Philantropy through Doodle Stones

Philantropy through Doodle Stones


Collect some nice small (around 5-7 cm) round stones (like river stones, pebbles) and prepare drawing materials – paints, brushes, markers, etc. – that can be used for the stones and will not easily get washed off. It will also be helpful to have flipchart paper and a multimedia projector to show the video.

Description of activity

  • Have a brief discussion on what philantropy means to the participants. The group can brainstorm and you as a facilitator can write down some key words on a flipchart.
  • Next you can show this one-minute video, “What Is Philanthropy?”
  • Ask the participants to share what could be a short definition of philantropy after having watched the video. 

Sample: “Giving time, talent, or treasure or taking voluntary action for the common good.”

  • Brainstorm on what are some things we can say to others to bring a smile to their faces, bring them some positivity? 
  • Tell the participants you will pass a medium-size stone around the room. Explain that they may only speak when they are holding the stone. The others will show respect by listening to the speaker.  
  • The facilitator then holds the stone and says something like ‘You are beautiful the way you are’ or any other positive message and passes the stone to another person in the circle.
  • Reflect with the participants about how it makes them feel to say or hear these words.
  • Tell participants they will be writing encouraging messages like these on stones to be placed around the place where the training is happening or anywhere in the town/village they live,in order to spread a spirit of positive action for the common good. 
  • Tell the participants the name of their project is “Doodle Stones,” and STONES stands for Sharing Thoughtful, Optimistic Notes of Encouragement Successfully. 
  • Participants will then decorate a doodle stone with a positive quote or encouraging word that is placed somewhere around the training space or town/city where they live, for others to find and get encouragement from. They can also make a drawing, some symbols, etc. – be creative!
  • When the stones are ready, make a debriefing and a closing of the activity asking the participants how it was for them to create the stones and think of positive messages, how would they feel if they find such a stone, etc. You can tell them that there is a Facebook group “doodle stones” where people who find or place somewhere such stones put a picture of them, and that some stones also have a hashtag that can then be followed in this Facebook group – in case someone finds such a stone, they post a picture and write the hashtag, then they leave it somewhere else and this is how this stone “travels” bringing positivity to different people. Some people also bring such stones on their trips and leave them somewhere for someone else to find them afterwards.