The added value of chocolate, socks & balloons
Can we ever solve the problems of pollution, traffic and lack of community awareness through the use of chocolates, socks and balloons?
At a recent local mosaic training in Cairo, participants found that with a little bit of creativity each of these objects, seemingly disconnected from larger issues, can in fact be fashioned into vehicles of change.
The training was attended by “Leh Masr” mosaic project staff members; a project on reviving and spreading awareness on tourism in Egypt, and junior branch members preparing for a “mini-Cairo” pilot project simulating a mini city model for children. The participants were first asked to draw a map of the community they lived in and then to draw 3 things they like and dislike. They were then given the task to utilise the keywords chocolates, socks and balloons to propose solutions to problems they identified in their communities. Here is what the groups came up with:
Fighting pollution through chocolates:As car exhaust emissions contribute to air pollution, the group proposed cycling as an alternative. To motivate commuters to make this lifestyle change chocolate companies could make contests where winners get a bike for a certain amount of chocolate wrappers they hand in. In addition, each cyclist would get a chocolate!
Combating traffic congestion with “You suck!- Uff 3aleik!” sock campaign:Traffic congestion, especially in large cities such as Cairo, is exacerbated by double and triple parking however the group devised a plan to tackle this issue through the use of old and stinky socks! A system would be established, where the socks are placed on the windshield of double and triple parked cars, with a little tag that reads “Uff 3aleik” or “You Suck!” believing that “El Sharab 2a7san 3ekab- socks are the best punishment”. Dirty socks would come in various colours expressing the degree and level of danger - double parkers out there, beware of red socks!
Raising community awareness through the use of balloons:
The group decided to have balloons with messages on them spread around the square. The messages would tell people about places they should visit, things they need to discover and neighboring communities they are unaware of. “Let’s have balloons get people curious about what’s out there!” Although these scenarios were all hypothetical in the activity, it demonstrates the importance of creativity, fun and thinking outside of the box when trying to tackle small or large issues in one’s local community!
What else has been happening in CISV Egypt? Our latest IPP in Alexandria JB’s latest Peace One Day celebration