max & antonia story
changemakers and workbook
a gift to young people, school teachers
and youth workers around the world
THE CHANGEMAKERS STORY has been in development for 10 years with the involvement of young people from many places in the world, including from the organization Global Changemakers.
The process also builds on our experience with a large social action in England from 2000-2008 when 1,000 young people became involved in shaping and changing their city ( Peterborough) for the better.
The creation of the story came through young people involved in an empowering co-creation process - See the film from the first Co-creation workshop held in the UK 2012
The story is fictional story based on real life episodes shared by those involved in the co-creation process. However, it is also a dialogue, coaching and involvement tool. The suggested development for readers occurs as they are invited to make mini-products based on the story and take the dilemmas and/or the characters on to create further expression of change in their own lives and that of their community.
Apart from the initial co-creation workshops, a number of other pilot projects have been carried out, including a multi-step course, a very touching and thought-provoking play, Changemaker's song and drafts of a screenplay, etc.
THE CHANGEMAKERS STORY contains a wide range of universal dilemmas that young people need to talk about and find their own solution. At the back of the novel, a number of questions have therefore been prepared for each chapter and material you can use in schools to spark dialogue and discussion.
Dilemmas in the novel, which are highlighted among young people
Dream trampler vs Dream Support.
Alcohol and drugs.
Loneliness and isolation.
Body image and sexuality.
Expectations and stress.
The quest for success and recognition.
Money for good and evil.
Key principles we work around:
1. All young people have the opportunity to become a CHANGEMAKER.
2. We seek to inspire young people to bring about change and seek support.
3. Loneliness and boredom can lead to extremely negative situations.
4. Never give up on your dreams even if you encounter resistance...
5. Creative exploration of the story....
6. Dialogue between adults and young people....
7. Take action and be responsible....
Support and empower young people:
Create a positive and innovative mindset (I can change my situation).
Defeat loneliness, boredom and isolation.
Community mind - Take social responsibility and make a difference.
Fight for CHANGEMAKE's key principles.
Support young people in making their dreams come true.
Spread positive energy, joy and hope for the future.
A little refection
By Liane Lundgård Kristensen (24 years)
"The first time I was introduced to the story of Max and Antonia (Changemakers), was to a workshop with Morten Toft who developed on the story. I so wanted to do a good job for this workshop, because I could feel that this was important.
The dilemmas and challenges posed to me were nothing new but the cool thing both as a youngster and actor was to dive into it and look at it from several angles. Because despite the fact that I identified with the main characters, it was not something I thought about that way. Of course, I was aware that issues such as loneliness, low self-esteem, peer pressure, bullying, etc. are something young people - including myself - struggle with. But what should I be able to do about it?
That's what I think the book can do. It invites reflection. It is not a raised index finger, or a guide to what is right or wrong. It is a kind invitation to do something about it - big and small. Whether "it" is to follow your dreams, say no to your bully, say no at all or ask for help. But also a call to do something for others, for your community, for those who are struggling with something of the same as yourself. A call to be a Changemaker.
So what did I do about it? I contributed what I could to this story, this project and concept. I learned a lot about myself along the way. I'm proud of how far this project (which is not even mine) has come. I get proud when I read my name under “acknowledgments” at the back of the book. Because I believe that this project, which is much more than a book, can make a difference ”.
THE PEOPLE BEHIND CHANGEMAKERS
Authors, Educators, Facilitators of Change, and Global Empowerment Agents for Young People.
RACHEL ROUNCEFIELD worked for many years with Young People’s Services in the UK, where she managed to integrate local youth services and reduce youth unemployment in an area where young people faced difficulty and disadvantage. Rachel now teaches and writes reality-based fiction and plays for young adults.
MORTEN TOFT has a background in personal development, innovation, leadership and change. He is also the author of several books and holds lectures and courses on these subjects. Morten was part of the Butterfly Project in England and Humor &Health (now Danish Hospital Clowns), two other successful community service organizations. He says:
“All people have a talent, a greater potential and the opportunity to make a difference in the community, in their own lives and those of others. The question is how to find it, and use it.”
Mission is to strengthen the self-esteem of young people & to empower and support them in becoming CHANGEMAKERS.
Give young people a new opportunity to make a difference -because anybody can make a difference no matter what their background, past and current situation.
EMPOWERING young people to make a difference; In their own life, In other people’s lives, In the local community, In their city, In their country, In their world.
To create and bring the CHANGEMAKERS concept to millions of young people around the world.
That in the first place consists of:
To bring the novel CHANGEMAKERS to schools and colleges all over the world.
To continue the co-creation process with young people that has already started a Changemaker movement.
To create three additional short stories. This story process has powerful long-term potential.
Interactive teaching material and school package
We also want to develop and sell Changemakers as a "school package" of teaching materials. These would cover:
1. Working with the questions in the book and considering the relevant dilemmas.
2. Working with local communities having discussed the local community issues (mapping) and what young people can do about these in partnership locally.
3. Working with self. Changing their individual life story and Going for their dreams and goals in life.
4. Work towards sharing ideas and mini-creative projects to build the characters , dilemmas and world for Changemakers 2.
We have already run a number of successful pilot projects relating to these activities with teachers and students. Participants found them engaging and relevant to their own lives.
After all, Changemakers is also a coaching and involvement tool. And should be used to create new self-awareness and ACTION!
We want to create a compelling film which can strengthen the rising tide of CHANGEMAKERS around the world.
We want to create a film that is part of a positive movement and contains hidden/Informal education and wisdom. Films are means that are used for larger purposes.
All young people have the right to be a changemaker – for themselves, their community, locally or globally. This right is not altered by their particular background or a particular set of negative behaviours, by advantage or disadvantage. It is universal.
We seek to empower and enable young people to create change and seek support to deal with issues and dilemmas in their lives, and to consider what difference they can also make for others.
Loneliness and Boredom can lead to extreme negative situations. We fight to enable the opposite for young people – positive activity, involvement, engagement and inclusion – making a difference where they wish.
Never give up on your dreams – even if you meet resistence (including your own) along the way.
Failure is always a potential learning opportunity.
We recommend creativity – always! Exploration of the Max & Antonia story ( itself co-created with young people) and its principles has been undertaken with young people through all of the following: Forum Theatre, Playwrighting, Drama workshopping, Poetry, Graphic illustration, Role play, Song creation, Film making, Photo -collage, Drawing & Painting.
All adults also have a responsibility to engage in dialogue with young people wherever possible as a support to creating change in their lives. We can always have a conversation.
With all of the above in mind we seek to ”do something about it”, ” take action” and ”be responsible” ( i.e. respond + ability).
what is a changemaker?
Someone who makes a change for the better.
Someone who takes “response … ability”.
Someone who can find a place in their sphere of influence where they can ACT to make a difference.
Someone who uses what they are good at to change something for others in the community.
Someone who understands that talking about doing something is only a beginning, and that taking ACTION is what takes it forward.
Someone who has respect for themselves, others and nature.
Someone who can find a place in a team with other people.
Someone who focuses on what they want to see happen, rather than on what they don’t want to see happen. They know that what they focus on expands.
Someone who inspires and empowers others by their own example.
Someone who includes rather than excludes. They may begin by being included by others and then go on to include others as part of the development.
Someone who sees mistakes and failures as potential learning opportunities.
Someone who use self-confidence and courage to suggest possible actions for change.
Someone who feels valuable and worthy, knowing they are making a difference.
IS THIS JUST FOR YOUNG PEOPLE?
Changemakers is written as a young adult novel; the main characters are in their early adulthood and it has themes and issues often brought up in young people’s co-creation workshops that happened as part of the story development. However adults, parents, carers and those who have been young at some point in their lives have also read drafts of the novel and fed back that they too find the story inspiring for them and that it has helped them understand and converse with young people they live with – so watch out they may steal your copy!