Getting to School

This is based on the GFP activity Path to School, but with a major twist for the virtual world. For some kids, getting to school is no problem For other kids, it’s not so simple. Kids all over the world face obstacles that stop them from going to school, like not having enough money to buy school books or supplies, having to stay home to help with chores or babysit siblings, or have no way to get to the only school around because its far away. In this activity, you’ll help the girls think about these obstacles as you learn who will be able to get to school and who won’t.

  1. Discuss:
    • Do you think being able to go to school is an important right? Why/why not?
    • What might happen if you can’t go to school?
  2. Gather the following items:
    • Broom (this will represent household chores)
    • Laundry Basket (to represent chores)
    • Baby doll (to represent younger siblings)
    • An empty wallet (to represent financial barriers)
    • A (toy) tire (to represent transportation needs)
  3. Hold each item up and ask the girls what they think each item means in terms of barriers to education.
  4. Ask the girls to talk about other things that might prevent girls in Canada or around the world from going to school (I.E.” menstruation, a pandemic, etc.)

Activity 6: What if I could not Read?

What if I could not read? 

  1. Ask children to make a list of all the times they read something in a normal day:
    • reading a book
    • reading signs and posters while they walk on the streets
    • while using computer or watching TV
    • reading a recipe
    • reading doctor’s instructions on how to take their medication.
  2. Ask them the following questions:
    • How would your life be affected if you could not read?
    • What activities would you be unable to do or do well?
    • How literacy can affect the health, safety and security of you and your family?
    • How would you be affected if you could not read and you were a:
    • mother/father?
    • factory worker?
    • Farmer?
    • Shop owner?
    • Soldier?

Notes:

It may take you two meetings to get through all this material, and that’s okay. Don’t rush it. Quite possibly this meeting will spark something in your unit. Don’t let the meeting end without suggestions for how girls can get involved to protect Children’s Rights. Check out:

UNICEF: Take Action

WAGGGS: How to Speak Out and Advocate for the Rights of Women and Girls

WAGGGS: Team Girl Activity Pack

Additional Resources:

Human Rights Activist by Ellen Rodgers (Guides and Pathfinders) (also available on EPIC books)

National Child Day: Children’s Rights Activity Guide: provides additional background and activities for ages 4 and up.

WAGGGS Position Statement on Girls’ Rights

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