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Development Education: Try out this workshop!
‘Connecting Communities’, the 184-page guidebook launched in 2006 by
Lourdes Youth and Community Services (LYCS) contains ten workshops. The issues covered include housing, work, drugs, gender, debt etc., and it also contains background information, factsheets and handouts on the various topics.
The following is part of one of the workshops taken from ‘Connecting Communities – A Practical Guide to Using Development Education in Community Settings’ by Helena McNeill of the Lourdes Youth and Community Services CDP in Dublin: Workshop 8: People on the Move (Part 1).
To buy a copy of ‘Connecting Communities – A Practical Guide to Using Development Education in Community Settings’ by Helena McNeill, contact: Riona (national) or Helena (Dublin) at LYCS, Lower Sean McDermott St., Dublin 1. Tel. 01-8230-860. The book is priced €10, plus €2.75 for p&p.
- Spring ’06, Issue 17

Part 1 in summary
The following is Part 1 from the 2-part ‘People on the Move’ workshop. It focuses on the issue of forced migration, in particular the global refugee crisis. In the book, there is considerably more guidance provided, but here is a taster:

1. Introduction and opening exercise: what’s in a name? (10 mins)
2. Brainstorm: migration (10 mins)
3. Music: Christy Moore, Missing You (10 mins)
Before playing the song give people paper and pen and ask them to listen closely to the words and to note what type of migration they think the song is referring to and to jot down or draw anything that strikes them. Play the song and ask participants for their responses.
4. Handout 17: songs our exiles sang (15 mins)
5. Migration and your community (20 mins)
6. Timeline exercise: migration from Ireland (25 mins)
7. Break (30 mins)
8. Timeline: migration into Ireland (15 mins)
How to create a timeline (see Facilitator Sheet 19 for sample):
•You will need a very long sheet of paper or several sheets stuck together.
• You can create the timeline horizontally or vertically. Simply draw a line and enter the dates where you want to begin and end.
• There is no need to include all the data here. Include some dates and detail that will prompt your group, for example the Famine and the 1980s. The group can add details as they discuss times when people came or went from Ireland.
• It would be useful to enter immigration and emigration on different sides of the line, or to colour code them.
• Lay your timeline sheet on the floor or pin it along the wall. Ask people to mark times when Irish people left in big numbers.
The discussion should focus on the following:
• What were the effects of emigration on communities in Ireland?
• What might have been the effects on people who left/how do you think they felt in the new country (remember the song we listened to earlier)?
• What did these migrants contribute to their adopted countries?
9. Input: recent immigration into Ireland (15 mins)
10. Reasons for migration exercise (15 mins)
Photocopy, cut out and prepare a set of cards from Facilitator Sheet 21 for each small group beforehand. The aim of the activity is to examine the different reasons that cause people to migrate. Divide participants into groups of three and give each group a set of cards. Ask the groups to sort their cards into two categories: (a) forced and (b) voluntary migrants. Ask the groups to feedback their choices to the wider group.
• Why did they designate people as forced or voluntary migrants?
• How do they think people feel about being forced to migrate?
It would be useful to point out that according to the UN 175 million people each year migrate for economic reasons.
11. Handout 18: reading from the Grapes of Wrath (10 mins)
12. Closing round: ‘one thing I love about my home country…’ (5 mins)
(Total time: 3 hours).
- Spring ’06, Issue 17


Facilitator Sheet 21*:
Reasons for migration - discuss

Mustafa is a doctor and worked in a hospital in Turkey. He was an activist who campaigned for greater rights for the Kurdish people, a minority group in Turkey. In 1994 he was arrested, imprisoned and tortured, but was later released. Fearing that this could happen again, he came to Ireland.
Siobhan is from Northern Ireland and is a Catholic. She married a Protestant and went to live with her new husband’s parents in a part of Belfast where the population is mostly Protestant. Siobhan and her husband were sent threatening letters saying that Protestants and Catholics should not marry. They were continually harassed and in the end decided to move to London.
Donal is a carpenter. He left Ireland with his wife and children in 1991 after being unemployed for three years. The family travelled to the United States where they had friends who would help them find accommodation and work. In 2002, the family decided to move back to Ireland.
Sade is 13 years old and from Nigeria. Her father was an outspoken journalist who regularly criticised the military rulers. Her mother was shot dead in an attempt on her father’s life outside their home. When this happened, Sade was sent with an escort to safety in London where a cousin had agreed to look after her.
Martin is a Traveller. He and his family are traders who move from town to town during the spring and summer selling carpets and tools. They used to trade horses but farmers no longer use horses so much so the business isn’t there. The family usually stays in one place for the winter so that the children can go to school.
Maria is from the Philippines. She and her family used to live in the rich woodlands of Butuan where her husband worked for a logging company. After a few years the logging company had felled all the trees but had not replaced them. The family’s livelihood was destroyed and they and hundreds of their neighbours moved to the capital Manila in search of work.
Aisling used to live in a small village in Co. Tipperary. Two years ago she moved to study in a college in Dublin.
Chol and a group of his friends fled after a group of Sudanese soldiers attacked his village. He and thousands of other boys walked hundreds of kilometers after they got separated from their families. Today Chol lives in a refugee camp in Kenya where over half of the 40,000 residents are children. Most of the children are Sudanese boys under the age of 15 who ran away to avoid being forced to become child soldiers in the decade long war.
*( Adapted from ‘Refugees: We left Because We Had To’, Refugee Council, 1996.)
- Spring ’06, Issue 17


Get the guidebook to Development Education
It's one thing for the voluntary management committee of a local CDP to attempt to understand and come up with answers to the problems facing their own community. But, Lourdes Youth and Community Services (LYCS) CDP go a step further: For ten years the project has been educating people about development issues globally.
That's going too far, you might say, but you'd be wrong!
In learning about the plight of poor children in Afghanistan, people soon begin to reflect on the challenges facing children in their own communities, for example. The degree of challenges faced may differ, but people find that the causes of inequalities are often the same.
Around Sean McDermott Street, groups consisting of older women, drug users, street traders and community workers have explored human rights, world trade, violence against women, poverty and many other issues from both local and global perspectives.
In October, to satisfy continuing demand for information on how to run these workshops, LYCS published a highly-readable guidebook to Development Education so other projects may adopt the same approach.
The publication is targeted at the thousands of people working with adult learners in hundreds of community education and community development organisations.
Titled 'Connecting Communities: A Practical Guide to Using Development Education in Community Settings', the manual includes ten sections, each with recommended group-exercises and facilitator tips.
The 184-page pack contains a range of informative material and 10 workshops covering such areas as
• global inequality;
• causes and consequences of debt;
• housing, a human need;
• a look at health inequality;
• exploring work and the economy;
• gender and development;
• drugs and the international drugs trade;
• human migration;
• understanding racism;
• people and power.
The guidebook aims to encourage those working with groups to introduce a global view when examining the basic things that effect their own marginalised communities.
As LYCS co-ordinator, Sarah Kelleher - standing on a crate at a podium - explained at the launch: " We do Dev. Ed. because it works."
"Why we produced the book is because there wasn't any book like it in Ireland. And it had become labour-intensive explaining to people what Development Education is and how it works. With this book, you can pick it up, walk into a workshop and conduct exercises.
"The purpose of any community development work is to introduce change in people's minds and in the community. How do you make people think differently? Well, Development Education, or Dev. Ed. as we call it, succeeds in doing that.
"Dev. Ed. makes people think: What we have got in common with other people in the world? What are the differences? It forces people to think about who holds power, who gets to make the decisions that effect their lives. Dev. Ed. therefore has an impact on the individual and on communities."
LYCS received funding to publish the book from Development Co-operation Ireland which is concerned that, there are (as Sarah explained) "very few community development organisations doing Dev. Ed. and they wants to see that change."
Ms. Kelleher praised the author, Helena McNeill, as "the new Maeve Binchy of the community sector", adding, "She put two years of huge energy, time and work went into the book. It reads very well, flows like silk and is basic and simple."
At the launch, John Farrelly, LYCS Chairperson said, "It’s great to see a Dev. Ed. guidebook coming from the Community Development sector - there are strong links between the two."
The guidebook is available for €15. If you want a copy or want information on running a Dev. Ed. course in your area, contact Riona (who is employed specifically to assist CDPs all around the country to run courses) or Helena (who works with CDPs and community groups in Dublin) at LYCS, Lower Sean McDermott St., Dublin 1. Tel. 01-836-3416. E-mail: lycs@eircom.net
- Winter ’05, Issue 16

Myths 1, 2 & 3 about development education
Myths 1, 2 and 3: Development Education is only about the ‘Third World’. It is just one subject. And people who feel they have enough problems of their own may end up feeling powerless and fed-up after studying Development Education.
None of the above are true. Yet they are all common myths that development educator Helena McNeill is anxious to dispel:
• Development Education aims to enable people to see issues and experiences as shared. Though problems are not necessarily always shared to the same extent of difficulty, they are shared nonetheless.
• The aim is also to show that change is always possible. For example, a group experiencing debt learnt about the Money Advice Budgetary Service locally, and joined in the global campaign to cancel 3rd-world debt. Said Helena: "The cycle of debt is rooted in inequality, more than in personal failings. The inequalities exist at local and global levels.”
• Development Education is a celebratory thing too, believes Helena McNeill. "It is not only about injustice and problems. It also draws attention to diversity, common humanity, and the creativity and adaptability of the world's people," said Helena.
- Spring ’06, Issue 17