Connecting Activities


Thelma and Others Show Off Their Drawings

Thelma and Others Show Off Their Drawings


Our first goal when we arrived at The Big Issue was to connect with the vendors. This project’s success hinged on our team being able to build relationships with the vendors. They would have the opportunity to share personal stories with us, so it was vital that they felt comfortable and trusted us. We carefully planned activities that would be engaging, fun, and create a comfortable team atmosphere. The following activities were used to form a stronger bond between the vendors and our team so that our collective group could work in a constructive environment. We embraced a participatory and shared learning approach in all of our activities, to ensure that the vendors were involved in this process as much as we were.


Name Tags From The Activity


Putting Names to Faces

Our first community building activity was to create name tags with the vendors. The activity had a dual purpose- to learn the names of the vendors and also learn more about who they are. Our team participated along with the vendors and we were all excited to draw. We wrote our names and drew what best described us. Colored paper and markers were used so that self expression could flow more naturally. Some vendors were very engaged in this process and drew elaborate houses and pictures of their families, while others drew plants and trees. One vendor drew a fish, because she likes them. This was the first of many icebreakers with the vendors which helped us learn more about who they are. This activity was completed during our second meeting with the vendors and was fully explained in Act 1: Scene 4.


Xolani Takes Control Of The Camera

Xolani Takes Control Of The Camera


Handing the Camera Off

In order for vendors to feel comfortable enough to talk with us about their lives, and sharing their lives in front of cameras, we wanted to give them a chance to take control and see what it was like to be behind a camera themselves. We helped them take pictures and videos of their fellow vendors and of us by handing off cameras and teaching them how to use them. They began interviewing each other and even started asking us questions about our lives. We worked with groups of 2-3 vendors so they had the opportunity to learn and practice taking pictures and videos. Some vendors grasped the concept faster than others and were able to record videos of the vendors introducing themselves and showcasing their name tags.


Xolani's House Party

Xolani’s House Party


Its a Small World: My House is Your House

In order to connect on a personal level, our team wanted to share with the vendors where we lived and show them important people in our lives. Each member of our group made their own presentation that had pictures of our family, friends and house. We then asked the vendors to talk about or draw out their families and tell us about where they live. The vendors were very receptive to learning about our families and then sharing their own stories and families with us. The activity is further described in the Act 2: Scene 5.

After this activity they expressed interest in sharing where they lived with us. We traveled to each of their homes in order to understand their daily lives. We planned a day and all piled into Lance’s van and drive around to see each house. They graciously invited us into their homes sharing Coca Cola and other small snacks with us to welcome the group. The vendors were very engaged during each house visit and no one wanted to leave early or stay at their own house once we had visited it The experience was enriching for all of us. It was an extremely successful, fun activity that can be read in detail in Act 2: Scene 6. The vendors were so grateful that we wanted to take the time to visit where they lived. After this activity, our team felt that we were accepted into their community and families.

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