Flower of Support: Visualizing networks

A visual and participatory method that engages young people in identifying and visualizing their support networks.

Level of participation


Duration of participation process

Preparation: 1 day
Implementation: 0,5 day
Follow-up: 0.5 day

Target group size

< 25 people
25-50 people



Human resources needed

At least one person for design, moderation and reporting of the results

The method: what is it, when to use it and what outcome to expect

The Flower of Support involves creating a visual representation resembling a flower, with each petal representing a different source of support, whether it be individuals, organizations, or resources. Use the method for helping young people recognize and appreciate their support networks and identify areas where additional support may be needed.

This method can be used in various contexts: personal development, education, community engagement, and decision-making processes. The outcome is a visual representation of the diverse sources of support in a young person’s life. Young people become aware of taking ownership of their support systems, which equips them with valuable insights to navigate challenges and make informed choices. Additionally, it can help youth recognize potential gaps in their support systems and inform decisions about seeking additional support or resources.

The process: how to conduct it in an in-person setting or online using a PC/laptop with video option

1. Preparation: Prepare materials such as large sheets of paper, markers, coloured pencils, and templates for the Flower of Support. For digital use, provide participants with a digital template of the Flower of Support or use a digital whiteboard tool.

2. Introduction: Introduce the concept of the Flower of Support and its purpose. Explain that each petal represents a source of support.

3. Safe Space: Discuss with participants that each drawing is individual and will not be judged. Inform them that sharing their stories in the group discussion is voluntary. While the method is cost-efficient and easy to implement, it can trigger deep emotions in children and young people and therefore the impact of the method should not be underestimated.

4. Individual Creation: Provide participants with time and space to create their Flower of Support. Encourage them to draw or write the names of individuals, organizations, or resources on each petal.

5. Group Discussion: After creating their Flowers of Support, facilitate a group discussion where participants can share their visual representations, reflect on their support networks, and discuss commonalities and differences.

6. Reflection: Encourage participants to reflect on the activity, including the significance of their support networks and any insights gained.

Blended participation

Combine online and in-person elements by having participants create their Flowers of Support individually or in small groups, either in person or online. Then, facilitate a blended discussion where participants from both settings can share and reflect on their creations together.

Digital communication

Communication platform for the event: Teams, Zoom, Webex

Mural or Miro Boards are useful tools to document the process, idea collection and results.

Good to know

  • A skilled facilitator is essential for guiding the discussion, fostering empathy, and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. Provide MHPSS if needed.
  • Encourage participants to focus on their strengths and resources rather than solely on challenges or needs.
  • Consider follow-up activities or discussions to explore how participants can leverage their support networks to achieve their goals and aspirations.
  • Like the “Body Map” method, the flower of support is particularly suitable for younger children and young people from fragile contexts.
  • The method can be used as a check-in to gain trust or as a preliminary step to political participation methods.
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