Graceworks is committed to informing the public about the plight of people in Myanmar, and as a part of this focus, Graceworks has developed a 'Schools in Oz' Program targeted at educating primary school students.
The Program often begins with a presentation by a Graceworks representative about Myanmar. Following this, students are asked to divide into four 'Activity Stations'.
Each 'Activity Station' has a particular focus, and is aimed at teaching students about different aspects of life in Myanmar.
The activities include:
Activity Station 1 - 'Worlds Apart'
Activity Station 1 focuses on the differences between Yangon and Melbourne in the areas of Transport, Farming, Housing, Health, and Local Government.
Activity Station 2 - 'Everyday Life in Myanmar'
Activity Station 2 features a role play. Students are asked to dramatize a typical day in the life of an orphan in Myanmar, using props provided by the Graceworks representative.
Activity Station 3 - 'Worksheet'
Activity Station 3 starts with a brief presentation about Graceworks by the Graceworks representative. The presentation includes a display board of facts and figures about Myanmar to assist students in filling out a worksheet of questions. Students must then seek the answers from information they've heard, and from what they can find on the display board.
The Activity Station concludes with student discussion about fundraising ideas to assist Graceworks in providing aid in Myanmar.
Activity Station 4 - 'Mapping and Letter Writing'
Activity Station 4 includes the provision of a map to assist students in identifying key rivers and cities in Myanmar, as well as identifying neighboring countries. Students are given a check list and Atlas to aid them in this exercise.
Students are also encouraged to write letters to student in Myanmar, and to include information about their families, their school life, the food they eat, and their interests.
The final and most challenging aspect of the day is when students are given a 'typical orphans meal' during their lunch break...a meal consisting of a simple bowl of rice. The realization of how little orphans in Myanmar have to eat is the often very sad and confronting for the students.
Ed Sharpe, Senior School Coordinator at Blackburn Lake Primary School in Melbourne recently wrote to Graceworks:
The Graceworks team were well prepared and had suitable and interesting activities for the children to do. The displays, photographs and craft examples enhanced the children's appreciation of what life in Myanmar would be like.
The children were interested and engaged for all sessions. It was pleasing to hear the range of questions that were asked and answered thoroughly by the Graceworks team.