The Welcome Tree

July 23, 2020

To illuminate this period of social distancing and offer you meaningful activities, Equitas has adapted some of its activities to offer them online.

Here is the online version of The Welcome Tree, drawn from the Building Inclusive Communities guide.

This activity can be done with your family, or it can be facilitated in a virtual meeting.

Age: 12+

Time: 30-45 min

Purpose: To raise awareness of some of the issues faced by refugees and newcomers and identify ways to promote inclusive and welcoming communities.

You can download the instructions of this activity as a PDF to share it more easily: Pd Welcome Tree En


  • Large piece of paper and flipchart.
  • OR whiteboard and whiteboard marker.

How to play:

  1. Place markers on the floor or chairs where you would like youth to sit – ensure that these markers or chairs are at a safe physical distance from one another.
  2. Ask the youth to sit on these markers or chairs, and remind them the importance of staying in these spaces throughout the game to ensure their own safety and the safety of their peers.
  3. On a flipchart or a whiteboard in front of where the youth are sitting, the facilitator should draw a tree with roots, a trunk, branches, and leaves. Make the parts of the tree large enough so that you can write in them and that the writing be visible.
  4. Tell youth that the tree is the ‘Welcome Tree’. Inside the trunk, write the following: Inclusion of refugees and newcomers in the community.
  5. Explain that the roots of the tree represent the underlying causes of exclusion, the branches represent strategies for promoting inclusion, and the leaves represent the positive outcomes on individuals and the broader community.
  6. Ask the youth individually to think about: 1) identifying possible causes of exclusion of refugees and newcomers; 2) identifying ways to address these underlying causes (eg come up with ideas for promoting inclusion); 3) describing the positive outcomes that inclusion and respect for diversity have on individuals and the broader community. Give them a few minutes to think of these answers. They may write them down, but they may only do so on their own equipment. They may not borrow equipment from other youth.
  7. Ask the youth to share their thoughts with the group by raising their hand, starting with question 1 and ending with question 3. Make sure that there is discussion about these questions. As a facilitator you – and only you - will be writing their answers down into the tree.
  8. Review the ideas with the group and ensure that the causes, strategies, and outcomes are clear to youth.

Group discussion:


1. How do you feel about the discussion and ideas captured by the tree?

2. Did you feel like you were able to express all your ideas with the group?

3. How do you feel about the community we live in and how it welcomes refugees and newcomers?


1. You identified some of the causes for exclusion, what are some of the consequences of exclusion on certain people in the community?


1. What can we do to learn more about the issues faced by refugees and newcomers?

2. Can we put some of the strategies and ideas for promoting inclusion you suggested in the tree into practice?

Human rights education for building welcoming and inclusive spaces.

This activity uses our 3-step participatory approach to promote learning about human rights and human rights values leading to action:

  1. Children and youth participate in activities that promote learning about human rights and human rights values (e.g. inclusion, respect for diversity, responsibility).
  2. Children and youth discuss how an activity made them feel, what it made them think about, and what they can change (act) in their own attitudes and behaviours and those of their peers.
  3. Together children and youth take action to promote respect for human rights values and children’s rights, and greater understanding, acceptance and inclusion in their classrooms, school playgrounds and communities.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this document is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Where material is attributed to a copyright owner other than Equitas, this material is not subject to the Creative Commons licence.

· If you have not modified the material in anyway, use the following: Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education. Speaking Rights: Human Rights Education Toolkit for Youth is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

· If you have modified, adapted or remixed the material in anyway, use the following: This work, [NAME OF YOUR PUBLICATION] is adapted from Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education’s Speaking Rights: Human Rights Education Toolkit for Youth used under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. [NAME OF YOUR PUBLICATION] is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

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