MONDO card game – Learn how to protect yourself!

Summary

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) in cooperation with a Budapest based school for students with profound and multiple disabilities (Csillagház Általános Iskola) created the MONDO card game for children with disabilities. The card is an educational tool through which children can identify a number of dangers and abuse (e.g. guardianship, institutionalisation, hate-crime) and can learn what to do in order to handle these situations. The cards give concrete and simple advice for children and young people with disabilities. In further cooperation with Csillagház, HCLU will develop an educational program about how children can recognize human rights violations and protect themselves. The long-term aim is to incorporate this learning material in the curricula of formal education. Currently, the card game is being tested in several schools throughout Hungary.

Issue addressed

Empowering children and young people with disabilities to recognize human rights violations and protect themselves against them.

Background information

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union has a legal assistance service that regularly provides legal counseling and legal representation for persons with disabilities. They receive at least 50 clients per year who have been victims of violence or abuse due to their impairment. Most of them are under guardianship, or living in a big institution, therefore they are deprived of their right to make decisions or have choices and control over their lives. HCLU saw that these clients are unaware of their fundamental rights and are also lacking knowledge on what to do when suffering from abuse and being locked-up in an institution. They realized that people would need training to recognize these vulnerable situations and learn how to defend themselves. Therefore, they developed a card game, called ‘MONDO’ that helps children and young adults with disabilities to defend themselves when they are exposed to dangerous situations and they have the ability to recognize such dangerous situations.

Description of practice

The card game is covering 10 topics:

  1. Support me in a respectful way!
  2. Don’t hurt me!
  • Why shouldn’t they place me under guardianship?
  1. Don’t put me in an institution!
  2. I can protect myself even in an institution.
  3. I can get to know other people and make new friends.
  • I can have a partner and a family.
  • I can make my own decisions.
  1. I can live in the community.
  2. I can exercise my political rights and vote at the elections.

The different cards under these topics show to people how to recognise human rights violations and abuse, or situations when they are exploited. They can learn what it means to be treated respectfully and understand that this is something they can expect from everyone around them, including their supporters and care-givers. They have worked closely together with a special school for children with multiple disabilities to develop and test the cards with the involvement of children with intellectual disabilities. This collaboration was a very important part of the project as it guaranteed that cards are accessible and understandable for people. Experiences also show that it is often difficult for people to differentiate between an improper way of touching with bad intention, or a touching which was unpleasant, but was made with the right intention. It is especially important for people with high support needs to be empowered to detect abusive situations.

Since many people wanted to know what to do if abuse occurs, the game provides practical advices on that. HCLU believes that it would be crucial to train all children with and without disabilities about their human rights as early age as possible, therefore they are advocating for the inclusion of the MONDO card game in the formal education curriculum.

Analysis

This card game is an important tool to expand the knowledge of children and young people with disabilities about their human rights and help them to recognize and tackle dangerous situations. Persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities are a particularly vulnerable group to become victims of violence and abuse and it is important that this model provides them with an accessible educational material to enable them to make more informed decisions and know when and how to ask for support.

It is also important to highlight as a positive aspect of the model that it is an inclusive game and has the potential to help not only children with disabilities, but any other children to learn about their rights and be able to better distinguish between dangerous and appropriate situations.

Further Reading

The description is taken from the website of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and information about the practice is available in English here: http://szuloi.tasz.hu/english/

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