We want to fly fearless like this bird

In March, the CLARISSA Bangladesh team organised a participatory training workshop for the children who would facilitate the life story sharing process with their peers. 19 children participated in different interactive sessions in the 7-day long training. Among the various learning activities and games, the making of CLARISSA Bird was something that the children found really engaging and very enjoyable.

Children holding paper birds
Credit: Jannatun Nayem – Children holding paper birds, Dhaka, Bangladesh

They were very much interested in creative paperwork throughout the whole training sessions. Being inspired by the paper origami bird making exercise, children also tried making flowers, boat, home, windchime, and different wall decoration items with colourful papers. However, before they were introduced to the way of making the paper bird origami, they had no idea that what was going on! They were very curious to learn what the facilitator was trying to do with all these colourful papers.

Bangladesh team holding paper birds
Credit: Jannatun Nayem – training of life story collectors

At the beginning of the exercise, the participants were told about the concept of `Origami’ – the Japanese art of paper folding. Then some step-by-step procedures were followed to make a CLARISSA bird through creative learning of paper folding. All the children including facilitators, documenters and documenting assistants participated in making the bird using the different coloured paper sheet. Firstly, they learned how to make square size paper from any size of papers available. Then they were asked to follow different folds such as, in folds and out folds.

The children were very much enthusiastic during this exercise. They also helped each other in doing different folds properly until completing it in a final shape. Finally, they made a good shape of flying CLARISA bird on their own. They threw their bird in the training room and in the open-air full of joy and excitement!

This exercise created opportunities for children to work in a team, expand their creative thinking, and allowed them to collaborate with their peers and adults in the session. This also engaged participants and enhanced their skills in logical and sequential thinking. But had more of an impact than we could have imagined:

Paper birds made by child participants
Credit: Jannatun Nayem – Paper birds made by child participants

“I want to live like a bird, a flying bird does not like living in a cage.”

“We want to fly fearless like this bird” – Boy, 15

“I wish a life like this flying bird, away from all fear and responsibilities! A life full of joy!”- Girl, 13; works in a leather factory in Dhaka

“I like this bird, I want to fly like this, I want to go anywhere as I wish” – A young mother, 15, works in a leather factory

A girl holding a paper bird
Credit: Jannatun Nayem – A girl holding a paper bird

After this bird making activity, some of the children flew the bird they made with laughter and joy.

Children flying CLARISSA birds
Credit: Jannatun Nayem – Children flying CLARISSA birds
April 30, 2021
Khandaker Reaz Hossain & Jannatun Nayem