The Village Roleplaying Project at Christmas

by Ben Parkinson in Koro

We did it
On 15th December 2015 we successfully raised £609 with 39 supporters in 14 days

Help stretch the imagination of village children in Uganda through roleplaying and make this Christmas one they will not want to forget!

by Ben Parkinson in Koro

New stretch target

 The king of the kobolds was thwarted by the children of Koro, when he tried to poison their water supply last Summer.  The children discovered a way to neutralise the contamination that had been introduced into the well and learnt how to keep the well clean afterwards.  They fought back evil wolves and manage to steal some black pepper from a fierce giant!  They unravelled the witch's code and immunised themselves by stewing bananas and cinammon.  They made paralysis bombs to fight the warg leader and bought weapons and armour to help them fight wandering monsters in the wilderness.

Now, however, the Kobold King has exacted a revenge.  His stealthy rogues have stolen all of the children's Christmas presents and they are going to have to storm the King's encampment, figure ways to circumvent his devious traps and improve their knowledge of the local plants and wildlife of the forest, if they are to survive its dangers.  A mysterious bard has appeared in Eagle's Hollow, who claims that he knows Christmas songs that will boost their spirits and even a local necromancer has offered his assistance, but can he be trusted?

Lauren, the herbalist, is back and is going to teach the children how to brew some Christmas potions and how to stuff a turkey, if the children can find their presents, but she fears that, if they do not, too many will be too sad to celebrate!

This story is a follow-up to last Summer's very successful "Koro's Last Hope" camp, which was run by 14 year old Patrick Aikonia and his friends, who love to do roleplaying.  They have had amazing support from Paizo, who have donated core rulebooks and many adventures to his group and are supported by Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network, a UK-based charity that trains youth to be changemakers and social entrepreneurs.

This Christmas Patrick is enlisting the help of Barbara (15), who is another member of the Butterfly Project Cohort 3 group, who started their training this year.  Barbara is also a keen roleplayer and her focus is going to be to help children understand the story as it progresses and teach the basic rules of the game.  Brian (15) will also be attending and will be teaching those children with a greater understanding of the Pathfinder rules how to GM.

Chrysalis is a Ugandan project which supports children who have empathy for others in their communities.  We choose particularly children from remote rural and slum areas and we train them weekly in the first year in a range of subjects, including vision development, ethics, problem-solving, social enterprise, international citizenship and ICT.  Roleplaying is a taster session for all children and some continue with it and others do not.  Patrick is one who decided to make it his special project and in 2014 he presented it at the Ashoka Youth Changemaker Conference.

The planned event will take place in Koro, where Chrysalis has its rural centre.  Koro is around 12km from Gulu in Northern Uganda and is especially disadvantaged, with many children suffering still due to the impact of war on their parents.  We expect that between 50-100 children will participate in activities which will vary from sports to puzzles, reading to art, cooking to roleplaying, though all within the framework of the "Koro's Last Christmas" theme.  Most of these children will have never received a Christmas present and so it will be a privilege to be able to make this Christmas special for them ahead of a new programme of activities planned for 2016.

Funding will go towards the following elements (assuming 50 children):

Christmas presents

Travel for the team to Gulu and their subsistence while in the village

Materials and furniture for the Koro site

Supervision of the activities and preparation of the site in advance (to avoid snakes etc.)

Special equipment in order to provide activities.

The event is expected to start on or around 18th December and run up until Christmas Eve.  If possible, we will also resume with activities between Christmas and New Year, though this will be dependent upon raising some additional "stretch goal" funds. 


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