PULSE 2014/15 will use Gira, a toy giraffe, to share stories and get to know the everyday life and concerns for children and youth in townships in South Africa, specially focusing on members of the Field Band Foundation.
Gira is not a real person and can in that way not be a person that the kids might be to attached to, but a figure with a story that some of the children can see themselves in.
It can be easier to open up to a non-realistic figure, like toys, dolls, and teddy bears, than a real person. We will communicate, get to know, share stories and life skills topics to children and adults by using an informal language, pictures and movies through Gira. We will use Gira in all the case stuides, interviews and home visits with the children, and bring her to all the Field Band rehearsals we attend.
In our story about Gira we presented her as a female with many concerns and a difficult family and school situation. She is often tired, stressed and sad and has few ways of expressing her self and relax. She has a lot of resposibility and few adults to talk to. Gira´s story can reflect many children in townships everyday life and challenges. By presenting Gira´s background the way we do it, we hope she can be a representative for many children. By showing how Gira feels better when playing and expressing herself and getting a positive social belonging experience and adult support in the field band, she is a good example on how connection between music acitivies and health promotion is naturally linked. We will present Gira´s stories to children, youth and adults. We hope that the stories that will be linked up to theories like recilience and post traumatic growth, can be used as a tool to documenting the positive outcomes of the Field Band Foundations work. For the adults working in and with the bands, Gira can also put an example on how theories, life skills etc. can easily be communicated through practical examples.
In Gira´s story we also present other figures:
– A friend that plays the marimba together with Gira. The friend represent the imortance of social belonging and inclusion, and how a friendship can be made through common interests and having something in common.
– A femtale tutor that immidialty sees Gira and gives her challenges and positive feedback, and the feeling of mastering something. The tutor is also an imporant trustworthy adult Gira can talk to outside her home.
– The social officer is a male and represent a role model for both girls and boys. We find it important that he as a male can be someone to trust and look up to for all genders. We also mention that the tutor and the social officer offers a home visit. We will take Gira with us to some home visits and write about it. In that way we will share knowledge and document the Field Band Foundations social work.
A movie about me will be published soon! Watch the trailer here:
You can follow all our work with Gira on the Gira page. If you have any questions, comments or want to get more information, do not hesitate to contact PULSE on: email@example.com
Written by Hanne Johansen and Siri Thorson