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Tool Kits | February 13, 2018

"The Journey of Life" community workshops to support caregivers and children in need

"The Journey of Life" is a workshop series designed to help communities support caregivers and children in need. With individual and community resources often stretched to the breaking point by war, violence, natural disasters, HIV and AIDS, people need the information and skills to be able to plan a course of action. Using picture codes, personal testimonies, and role plays, the workshops stimulate reflection, dialogue and action among  participants. By taking them through their own life journey they are better able to understand the problems facing children in their care and in their community. The core messages are:

  1. focusing on children’s strengths/resilience, rather than on their vulnerabilities and deficits so as to build their inner strength
  2. mobilizing communities to accept that everyone has a role in caring for our (local) children
  3. that doing something to care for children doesn’t necessarily require funds
  4. that the Journey of Life Awareness Workshop is the first step in a long term community mobilization process. As such, the development of an action plan is a critical component for ensuring a community?s efforts in improving psychosocial support for children is sustained.

Pictures and posters, a core feature of the resource, are designed to facilitate dialogue. Resource mapping and action plans provide communities with an opportunity to identify their capacities and begin to act on their collective responsibility towards these children.

In 2018 CRS worked with REPSSI, the creators of "The Journey of Life” curriculum, to update the series’ Facilitator Training Guide and Community Implementation Guide, as well as the guides for an Action Workshop on protecting children from abuse. REPSSI is a non-profit organization that addresses the social and emotional impact of poverty, conflict, HIV and AIDS among children and youth in East and Southern Africa.  

The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools at the links below measure the change in attitudes and actions by groups who participate in a "Journey of Life" workshop. The workshops are designed for groups who work on child trafficking and child labor issues, but the M&E tools below can be adapted for other settings as well.

REPSSI and CRS are eager to hear about the experiences of other organizations who use some or all of these M&E tools, as this helps to build an evidence base and share learning. Please contact [email protected] to share your results or make a comment. Before the workshops, facilitators should read the "Journey of Life" M&E compendium, which describes four sets of data that can be collected by partners. When applied across several partners and/or multiple sites, the data that is gathered and analyzed can provide a strong sense of the effect that the training has in the communities.

Forms to be used with camp committees

Demographics – provides basic description of the child protection committee members

Scenario – documents attitudes that Child Protection Committee members hold over a period of time 

Household list – documents changes in village households that have been listed as “at risk”

M&E web – documents qualitative statements from child protection committee members about their initial impressions of the Journey of Life workshop.

Forms to be used with village child protection committees 



Household list 

M&E web 

Forms to be used with village child rights monitoring committees and child development committees



Household list

M&E web

Analysis forms

"Journey of Life" scenario assessment

Village database template