The Agency: Africa updates

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Assistant Facilitator Africa fills us on in what participants have been up to on their third week of The Agency programme.

We were now three weeks into our journey and it was time for the agents to learn about mapping and networks.

As they filtered in to the room they were greeted with a variety of different maps sprawled across a table. As well as traditional geographical ones, there were ones that mapped out statistics or made social commentary, and some used creative illustrations to carry subliminal messages.

The agents gathered around the table to scrutinize the maps. The tutor, Bobbi, explained that the purpose of all these maps was to show how each came with its own respective interpretation of the world and that people use them in different ways to navigate and log their journeys. As protagonists we can also map out anything, from our thoughts and feelings to our life and our networks.

Soon after the agents were split into pairs and given their first task to draw their own map that showed 10 key moments in their life. This prompted them to think about the journey that’s made them who they are today and their desires in life.

After this, they had to create a physical map of their area using post-it notes and the room. The room was Wandsworth and a post-it in the middle of the room represented Caius House as a reference point. Everyone then had to map the rest of the area out, starting with them placing where they believed their house would be.

After some minor disputes on geography, the agents stood above their street name post-it notes and passed a ball of string around the room to create a web that conveyed how they’d come to build a network from their local area.

As we remained gathered in our web, Bobbi asked the agents to think about places they would go and wouldn’t go. This opened up an interesting conversation about how they perceived areas differently to each other, with some agents sharing their reasons for not feeling safe in certain territories around Wandsworth.

The day wrapped up with the agents incorporating all of the skills they’d learnt in the session to map out their ideas, thinking about:

1) Key moments in their life and how they reached them (Desire),
2) Who they know already and who they need to know (Network)
3) Identifying the need for their idea in their area (Territory)

This task helped all the agents in strengthening their idea by beginning to establish a network, analysing all the roles needed to make their idea functional and thinking about their target audience. As the session drew to an end some agents had time to share their amazing maps that didn’t only represent where their journey was heading, but how far they’ve come in just three weeks.

> Find out more about The Agency 

> Explore our other opportunities for young people aged 12-29 

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