Reflective Journal – Entry #4
Session 1: Card Game.
We played a card game to help the learners coming up with ideas for bags with few elements given; the group I was in included Raoni (another volunteer) and 2 learners (Bradley and Malik).
Malik created several variations and won because he had different elements to play with; Bradley -who had only 2 elements- draw only 1 bag and commented: “because what else can you do with only 2 elements“(cit.).
I don’t know how to engage him better or again after a first bump.
Session 2: Prototyping.
Malik needs one-to-one assistance in lots of moments; my doubt is that he can actually do better alone (because he pushes himself) but at times he holds back because of his leg and back pain, and because he has volunteers facilitating for him.
Step back and let people do their job. Facilitate and do not do it for them.
Most of the learners finish one prototype and that’s it, they feel ready to go on and produce the final version with the fabric (? …Fear of…?).
How to engage them back? How to spread the idea that multiple trying and failing is okay? How to overcome fear/boredom/frustration?
Before the learners had to go back to the cells, Carlotta (Allum, the founder of Stretch charity ) invited them to make their own movie, to tell their stories in their own way.
Conor was excited and wants to do it to show his kids that even if he did something wrong that got him into prison, now he’s doing something good.
Amir instead took me aside and asked me why should he tell his own story. “Who would listen to it, miss? Why? Why does it have value?“(cit.) .
He also explained he doesn’t have pictures of his wife and family, that all his belongings are back in India and it’d took months to get permission to have them sent over here.
Both stories are heartbreaking to me: for the first time, I realize these guys will stay in jail for a long time, and that we’re coming in and out while they never leave; for us, it’s still some kind of acting, a mask we wear and leave back with our visitor cards.
Pain. How can we act? Should we act? Or should we love what it is? Is it taking a step back a way to move forward? Is it trying to improve their situation or the whole system a way to do a step forward?
There is no learning this time, just a bunch of questions I don’t have an answer to. And pain.