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The wishing tree and scarecrow

Type of tool: 
Activity
Duration: 
30-60 min
Topics addressed: 
Group dynamics
Personal development

Provides space for participants to reflect upon their expectations/possible contributions/fears regarding the training course and share those with the others in an introspective way.

Aim: 

To have participants self-reflect on their hopes and fears for the course.

Step by step process: 

Create a nice and relaxed atmosphere for participants.
Play piece of relaxing music (Wishing tree song from Sonia Dada).
Ask the participants to lie on the floor in a comfortable position. Speak to the participants in a soothing and deep slow voice. Do not rush through the instructions so that everybody can easily understand it and feel relaxed.
Make ready the Power Point Presentation, while one trainer is reading the story one will show Power Point Presentation and play music.

Before the story - 5 min
The purpose of this story is to make the participants go into the most inner part of their brain and heart, a search for their values. Explain that this story is to find out what their motivations were to come to the training course and what their expectations are. All motivations and expectations are acceptable, personal, professional, organisational, etc. The purpose is to bring out the reasons that made them want to come or be sent by their NGO. Tell them that when the story is over they will be asked to write down their motivations and expectations on post-its and share them with the rest of the group.

Start the story - 5 min
See "Wishingtreestory" document under Documents/Handouts.

After the story - 15 min
Give some time for participants to come back from the story and stand up. Remind them once more of your questions and ask them to write down their answers in the relevant post-it (dark pink for fears and green for hopes).

Conclusion - 10 min
Conclude the session by giving a general idea of what are the main motivations and expectations among the group.
Ask if the participants have anything to add.
Also mention that the group will come back to this wishing tree to check if the participants’ expectations have been fulfilled and aims have been reached.

Debrifing:
Ask the participants how they felt during the activity.
There will be pink and green post-its on the flipcharts with the same number of participants or more.

Materials and resources: 

- 2 different colour post-its (green for hopes; dark pink for fears);
- Drawing of a wishing tree on a flipchart;
- Drawing of a scarecrow on another flipchart;
- OHP for PowerPoint presentation;
- A soft music (Wishing Tree Song by Sonia DADA);
- PowerPoint presentation for visualizing the story (See "hopesandfears" under Documents/handouts).

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DISCLAIMER: SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

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