Through a brief story, students get to know the concept of Ubuntu, an idea from the Southern African region. It can be translated as "humanity towards others" or interpreted in a more philosophical sense as "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
- to reflect on common humanity and interconnectedness as basis for solidarity
- photocopies of the Ubuntu story
- sheets of paper or moderation cards
- markers or felt tips
- pins and a pinboard or tape and a wall to hang drawings
- pillows or mats to sit on the floor in a circle
- a small CD player or similar device with some nice calming music
Put on the calm music but keep the volume low. One person reads the story about Ubuntu out loudly, slowly and clearly. Then give the students one minute time to let the image sink. Afterwards ask each of them to think about the human beings he or she is connected to and to draw an image that he or she has in mind after hearing the story. Invite them to share their drawings with others and to pin the images on the pinboard or to hang them on the wall.
This is the story:
An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first would win the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: "Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?"
References and resources
This activity featured at the "Learning Places" during the aces Academy 2016. Below you can find a few links with background information on Ubuntu: