One of the highlights of our 2019 was to meet so many like-minded people at the AFS conference in Montreal. And as we noticed at conferences before, One Globe Kids seemed to be the only global education program focussing on the roots of global citizenship: confidence in contact in young children. Having diverse friends is good for young kids.
Bias starts young, global citizenship education often late
More and more educators and parents like to set up their children for a happy and successful life in our globalized 21st century. That is smart because, in this age and time, we are all born as global citizens. Even those who never leave their communities will find the world close to home, through the people they meet, in the tech they use, the food they eat or the clothes they wear.
US organizations spend about $8 billion annually on diversity training, however, companies are not more diverse and hate crimes continue to rise. One Globe Kids starts at the beginning, during the formative phase where biases are formed and imagination and imagery are key elements in how kids learn about others. The One Globe Kids program is designed to make positive intergroup interactions appear attractive and doable for young children. It lays a foundation for the next steps in exploring the world: before students are old enough to go online, participate in virtual exchanges, go on school trips, learn languages and study abroad. Educating them, in the end, to collaborate successfully across all kinds of boundaries to take on global issues like the ones defined in the SDGs.
Plant seeds early and let them grow
Educators around the world recognize the need for global citizenship education and intercultural dialogue. By intervening in the early years, with an approach proven to help children be excited about interacting with diverse others and in global contexts, One Globe Kids lays a foundation for all global citizenship education to come.
And don’t just take it from me. Guest blogger Evanna Sanders from the Netherlands was exposed to ‘others’ from an early age and over the summer she took it to another level. We can’t wait to see what she can do for the world!
Read below about her trip to Indonesia with Global Exploration.
“Hello, I’m Evanna Sanders and I’m 16 years old. I live in the Netherlands. I had the opportunity to go to Indonesia with my school and an organization called Global Exploration. Global Exploration aims to connect people from all over the world and learn from each other’s culture. They organize amazing journeys (in collaboration with Dutch schools) to a lot of different countries in the world. And I was the lucky person to join them in Indonesia.
I went with 22 other students, 4 teachers and a doctor to Amsterdam airport on the first of July. We flew to Jakarta and then with a smaller plane to Yogyakarta.
Part of the family
Our first destination was Pentingsari, a small village where we stayed with host families. During the 4 days we were there we did a lot of cultural activities. Every morning we went with our host family to the rice fields to help with their daily job. It was very interesting to see and experience how they grow their own food. It was also a moment where we could talk with our host family about their life in Indonesia and about their goals for the future. I really made a lot of friends during my stay. Everyone was willing to help with a problem or just to come to have a talk with you about your life in Europe and their life in Asia. I will never forget the great time I had there, just because of the amazing people I met.
More new friends
Our second destination was the Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) near Yogyakarta. When we arrived, we got to meet all the volunteers that work there. That was the most amazing part of our stay there. The animals were impressive and it was so cool to feed them. But the volunteers were what made our stay perfect. We got to eat with them every night and they told us a lot about their life. Our last night at the WRC, we prepared a little concert with singing and dancing. After our performance, we had a party together. For me, this was one of the most amazing nights in Indonesia with our new friends.
Peers with other lives
After 4 days at the WRC, we went to host families in Yogyakarta. It was such a nice experience to live together with someone who has the same age, but a completely different life. They showed us Yogyakarta and we did all the typical tourist activities. They were so kind and we still have contact via Instagram. I really made a new friend during those 3 days.
Open to learn
Our last destination was Bogor. We were in shock when we arrived in the village near Bogor where we would stay. The river wasn’t a river anymore, it was closer to a dump. It was horrible to see. An inhabitant told us that people wash, drink, poop and shower in the same river. Imagine you would drink the same water where someone just showered. We got the chance to talk to a few inhabitants about their life and their financial position. They were really open and we could ask all the questions we wanted to ask. I learned from these people that we should be more open in order to learn from each other.
I’m so grateful I got the chance to go on this journey. I learned things that are impossible to learn at school. I also met beautiful people from whom I learned to be happy with what I have and complain less. If you ever get a chance to go on a trip to a country with another culture, I would definitely recommend to take it!”
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