A. A Ceremony to Reclaim Our Potential
The objectives of this section are to share and symbolize past and present failures, pain and barriers to success in learning and in life, and to discard them.
1. Set the stage
* Place chairs in a circle. Place a small table or desk in the centre of the circle of chairs. On the table place a candle in a holder and a wide earthenware or metal bowl full of sand. The top part of a large outdoor ashtray would work well. Have a supply of paper strips and pens or pencils ready. Light the candle.
* Ask the learners to sit in the circle.
2. Guided discussion
* Some questions to consider:
* Introduce the idea of symbolizing the things that stopped them from learning in the past. Today they will symbolize all their personal barriers to success in words or symbols. They will hold a ceremony to discard them and so restore their potential for success in anything they undertake, especially literacy learning.
*Distribute strips of paper and pens or pencils to each learner. Keep a strip for yourself.
* Ask the learners to think of what stopped them from learning in the past. After a moment for thought, ask them to write it down in single words or short phrases, using a single strip of paper for each thought. Those not yet able to write may make a shape or mark on their strips to represent each thought. They can use as many strips of paper as they need.
* Share your symbolized barriers with the group. Encourage the women to share the information on their paper strips, but let them know that they may pass if they wish. Give each learner in the group an opportunity to share.
* As the leader, go to the table and use the candle to set your strip of paper on fire. Put the burning strip in the bowl of sand. Invite the learners, one at a time, to bum their strips.
"All the learners in the group, all the women here, have for now disposed of those things that have disrupted their learning and their lives. This does not mean that you will never have these problems again or that they have been erased forever. We, as women, have overcome much in the past to be here today. With this symbolic burning of the things that prevented us in the past, each of us reclaims our potential for success in learning and in life.
"Because new problems arise from time to time to stop as from learning or living fully, we may perform this ceremony as often as we need to. If you feel that it is time to repeat the ceremony, whenever you are overwhelm your learning or your life, please let us know. We, to may be ready without being aware of our need. "
* Discuss how such a ceremony can be used at home.