We are delighted to share a blog written by student Ziyad, from Raha International School, who is part of team Humanitieshearts delivering a Global Goals project for the 2020-21 GSL 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.
Opening my eyes to the REAL world.
Humanitieshearts is a global youth non-profit. The project we embarked on for the GSL is one we call the HH Syllabus. A text-based project aimed at helping orphanages in rural Africa during the pandemic. The project allows for volunteers to sign up to create worksheets and content tailored to fit rural orphanages’ needs. Its availability offline for electricity failures is tailored for caretakers without formal education and teaches multi grades so caretakers aren’t disproportionately affected due to the student to caretaker ratio.
This project has received tremendous feedback from caretakers at the orphanages we implemented it in especially due to school closures in rural areas due to covid 19 which impacted children’s education severely and increased costs for orphanages. Our project operates on an international level and was created after I witnessed first-hand the differences in education during my move from South Africa to the UAE. In rural areas in Africa, education is a privilege rather than a necessity, and that’s what our project aims to change, to give everyone no matter gender, race or socioeconomic background the right to education on all fronts from math to hygiene and breaking down stereotypes. I am South African/Malawian, I am from both countries that rank in some of the lowest categories in education and the highest for gender based violence.
This project is motivated by my life experience and the need for me to change the world which I come from. The project which caretakers are using is in full action – impacting hundreds of children across the globe and will continue growing and impacting. Our content is expanding to a female centred syllabus which will aim to break down gender norms, teach young women about their bodies and help them empower one another no matter where they are!
Leadership skills for sure! Throughout this project, I have had to monitor teams, volunteers, branches, orphanages all across the world. I’ve learned that we all have something hidden inside of us. A year ago I would not imagine myself running a team of over 30+ people from across the world or overseeing large-scale projects with hundreds of people from all corners of the globe. My biggest challenge is what some may call wishful thinking, the world does not operate based on your agendas, and this project if anything has taught me that. There have been numerous times where I’ve faced disappointment due to my wishful thinking that certain things may go a certain way without any interruptions or unexpected occurrences. The way I’ve been able to overcome it is by centring myself and my expectations and doing a thorough analysis of my situations rather than being overly optimistic with no reassurance.
The Next Chapter
Yes! The world of advocacy and activism can never have enough voices. Our generation is a generation like no other and will ultimately set the course of humankind’s future. Projects based on social change are often seen as “boring” but it’s quite the opposite. With the right motivation, the right people, and the right mindset you’ll have a blast of amazing conversations, ideas, and inspiration that will set the course of your life. I come from a place where social action is seen as “useless” due to the seriousness of problems our communities face that have left teens as well as adults helpless and hopeless. My advice is to forget about the social norms and go for them.