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Activity 1: Story - Clowning for Joy in Haiti

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story until you are comfortable presenting it.
  • Optional: Make copies of the story for youth to share and read along.

Description of Activity

Youth hear and discuss a story about the importance of joy, fun and humor in creating justice.

Tell or read the story. Start a discussion with these questions:

  • Are there traits we have discussed in previous workshops that you think Sarah possesses?
  • Though the clowns focus primarily on performing for children, adults share the joy, too. Sarah says that some women danced, yet they laughed when she danced. Why do you think they laughed? Are there different kinds of laughter?
  • Sarah wrote, "although we do not feel in immediate danger, making people laugh keeps potential violence at bay." Why do you think this might be so?
  • The story ends with these lines,"Maybe a lot of people in Haiti are bouke a lot of the time. But right now we are on our way up a hill to a show, and despite all odds we are not bouke at all." What are the implications for social justice work of spreading joy, fun and laughter?
  • Is Sarah experiencing joy? Help youth articulate the joy that comes from serving the needs of others, if they do not do so independently.
  • Do you think joy and laughter are universal human rights? Why or why not?
  • Do you consider laughter to be a universal language? Why or why not?

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