Markers + a whiteboard = Day of fun for kids

Launched last fall in Quito, Ecuador, our Sponsor Connect video pilot has given us much insight around the sponsorship experience. Working with a small yet dedicated base of sponsors, this learning pilot is all about bridging the gap between sponsors and their sponsored kids through interactive video.

To date, we have seen that gap get smaller while giving the participating sponsors an unfiltered glimpse into their child's world. In most cases, they were hearing their sponsored kids' voices for the first time. Whether it's seeing a group of sponsored teens break out in a music jam or kids participating in an activity, this pilot continues to validate the whole sponsorship experience.

Such was recently the case when we captured a video of sponsored kids playing an impromptu game of Pictionary at their community center in Quito. We later turned that series into a game on our Facebook page, giving sponsors a dose of fun while showcasing the drawing skills of these kids.

Check out the first part of the series:

Communication through drawing

If you think about it, a drawing is the most primitive form of expression. Dating back to the cavemen era, prehistoric paintings conveyed a story while capturing a moment in time. Fast forward to today, and we still use images to communicate. Whether it’s in a PowerPoint presentation or today’s infinite number of emoticons, images still tell a story while reinforcing the written word.

These kids were able to communicate with a board and a marker — that’s it. No translations were needed. Even I found myself waiting to see the drawings unfold, leading to a more engaging experience.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all could communicate through drawing?! Unfortunately, my drawing skills have not evolved beyond the ordinary stick figure. I don’t think I would’ve survived during the prehistoric era.

Empowerment in action

As part of the pilot, we often turn the tablets over to the kids making them the digital storytellers. During this Pictionary series, several kids had a chance to use the mobile device. The photo below really illustrates their interest, as they were not afraid to hit the record button to tell their story.

In essence, by empowering these kids to be the storytellers, we are providing an opportunity to practice effective creative-thinking and communication skills that will help them be successful in life. Not only is that empowerment in action, but it also dovetails with our empowerment programs.

Kids play Pictionary at their community center.

The digital storyteller: A sponsored child captures a game of Pictionary on video.

Throughout the pilot, we also encouraged sponsors to look for new ways to engage with their sponsored children. Whether it was sharing a new recipe or making a video of their family, sponsors were not afraid to think outside the box, especially when it came to communication.

Have you come up with out-of-the-box ideas for communicating with your sponsored kids? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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