'Education for all' remains a vitally important Millennium Development Goal. Around the globe, we have made great strides toward providing basic education for children facing a variety of environment, development, and governance challenges. Many schools look for opportunities to share their resources and expertise in meaningful and sustainable ways with those in need, seeking an exchange of service that enriches the lives of everyone involved.
Here's a very good news story: alumni of IB Diploma programmes who are carrying forward their commitment to make a better and more peaceful world as social entrepreneurs. They have organized 'United World Schools,' a new chartitable organzation with two major aims. The first is to provide primary education for children in the world’s neglected corners and post-conflict societies by building and equipping small schools, training teachers and empowering communities to manage this important responsibility. Secondly, United World Schools aims to give IB Diploma students--as well as and post-secondary students-- opportunities to learn through service; to volunteer, to teach and to live with and help develop effective teaching and learning in less developed countries. This dual approach breaks down barriers, shares culture, opens hearts and minds and gives the opportunity to ‘make a difference’.
Being globally engaged doesn't require travel to distance countries, nor does it mean ignoring local circumstances that exemplify humanity's greatest challenges.In fact, the 'glamour of the global' can offer temptations to ignore opportunities to make a difference that offer fewer financial and logistical challenges than supporting far-flung projects and travelling great distances to offer temporary assistance.
At the same time, we live in an increasingly interconnected world, and some responsibilities are planetary in scope- universally important focus all. And some communities find it truly transformative to be involved in long-distance projects. This kind of global engagement can provide a rallying point for educational communities, as well as a life-changing educational experience.
'United World Schools' seems the kind of thoughtful and sustainable approach that's worth considering.