Our Training Centre project is all about challenging people’s perceptions and attitudes. We have various simulation games which give people a taste of how some people in this world are forced to live – because the more we understand, the more we can empathise, and when we have empathy towards others, we’re inspired to do something about it.
One of our most run games is ‘Struggle for Survival’, a simulation of what it’s like to live on or below the poverty line in an Indian slum. We’ve run it with all sorts of people over the years, both young and a little older, and many are inspired by it to realise that they can do something to help those in need.
But it was a new challenge when we were asked to run the game for a group of young people with hearing impairments. The deaf and hard of hearing community here can easily develop a strong victim mentality, so it was a great opportunity to help them understand that whilst they do indeed have a disability that needs to be respected, there are plenty people in worse situations than they are, and that actually they can do something to help.
The Salem team had to learn some basic sign language, and become fully informed about these young people and how they communicate. They fully applied themselves, and the simulation game was a great success. The participants were very open and receptive, gaining a whole lot of new understanding of the realities of the world they live in. Good work, everyone!