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How to run a Sofa Session

Sofa SessionsTo run a Sofa Session you'll need:

 - The PDF session guide that outlines facts, prompt questions and voices from developing countries 

  1. - Video discussion starters and concluding reflections 

  2. - Ideas for responding to what you’ve discussed through raising money, campaigning and praying.


Hints and tips on how to pull it all together...


Run an icebreaker to get people relaxed and vocal. Click here for ideas.

Introduce session topic

Use the Intro and Tell me more information on the Sofa Session guide PDF.

Play DVD discussion clip

Start each session with the corresponding discussion clip from the Sofa Sessions guide web page or DVD. This should get people engaging with the issue and will prompt reactions and thoughts.

Discussion questions

Use the questions on the session guide pdfs, along with any of your own. Try to bring in the factual snippets, further thoughts and quotes from people affected by the issues that appear in the margins of the session guides PDFs. These will help illustrate and personalise discussion. 


After the fever of debate, end each session using the film clip reflection found on the DVD or session guide web page. This gives space for people to digest what they have heard and focus their thoughts.

Talk about any thoughts or emotions that the reflections might have stirred in people.

Ideas for action

Don’t let it stop there, now it’s time to get off the sofa! We hope that, through discussing the issues, you’ll feel inspired to do something about what you’ve discovered. Use our give, act and pray ideas or come up with your own.

Don’t be a stranger!

Use the Sofa Sessions webspace to keep up to date with the latest facts and statistics, to tell us what you think of Sofa Sessions and to let us know what you’ve been up to as a result of running a session. Send us an email at sofasessions@christian-aid.org! And keep revisiting the site as it grows and develops and new Sofa Sessions are added.


Tops tips for facilitating discussion:

Sofa SessionsBe clear and concise 

Acronyms and jargon may be confusing. Try to keep points simple and understandable.

Use your time well

Ensure that everyone is clear on what they are doing.

Be aware of time constraints and allow time for different angles and issues within each session.

Direct the discussion

Keep the discussion topic in mind and where necessary direct the discussion back to the point.

Move things along and guide the conversation. You may even want to add in some controversial statements to cause reactions if conversation starts drying up!

Remember, you’re facilitating, not leading. Suppress the desire to take over discussion. Your job is to make sure everyone has the space to speak.

Everyone's voice counts 

Include everyone and value their opinion.

It may be appropriate to occasionally summarise people’s points in order to ensure everyone can follow the discussion and the points made.

Now download your Sofa Sessions guides



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