Villager simulation

Why use this?

To facilitate conversations in a rural context in the frame of ESC projects.

Villager simulation Helper


This activity will be developed in 5 rounds that will follow these steps in every round.

Step 1:

Reading. The volunteer will read the given text and will think about how the conversation could be developed. They must think about different answers, endings of the talk and how the person can react to their answers.

Step 2:

Potentialities of the conversation. Now they will need to focus on what this conversation can bring them. Is it just a talk or a possibility to make friends, enter the community, be accepted…? They will have to detect the potentialities of those conversations with locals to give our volunteers a space in their lives.

Step 3:

Recreate a conversation. This is a moment to practice how this situation could happen. The mentor will act as a local, taking advantage of this role to dare the volunteer to easier or more difficult situations in which the conversation could lead to.

Step 4:

Reflecting about the proposed conversation. Once they have had the talk, both mentor and volunteer will discuss what the difficulties were and how they could avoid or act towards those barriers.

Step 5:

Take a step. Once we have discarded the uninterests, we will focus on what they can do to take part in those activities: there is a local group doing those activities who they might join? Can the volunteers do something to promote an activity they would like to implement? Are there places like local shops to ask people about where youngsters usually hang out? This is a moment where the self-power has to take an important role, because they will have to introduce themselves to the villagers and let them know that they want to be part of whatever it’s happening in the area.

Tip from a Mentor

It’s important to underline the barriers that could appear during the talk and let the volunteer show how they would solve them.

Also, you can include another situation that had relation with any social/economic obstacle of the volunteer: they need to be aware of which topics can be new for a rural place and could generate uncomfortable moments. For example, the situations related to the LGBTIQ+ community, racism, religion, disabilities, classism or age differences. Knowing how to face that in a rural and foreign place can be very constructive.

Support Text

  • You are going on a walk around the countryside, and you encounter a local who stops to talk to you, but you don’t understand them.”
  • “There is a cultural activity that your organization said would happen that afternoon. You want to go, but none of the volunteers nor the organizers are going. However, you hear from a neighbor who is joining the activity that you desire.”
  • “It’s still the first week of the project, and none of the volunteers have arrived except for you. It’s Friday, and you would like to do something tonight, but you don’t know anyone except the organizers, who are very busy with bureaucracy, and a youngster who works in the main grocery store of the town. You already have knowledge of the local language/dialect.”
  • “During your second week, having known the resources of your rural area and having gotten in contact with the local language/dialect, your organizers ask you to reunite a group of people who could be interested in creating an intergenerational group for playing table games. Imagine you contacting Manolo, a 75-year-old man; Marta, a 7-year-old girl; Carlos, a 17-year-old teenager; and Claudia, a 40-year-old woman.”
  • “While doing an activity, a group of youngsters approaches you and says that you give them good vibes, and they want to ask you what you are doing exactly. You want to take advantage of this situation to make local friends and do your favorite activity: cooking.”

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