We awoke to a breakfast of rice, eggs, luncheon meat and Nescafe. When we arrived at the Friendly Haus, where we were holding the workshop, the youth were slowly trickling in. Some had woken up at 3:00am to reach the workshop.
Our co-facilitator and Plan International staffer Philip led a body mapping exercise asking the youth to connect their experiences with the typhoon directly to parts of their bodies. One young man shared that not only had his village been destroyed, but many hearts had been destroyed within his village. They had drawn a frowning face on the body and a broken heart. This level of deep sharing set the tone for the workshop—one of resilience, care and openness. When we began to teach, we weren’t sure of the reception. But the day was full of laughter, movement, and deep reflection.
Though their small figures and light-hearted laughter implied so, these were not children. These were young adults with deep reflective abilities, points of views, and keen senses of humor. They learned fast. We flew through the material and at break conferred with each other how to deepen and add to our plan for the day. We had started the day with a song about frogs and ended the day with four beautiful movement pieces based on words associated with Typhoon Yolanda experiences.
Later that night, we met as a group to plan for the second day and knew the next two days were going to be both challenging and
rewarding. We wanted to continue to give voice to the youth’s experience with the Typhoon, while at the same time teaching tools to teach children theatre –at all times rooted in play and laughter. We had our work cut out for us.