How easily do you get new friends? What do you do to connect with others? How aware are you of your own strengths, and what kind of experiences have developed you and made you the person you are today?
Sometimes it can be nice to sit down and think about these questions. The PULSE mascot, Gira, gives you the opportunity to do so. If you don´t know Gira´s story take a look at the movie here:
For over two years, Gira has been traveling a lot an gotten new friends in both South Africa and Norway. Seeing how easily Gira connects with children is inspiring. She can be a role model for everyone. Gira is not afraid to open up and let us learn by her experiences. When Gira shares her story all of us can relate in one way or another.
In South Africa PULSE recently joined a Field Band Foundation awerenes campaign where she met both members and non-members of the FBF.
Gira is like a celebrity where ever she goes. “Can I take care of Gira?” “Can I take a picture with Gira?” “ Can I touch her?” “Can Gira be my friend?” are all questions we often hear when introducing Gira to the children we meet. Even though she is welcomed like a celebrity, she is neither a superhero nor a special talent – she is quite ordinary. Still, it seems like Gira has a very special appeal to all children. Why?
It can sometimes feel less revealing and intimidating to open up to a non-realistic figure, like toys, dolls, and teddy bears, than to a real person. No matter what background they have, all children can feel the need to take care of someone, and to have someone that has been even more vulnerable than themselves. Gira can help us find the positive sides of our self – care and love, sympathy and empathy. She is the friend we all need – someone to care about, someone that is open minded and trustworthy.
The other people in Gira´s story can remind us on a few things too. The tutor in the Field Band welcomes Gira with a big smile and open arms. The social officer in Gira´s band is listening to Gira´s concerns. The other Field Band members let Gira stand beside them and learn from what they are doing. Gira is from a township in South Africa, but the attitudes and actions that Gira meets in the band are universal – a smile, a welcoming approach, togetherness and inclusion.
From a theoretical point of view Gira´s story is linked up to theories about resilience, and it can be used as a tool to document the positive outcomes of both the Field Band Foundation and The Norwegian Band Federation’s work.
The PULSE team in Norway and South Africa are proud of our mascot and we look forward to introduce her to even more children in both countries.
These days an updated version of our Gira material is in the making and we are very happy about the fact that the material will be included in the Field Band Education curriculum.
We hope you´ll get in touch if you are interested in using some of our Gira material yourselves. You can find more information here
Written by Siri Thorson