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  • Activities and Competitions

    Organizing activities and competitions can be fun but there are times you need some fresh input. In the activity drop-down menu below, you can find heaps of ideas. What about a Paper Plane Competition?
  • Activities

  • TIP: Think inside the hat!

    Party hats, store-bought or made from pages of an old book or scrap paper are very useful for a display. You can staple the hat to the board as a container for whatever you want to showcase. Or hang them in front of the board filled with little notes, poems, toy animals or whatever takes your fancy
  • TIP: Staple at an angle

    Removing old display items will be much easier when you hold the stapler at an angle when you tack items to the board. The staples will stick out at one side - perfect to get hold of and pull them out when you change displays.
  • TIP: Use a glue gun

    Glue guns are the most fantastic tools for creating displays. You can attach all sorts of materials like hard plastic, metal, fabric and everything else you can think off. Be careful with your fingers (blow - blow) the glue is very hot and you easily get blisters
  • TIP: Create a 3D effect!

    Create a 3D effect by hanging objects in front of the display board, like fish in a Sea Life display or lanterns in a Spring or Garden display.

Refugees – Every suitcase tells a story

This is a beautiful display. Complex in its simplicity.

I used the phrase: ‘Every suitcase tells a story’ as the sub-theme for this display.

Hands – holding up hands – spread out hands, greeting hands, hands asking for help or held up as protection from violence or disaster are the base of this display.
I stapled lots of them around the V-shape I create in the middle of the display board to give the display movement.

Bars – borders – wires – fences are all ways to keep refugees in or out.

All refugees face huge obstacles and I used black netting to symbolize being caught up in the maelstrom of displacement. To represent all refugees from all over the world in any kind of situation, I used the same image over and over because in spite of our differences we are the same in our wishes and dreams, not only for ourselves but even more so for our children: a We all want a safe environment, a nice place to live with healthy conditions. We all want a sturdy house, enough food, clean water, work, a reasonable income to support our families. We want freedom of expression with respect for each other. We all want to be respected for what we are. We all want a prosperous future.

Not only the people who escape war, drought, famine and disasters are refugees but also those who try to escape abuse and violence at home. In front of the display board are  a couple of suitcases arranged to symbolize the journey refugees make to find safe shelter. Every suitcase tells a story. Knowing the story is understanding those who look for refuge.

I thought it would be fitting to create a starry night for. We are all people under the same stars, when we look up at night we see the same sky and have the same kind of dreams. The stars sparkle and give us hope. Spotting a falling star is even better. Do we not all believe that it makes our wish come true? Being a refugee makes it even more likely to look up at the sky asking for help or wishing for a safe place to live.

What you need:

  • Couple of old suitcases (Op shop – family – friends/colleagues)
  • Silver wrapping paper or illuminating wrapping paper
  • Garden or fishing netting
  • Lots of cut out images of different coloured people in different sizes and different colours of card
  • Lots of cut out images of hands in different sizes
  • REFUGEE heading  

What to do: Starry sky:

Use the illuminating paper to cut out lots and lots of stars in different sizes. Have them laminated to give them more body. Wrap the silver wrapping paper around a frame attached to the display board and staple it in place. Attach the shiny stars all over the board and hang the Christmas lights in place.

Cut lots and lots of images that represents refugees. You can search Google free images or get them from magazines or discarded books. Copy them in different sizes. Paste them on different coloured card. Cut also lots and lots of hands (same sources) and paste them on the refugee images. Keep a dozen hands to staple directly on the display board.

Staple the silver-coloured wrapping paper to the board. Create a line from the middle bottom part of the board to the middle left and right top part of the board. The V-shape adds depth and gives the display a dynamic feeling.

Staple the hands to the board but make sure not to use the space inside the V-shape. Staple the netting roughly over the hands to symbolize the fences, bars and borders that keep refugees from safety.  Use the lines of the V-shape as a guideline.

Staple the heading of the display in the middle. Make sure the lines are straight. Under the heading you can staple the phrase: ‘Every suitcase tells a story.’ Beginning at the end of the board I staple the smaller images of people and work towards the middle, ending with the largest images of people on the lines of the V-shape to create movement heading towards you. It symbolises all kinds of people coming from different directions, carrying their belongings in a suitcase, heading for safety.

Place the suitcases in front of the display. Arrange the books on the display stand, in or on top of the suitcases and spread them around on the floor in front of the display.

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