If you do this activity outdoors,
make sure that the participants can hear you, especially if you
are doing it with a large group! You may need to use your co-facilitators
to relay the statements.
In the imagining phase at the beginning, it is possible that
some participants may say that they know little about the life
of the person they have to role-play. Tell them, this does not
matter especially, and that they should use their imagination
and to do it as best they can.
The power of this activity lies in the impact of actually seeing
the distance increasing between the participants, especially at
the end when there should be a big distance between those that
stepped forward often and those who did not. To enhance the impact,
it is important that you adjust the roles to reflect the realities
of the participants' own lives. As you do so, be sure you adapt
the roles so that only a minimum of people can take steps forward
(i.e. can answer "yes"). This also applies if you have
a large group and have to devise more roles.
During the debriefing and evaluation it is important to explore
how participants knew about the character whose role they had
to play. Was it through personal experience or through other sources
of information (news, books, and jokes)? Are they sure the information
and the images they have of the characters are reliable? In this
way you can introduce how stereotypes and prejudice work.
This activity is particularly relevant to making links between
the different generations of rights (civil/political and social/economic/cultural
rights) and the access to them. The problems of poverty and social
exclusion are not only a problem of formal rights - although the
latter also exists for refugees and asylum-seekers for example.
The problem is very often a matter of effective access to those
One way to get more ideas on the table and to deepen participants'
understanding is to work first in small groups and then to get
them to share their ideas in plenary. Having co-facilitators is
almost essential if you do this. Try this method by taking the
second part of the debriefing - after each role has been revealed
- in smaller groups. Ask people to explore who in their society
has fewer, and who has more, chances or opportunities, and what
first steps can and should be taken to address the inequalities.
Alternatively, ask people to take one of the characters and ask
what could be done, i.e. what duties and responsibilities they
themselves, the community and the government have towards this
Suggestions for follow-up
Depending on the social context you work in, you may want to
invite representatives from advocacy groups for certain cultural
or social minorities to talk to the group. Find out from them
what issues they are currently fighting for and how you and young
people can help. Such a face-to-face meeting would also be an
opportunity to address or review some of the prejudices or stereotyping
that came out during the discussion.
The group may like to take more time to consider the stereotypic
images they have of the people represented in "Take a step
forward". You could use the activity, "Euro-rail
"a la carte"" in the all different all equal
education pack to ask which people they would most like to share
a railway carriage with, and which people they would least like
to share with.
If the group would like to find out more about the issues relating
to inequalities in education provision world-wide and the measures
that are being taken to address the problems, you may wish to
look at the activity "Education for all".
Ideas for action
Take up the ideas from the follow-up. Follow through how you
and young people can help groups and organisations working with
cultural or social minorities, and turn the ideas into practice.