Empowering Young Minds: The Child Community Hero Program 2023

Jan 10, 2024Education

In the realm of primary education, character development and life skills play a vital role in shaping the future of our children. The Child Community Hero Project emerges as a beacon of empowerment, targeting fifth and sixth-grade students in elementary schools. As part of an extracurricular activity, this program aims to foster students’ positive self image, build their skills to relate and collaborate with others, build the sense of empathy and engage participants in crafting small projects with significant impacts on their schools and local communities.

This program aligns with Pohon Sagoe Maluku’s vision to empower children and youth to grow to be the best version of themselves, in a friendly, family-oriented atmosphere, and focused on people. As we also believe that every child and youth are born with good values that must ultimately be helped to develop, as the first step to creating qualified leaders in the future. It is also part of our vision for every Moluccan child to grow to be the best version of themselves and be an agent of change in their community.

In 2023 the project was implemented in 3 schools in Kota Ambon which were funded by the New Zealand Embassy Jakarta and in the children learning community in Hukurila Village was funded by Arigatou International under Global Network of Religions for Children. This project has benefited 200 children and 38 young people in Ambon who participated as mentors. Through this project , the students learnt about Character Building and Life Skill Education in 3 months of small group mentoring activities . There are 3 modules that have been designed for the children to explore.

The first module (I- Getting to know me) children will explore about themselves which aims to find their self worth , their potency, taking good care of themselves physically and mentally, self protection and identify the risk of abuses from surrounding and how to get help and protect themselves and also start to plan their goal in life and how to work on in from now.

In the second module (You- Getting to know other People), the children explore the idea of other self worth and having positive mindset about other people, understanding the differences and assumption and how to respond to it, communication skill to talk with people, having empathy to others, learn how to collaborate with others and how to think critically about all the information they hear/read in daily life (identify hoax).

The third module (We – Collaborate for Co-Creating Solution for Community) is designed for the children to learn about design thinking. The idea is that children can start from the beginning to solve problems in the community by understanding the problem as well as think creatively and collaboratively to find a solution. This process highlighted all the ideas of using their potency, other’s potency and collaborating with others to co-create effective solutions. It is the opportunity for students to put into practice the ideas about how to collaborate with other people, how to work on the differences they have in their team and activate self potency and bring it into the table. This design thinking process has created 15 project ideas that have been implemented on October 1-7 2023 in SD Negeri Seilale, SD Negeri 70 dan SD Negeri 2 Hative Besar.

This output signifies that the children are more positive and enhance the self-esteem and self-worth of Moluccan children. The children can instill in them a strong and positive self-concept, helping them recognize and appreciate their unique qualities and potential. A positive self-image leads to increased confidence, resilience, and a healthy self-identity.
This program provided students with a platform and guidance to express themselves effectively. Students explored their creativity and expressed their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through various forms of self-expression, such as art, writing and storytelling. We established a safe and supportive environment where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment or criticism .

Over the course of nearly three months, the students enrolled in the mentoring session have demonstrated good progress and manifested substantial improvements in various facets of their lives. The mentorship initiative, designed to guide and support these students, has proven to be effective in nurturing positive changes and fostering personal development.

Moreover through creative expression and mini projects students learned problem-solving skills as they tackle artistic challenges or navigate complex emotions and ideas. They learned how to prototype a mini project to help people in their school.

One of the important impacts of this project is the students can practice to collaborate in a team in order to run their mini project. Design thinking methods helped the students think critically and creatively how to work together, share ideas, and solve problems as a team. This session gave the students real experience to collaborate and work on diverse perspectives.

Looking at the some good impacts that we have made through this project, we hope we can escalate the project in other schools in Maluku and provide an opportunity for each Moluccan student to discover themselves.

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