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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Breaking Ice, Creating Unity

How do you facilitate engagement of forty young adults and professionals to create a bond between youth from varying backgrounds? The answer is breaking the ice! Today, during the second part of our three–day BREAKAWAY Facilitator training at the University of Sonsonate, El Salvador, we created momentum and feelings of ownership between BREAKAWAY Facilitators and the fast approaching BREAKAWAY Children’s Camps that they will be running. I attribute the success of today’s training to the two group activities/icebreakers. 
Nicole (blog article author) and Kevin setting-up the computer lab for the day's session.
Our first icebreaker activity, facilitated by Mariana Herrera was the ‘Telephone Game” where one person decides on a message to send around the circle, until it reached the final person who revealed what they believe to be the correct original message. The first message passed around our group of 40+ was in Spanish and related to a character in the BREAKAWAY Game. Considering my basic language skills, I tried my best to repeat the message that was passed on to me. However, I have a feeling that the message changed drastically once I whispered the message to the girl next to me. She burst into laugher and caused a wave of laughter to ripple around our circle. Needless to say, in the end the message was lost in translation, which I take some responsibility. What I gained from this experience is that the power of this game resides in the concepts of a group challenge; it demands that strangers (of any gender, age, personal background or language) work together to communicate clearly to one another. 
Rumors game.
If you were to ask college students for their opinions on icebreaker activities you would probably be met with a long groan of displeasure. Icebreakers? Again? Really? Do you think we are still in middle school? Even I have a habit of thinking this way. I am too old for this. However, the power of creating unity through icebreaking activities was reintroduced to me today and I will forever be a supporter of them! 
Creating BREAKAWAY raps.
The creativity of our Salvadorian BREAKAWAY Facilitators during the second group exercise of the day (Football Rap) generated thunderous applause! Facilitators in training were instructed to work together to create lyrics to a song that incorporated the words; football, pitch, kick, play, girl and fair. In small teams the Facilitators created works of art. Hidden talents of composition, poetry, singing and beatboxing were uncovered!
Creating Breakaway raps.
We wish that you could be here to experience the generosity and enthusiasm of all we have met in El Salvador. We are excited to bring our experience to you through sharing the Football Rap of one of our BREAKAWAY Facilitator groups!
You can see smiling provoking videos of the facilitators' final performances on our Facebook page at

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