We help communities to embrace diversity and overcome prejudice based on race, sex, class and ability
To all our parents/grandparents/caregivers, siblings, teachers, teacher assistants and those caring for children
You may be in the position where your 5-6 year olds are asking questions and our younger children may have the same questions but are not asking them yet such as;
- “Why can’t we play outside in the road with our friends or why can’t our friends come and play with us?”
- “Why are none of us leaving the house?”
- “What is the Corona Virus or Covid-19?”
- “We miss school and our friends and when are we going back?”
- “Why do we have to wash our hands so often and for so long?” and many more questions…
Children are hearing adults talking, they might be seeing TV coverage of the Virus and they talk amongst themselves, they might have fears, and many questions.
A good idea is to ask the children about what they understand, listen to them carefully without interrupting. We need to acknowledge these questions and provide simple and factual answers that are age appropriate to fill in the gaps and clarify incorrect information.
Here is a Persona Doll Story that might help you. If you have a Persona Doll at home please use it, if not you are still able to tell the story with questions , just adapt it by starting the story with … A little boy called Leroy who is 5 and a half and lives in Retreat with his Mom and older sister ………etc.
Refilwe’s story – understanding the facts of HIV
Refilwe is 15 years old, in Grade 9. She lives with her mother, her auntie and her two younger brothers in Diepsloot, near Johannesburg. Her friends call her Refi. Her dad is a long-distance truck driver and he comes home once a month. Refi has no sisters but her best friend Naledi is like a sister to her. Naledi lives next door with her aunt, uncle and her cousins. Refi and Naledi are the same age, they were even born the same month, in September, and they have been like sisters since crèche.
Children face many issues and problems in their daily lives. Persona Dolls are used in ECD centres, schools, homes and communities by teachers, social workers, home visitors and other adults working with children and teenagers to discuss these issues, explore diversity and address bias. Each Doll has his/her own ‘Persona’ – name, gender, home and family background, culture, language, religion, social class, skin colour and physical features, special abilities and disabilities, likes and dislikes. Persona Dolls provide a useful tool to communicate with children and encourage them to communicate better through stories and dialogue, as illustrated in the sample stories below:
Malibongwe’s story – celebrating identity and diversity
Teachers in a small town, where all the children have a similar cultural background, decide to introduce a Doll from a different background. They make sure that there is plenty in the Doll’s life that the children can identify with.