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‘Learning for All’ – by the World Bank

16 Apr

There are many things in this video that are worth critiquing. Perhaps for many viewers that are not viewing the video in a critical lens, it may be easy to miss. The video in general seems like a good intentioned video that will tug at the heart strings of sponsors. However, let`s break a few things down, shall we?

1. Many students learn very little, this means they will be less healthy, less innovative and have a lower chance of finding a job, make less money and contribute less to the community. Is this TRUE?

  •  what if the community doesn’t require so much emphasis on finances (money).
  • if a community is mainly sustained through agriculture, does learning math increase their contribution to their community?
  • if all the generations of students are taught a westernized curriculum and taught that they should aim to be doctors and engineers…. can their economy sustain that? Does this actually help them achieve more jobs?
  • useful knowledge that can be passed onto the next generation doesn’t have to be learned in school. Can external teachers teach how to harvest local resources the way elders do?

Here are just a few questions to ask yourself when viewing videos like this. The message, I believe, is a good one. We should invest in education. After all…knowledge IS power! However, with this in mind, education cannot be the same for everyone. Partnerships can be a very great tool to accommodate curriculum to the community. What else can partnerships do?


Spotlight on: Room to Read

4 Apr

Room To Read is an organization that focuses on the issues of literacy and equal access to education in the third world, primarily in countries of South East Asia and Africa. The organization has a massive scope. As of 2012, they have established 1,627 schools, 15,082 libraries and distributed 12.8 million books in ten countries. The organization operates on the principle that “literacy skills are the foundation for all future learning and educating girls is the most powerful and effective way to transform communities and end the cycle of illiteracy” (Room to Read Annual Report 2011).

What we think is admirable about this organization is their emphasis on partnership to ensure sustainability and cultural relevance. They work with existing schools, community leaders, and government officials to update teaching methods and curriculums, to promote literacy, and to incorporate materials that will increase gender equality in the classroom. According to their annual report, they “publish books by local authors and illustrators [as a way to] keep content culturally relevant for young readers”, and to help “pass along folklore and traditions from one generation to the next” (2011). Books are published in the main languages spoken in the local communities.

Their annual report asserts that “community ownership of our projects is paramount to long-term impact”, ensuring that, even after direct funding ends, their schools and libraries continue their work.

The organization also values partnerships with citizens of the Global North for support. The organization prides itself on its four-star award for sound fiscal management, bestowed by Charity Navigator, and makes a point of being transparent and accountable to its supporters.

Additionally, Room to Read encourages active participation over passive donating. The organization further encourages interested parties to be involved in a local chapter, promoting fundraising activities and spreading awareness. In this way, people are encouraged to do their own research, engaging with and thinking about global issues.

Alice’s Imaginative Fundraising

3 Apr

Partnerships with sponsors is just as important as making connections with the community you want to work with. Camfed is an organizations that encourages their sponsors to be actively involved. Here’s Alice’s story!