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How the Game is Used


As students fully participate in the Yan-koloba process, they are encouraged to take leadership roles in the game. At any level, children love to be “in charge.” They find it an honor to lead the rest of the class in any learning activity. The advantages of this leadership model are numerous: youth learn the rules of the game; they develop good relationships with their peers; they develop personal leadership skills; they raised their self-esteem.

Leadership in Yan-koloba is expressed at two levels:

As leaders

  • The leader clearly expresses the purpose, the goal and the vision s/he wants for the team.

  • The leader liberates and empowers every player to fulfill his/her obligations within the team and enable them to externalize the variety of gifts they carry internally.

  • Leadership is highly participatory, because the leader is an integral part of the game. She is in the middle of the group or within the circle of play, but is still responsible for team effectiveness by enabling players to reach their personal and team goals.

  • The leader values each player for their contribution, their knowledge, and expresses it publicly, frequently and individually.

  • In Yan-koloba, “Leadership, is not rank, privilege, title, or money. It’s responsibility.”

As players

  • Players know the purpose, the goal and the vision for themselves and the team.

  • Players develop inner leadership by challenging themselves for personal development and self-fulfillment for the attainment of the team’s goals.

  • Relationships among players are covenant, characterized by mutual cooperation, warmth, and joy. These relationships encourage and also tolerate risks and forgive errors.

Short Story:
In one school district, twenty-five high school students volunteered to be trained as Yan-koloba Ambassadors and are assigned in middle and elementary schools to teach character education using Yan-koloba as instructional tool. In their evaluations of the program, the students found the experience rewarding for the following reasons:

  • “I can better understand that just because people act differently does not mean that they are bad people.”

  • “I learned how to listen more. They liked Yan-koloba.”

  • “The kids at the elementary school were very respectful and we did not waste time.”

  • “When you teach, you pay a lot attention to what students say and do. I liked it.”

  • “I was very careful like not to say bad words and stuff”

  • “I was very happy when I met this little girl and her mother at the store where I work on weekends. Even though I did not remember who she was, she reminded me that I went to her school to teach Yan-koloba, and that she liked it.”

  • “I was pleased to do something and receive community service hours necessary to meet my graduation requirements.”


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