The ‘Snakes and Ladders’ game for children’s rights

Today we left our hotel to visit the Zekeria Rexha school in the municipality of Gjakova. Zekeria Rexha is an Albanian-speaking school with children from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian minorities. Save the Children and Iniciativa 6—a local civil society organisation that works closely with the school, parents and students—are providing training to teachers and materials for children in supplementary and inclusive classes. They want to ensure all children have access to education by raising awareness and knowledge about inclusive teaching methods.

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Saranda Cena is the teacher responsible for developing an inclusive method in the school. She was trained by Save the Children and is focussed on working with children who have learning challenges. Saranda explained how, by working with the new methods, she was able to help Erion and Aurela to progress in school. Erion is a shy five-year-old boy. At the beginning of the year he was non-verbal, which made his school and home life very difficult. Today, Erion is able to put together words and to communicate and get his message across.

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Aurela is a six-year-old girl who had socialisation challenges and her drawings always had very dark colours. Saranda explained how they were able to improve Aurela’s abilities by performing group activities such as dancing together, walking together in the garden, drawing and playing games. In Aurela’s case, socialisation performed a major role in her integration. And the proof lies in one of Aurela’s new drawings: full of bright colours!

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Afterwards, we met a classroom of students in between 12 and 16 years old. One of the surprises was their great level of English. We played the Snakes and Ladders game with questions about children’s rights. If you don’t know how it goes, take a look below:

– Roll a Styrofoam dice to know how many houses you should move.
– If you land on a coloured house, you answer a question.
– If you land on a snake, you go back.
– If you land on a ladder, you go forward.

It was fun and it’s a great way to become aware of children’s rights.
But that’s not all. The class also prepared a play about children’s abuse. They are great actors. It is amazing to see how this class is giving voice to children by making them discuss what is important to them and tackling strong subjects such as children’s rights, how can they work together to create a difference and establishing the future leaders of Kosovo!

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    Marcos Moreira