We are delighted to share a blog written by Miguel Cardona López, a student from The Columbus School who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2019-20 Global Goals Competition.
Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community.
We have identified a need for education in our country (Colombia), one that increments the job opportunities as well as changing the job market and lower dis-employment. We decided to specialize in the language development of young minds and teach them English. Our country’s poverty and the illiteracy rate is dangerously high, and we think that starting a new movement of educating the less fortunate with new, never aging skill sets, like English, a dominant language all throughout the first world, will drastically improve their lives and those of their future children.
There are many things that have inspired us to do this project is how we have been privileged with the opportunities we have had and know that we could also use that to benefit others. Also, we have the opportunity to study in a good school which apart from teaching us many things, has taught us our second language which is English. I think what most inspired us to d this was the fact that we had an opportunity to choose who to help and we thought in our greatest abilities one of them is learning a new language.
We are planning to use our advanced English levels, and our knowledge of how a second language is taught and learned, to help a community of young boys from poor economic situations, learn English, and hopefully be welcomed to all the opportunities it has given us. Through this, we hope that they will be able to get stable, profitable jobs, and get their families out of the vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty. We have everything almost planned as well the class plans almost done. As an extra and plus we are taking clothes we don’t need and donating them to that foundation. One of our teammates, Juliana Palacio, has all the clothes picked up.
We have learned very important and valuable skills during our time participating in the Global Social Leaders Competition. One of the skills we have all learned during this project is being able to teach others in various different ways, this is very important because in the future this might be a very helpful skill. We have learned new ways to communicate our knowledge with others through methods that are easier to understand for children, who are just starting to learn. The biggest challenge that we face right now is having to go constantly to the foundation where we are implementing the project.
Another challenge that we may have is the consistency that will be implemented in the foundation in order for the kids to learn English and work on it constantly with practices. Most of our team has extracurricular activities inside and outside of the school, which makes it hard to coordinate a day for the whole team to be together and go to the foundation. Also, the school that we are helping is far from the city where we live, and the foundation is even farther away, so it is very complicated to manage the time and be there every week. This experience also taught us to experiment and be creative when it came to teaching the children. We may have developed a skill when we went to the foundation was patient when it came to kids. Because they either wouldn’t listen, behave silly or not pay attention. We also started having a more open-minded view by doing things such as; being open to other ideas to collaborate with our goal, teaching or asking the kids how they preferred to learn English.
A new skill we learned this week was being confident. We acquired this skill when we went around Juliana’s (one of the group members) neighborhood asking for used clothes that they weren’t using and wanted to give away. We started shy and ended up being confident when talking to strangers and asking them for stuff.
The Next Chapter
We would certainly recommend other people get involved in similar projects. Not only is it a great way to contribute to your community, and in turn improving its future for others and yourself, but it offers a feeling of fulfillment endemic to giving and helping. Educating is also a great way to review and relearn yourself, being able to teach a subject reassures your grasp on it, and the way you teach it, can offer a promise of a spread of information. All one really has to do is take the time to properly educate a group of willing participants, and they themselves will most likely take the role of teaching others, have they recognized the value/understood what you have taught them. This will make, what one would have thought as a one time impact, a chain of positive reinforcement that will really make a noticeable change in the long run.
Being able to look around and see how your willingness to make a difference motivates those around you and the ones you help to continue on and spread their teachings is an experience that you will most certainly not one to miss out on. And if done right, it will echo for generations.
The 2019-20 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2020. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.