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Inter-University Event: “Africulture Game”


(Participants draw up their household’s annual farming
and housekeeping budget, while negotiating cooperative
arrangements with other “families.”)

On October 26, the Global Collaboration Center hosted its second “Africulture Game,” a simulation workshop first held in October last year. Eighteen students from Ochanomizu University and four other institutions (Kyoritsu Women’s University, Tsuda College, Nara Women’s University, and Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University) took part in this experiential learning opportunity. Hana Kobayashi led the workshop for the second year, along with two other moderator-trainers from IC Net, Ltd. Participants entered into a four-year simulated living experience as members of 11 households in a fictional sub-Saharan African village, putting their heads together to make ends meet and build a better life for their families while juggling farming, housekeeping, childrearing, and migrant work. This year saw a new level of resourcefulness and creativity, as the “men” of the village decided at a meeting to buy a communal bicycle, a single mother opened a day-care center, and a man and a woman who had lost their spouses to illness joined forces by remarrying. Participants threw themselves into their roles and reacted with groans or cheers to each stroke of good or bad fortune-including family births, deaths, and illnesses, as well as weather conditions and disasters that impact crop yields-assigned them by randomly drawn “chance” cards. While taking the form of a game, the workshop gave participants a realistic impression of the increase of economic discrepancies, the information gap, and events like the birth and death of children in rural households. It provided a valuable opportunity for experiential learn about the many challenges facing African villagers and the potential for betterment through community cooperation.

(A transaction at the local market, where villagers
can buy inputs like fertilizer or sell surplus crops.

Participant feedback included these comments: “I really came away impressed with the importance of information, and I was also able to see how circumstances can prevent useful information from reaching the people who need it.” “It helped me grasp some of the things I’ve learned about international cooperation from a different perspective.”

(Participants formed small groups and presented
what they learned.)

※For more information on the Africulture Game, see last year’s activity report (October 27-28, 2012).

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