Forming Adolescent Circles

In order to learn and engage actively (inside and beyond their activity spaces), adolescents participating in any programme need to feel safe, included and valued. The time they spend together should give them a chance to connect with their peers, and practice communication, teamwork and other skills as they work, play and have fun together. All of the Adolescent Kit guides, tools and activities are available for use in Arabic, French and Spanish.

To foster these positive relationships, facilitators should support the adolescents who participate in their programmes in coming together and forming ’Adolescent Circles’ (‘Circles’) – groups of 7-25 adolescents who regularly participate in activities to learn, have fun or take a break from stressful aspects of their lives, and to practice skills, express themselves, work together, and take action in their community.

Why a ’Circle’?

Everyone fits in a Circle – no one is more or less important. Each member brings their ideas and skills to the Circle, and helps to strengthen it. By listening and supporting each other, members keep the Circle connected.

Circles work together to achieve group goals. This unites them. Ideally, members of a Circle develop a shared identity, even if their ethnic, religious, caste, or other identities differ. This shared identity needs to be fostered with care.

Circles are strong because they are flexible. If a new adolescent joins, the Circle can grow to include him or her as an equal member. If an adolescent needs to step out of the Circle—to help their family, work, or respond to other situations—the Circle shrinks but remains intact.

Who should work together in a Circle?

Facilitators, with their programme coordinators and team, can organize Adolescent Circles that will be safe, engaging, and contribute to community peace by planning groups of an appropriate size, and making proactive plans about the age, genders and diversity of the adolescents who will work together in a circle.

Read this guide to learn more as you prepare to organize Adolescent Circles.