‘Families in Global Transition’ 2019 Conference
NIST International School, Bangkok, Thailand
Conference Theme: ‘Connect Lead Change’
‘Create an Island: A hands-on workshop using this art-based tool for supporting globally-mobile children, adolescents, adults and professionals.
The famous poet John Donne wrote that “No man is an island.” This is the basis of the development of this group activity. Having worked with children for over twenty years, I frequently use this ‘create an island’ activity in both social groups and therapy sessions. It is extremely useful when exploring connections, friendships, safety and identity in a safe and child-friendly format.
This concurrent session was a pleasure to run and was attended by a diverse group. From parents and teachers to school counsellors, coaches and other globally mobile attendees, this session provided a creative space to explore this practical, art-based toll in which those attending were able to create their own islands in small groups and then discuss how they could use this approach in their specific areas of specialisation.
I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for the materials and it was wonderful seeing the groups getting creative and drawing their islands. No two islands are ever the same and this is part of the reason why I enjoy presenting and taking part in this activity to such a degree. In the past there have been islands with multiple fast food outlets and condominiums; whilst others have been almost covered in jungle and filled with lakes.
All of the islands drawn in this session had airports, (I usually found that ‘Third
In todays world of fast paced, frequently, online connection, it is easy for many people to feel increasingly alone. To connect with others from a similar background in order to create a shared space of their own is critical in developing identity, resilience and understanding and respect for others.