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Take a step forward


Before you start

Print the role cards and cut out enough for each member of the group (if you have more Pioneers than cards, give some people the same role).

What to do

Explain that for this activity everyone will imagine being someone else. Distribute the role cards. Everyone should read their card silently, without letting the others know who they are. Ask the Pioneers to imagine their person in their heads. Ask them some questions to help them imagine their role. They should imagine the answers:

  • What was it like when you were little?
  • What is your everyday life like now?
  • What do you do in the morning? In the afternoon? In the evening?
  • What sort of work do your parents do?
  • Do you have a good standard of living?
  • What do you do in your holidays?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What makes you sad?

Now everyone should line up beside each other, at one end of the room with plenty of space in front of them. Explain that you’re going to describe some things that might happen to a child. If the statement is true for their role, they should take a step forward. Otherwise they should stand still. Read out the situations one at a time. Wait between each statement, so everyone can think about whether they step forward.


  1. You and your family always have enough money to meet your needs.
  2. You live in a decent place with a telephone and television.
  3. You are not teased or excluded because of your different appearance or disability.
  4. The people you live with ask your opinion about major decisions that concern you.
  5. You go to a good school and belong to after-school clubs and sports.
  6. You are not afraid of being stopped by the police.
  7. You live with adults who love you and always have your best interest at heart.
  8. You have never felt discriminated against because of your or your parents’ origins, background, religion or culture.
  9. You have regular medical and dental check-ups, even when you are not sick.
  10. You and your family go away on holiday once a year.
  11. You can invite friends for dinner or to sleep over at your home.
  12. When you are older, you can go to university or choose any job or profession you like.
  13. You are not afraid of being teased or attacked in the streets, at school or where you live.
  14. You usually see people on TV or in films who look and live as you do.
  15. You and your family go on an outing to the cinema, the zoo, a museum, the countryside or other fun places at least once a month.
  16. Your parents and grandparents and even great-grandparents were all born in this country.
  17. You get new clothes and shoes whenever you need them.
  18. You have plenty of time to play and friends to play with.
  19. You have access to a computer and can use the Internet.
  20. You feel appreciated for what you can do and encouraged to develop all your abilities.
  21. You think you are going to have a happy future when you grow up.

At the end, invite everyone to look around to see where the others stand. Ask everyone to read out their role card to the others. Ask everyone to become themselves again. They should close their eyes, count to three and then shout out their own name.

Discussion Questions

  • How easy or difficult was it to play your role?
  • What did you imagine the person you were playing was like?
  • Were they a person similar to you? Do you know anyone like that?
  • How did you feel stepping forward – or not?
  • If you stepped forward often, when did you begin to notice that others were not moving as fast as you were?
  • Did you feel that something was unfair?
  • Is what happened in this activity anything like the real world? How?
  • What gives some people in our community more or fewer opportunities than others?
  • Were you surprised at some things you found out about others in the group? Why?
  • How can you make sure you treat everyone equally?

Resources Required

A set of role cards (one for every participant); the statements listed below


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