Persona Doll Training donate
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We help communities to embrace diversity and overcome prejudice based on race, sex, class and ability

Approach

Anti-bias work originated in the United States, and was adapted by PDT to meet the challenges of racism and other prejudice in a post-apartheid South Africa. Our ‘hands-on’ learning approach encourages adults and children to embrace diversity and practice respect and tolerance, aligned with the core values enshrined in the South African Constitution, The Children’s Act, the National Curriculum Statement and other policies on ECD, health, social development and education. Our training and materials offer effective, practical tools to uncover bias and ‘unlearn’ prejudice based on race, sex, class and ability, including the innovative Persona Doll approach.

The Persona Doll approach promotes the development of positive self-identity, values and empathy in children. It builds on universal story-telling traditions to promote inclusion, and tackle issues of prejudice and unfairness.

Persona Dolls are life-like, culturally appropriate girl and boy cloth dolls. Each doll is given a “Persona” or identity, and transformed into a unique personality with a cultural and social background, family situations, abilities and disabilities, fears and interests. We train adults working with children in ECD centres, schools, homes and communities to use the interactive Persona Doll approach to raise and discuss sensitive issues like racism, xenophobia, sexism, abuse, physical appearance, HIV and health issues, sexual orientation, culture and faith, social class and disability. The Persona Dolls, their stories and scenarios are used to help:

  • Develop self-esteem and empathy
  • Promote diversity and accept differences and similarities
  • Promote inclusion, positive values and multilingualism
  • Challenge discrimination and prejudice
  • Develop skills to stand up for self and others
  • Address bullying, teasing, name-calling and empower ‘victims’
  • Develop emotional intelligence and language skills
  • Encourage problem solving and conflict resolution.
  • Promote human rights and children’s rights and responsibilities
  • Develop cultural awareness
  • Develop self-identity and acceptance
  • Improve inter-personal communication skills
  • Develop active citizenship and activism
  • Encourage creativity and imagination.