This global service area poses the greatest level of complexity and the greatest level of impact as it holds the potential to draw us together globally. Consider the long term implications of our youth working and growing together with guidance from outstanding social entrepreneurs; growing into a generation of adults with a track record of networking productively and peacefully to accomplish and sustain much needed solutions.
Fourth graders had a global studies component and the topic was teacher selected for student leadership. We happened to have a community member with strong ties to an area of India and project work that led to our join with our schools. Students learned about our sister city and created a fundraising celebration.
Although there is not yet a model similar to other grades, we will work together to create this. Elements for inclusion:
- Identify a sister city in a developing area of the world.
- Identify a trustworthy advocate in the sister city.
- Create dialogue with sister city residents to determine their priority problem solving area.
- Consider the following models as resource to find possible solutions and connections
Once a sister city connection has been identified, our third graders can work toward building relationships with their third grade global peers. They will come to know the differences in home, work, education, culture and community in the context of shared humanity. They can communicate about changes they want to make and help one another find solutions. They can begin at a young age to connect, grow together as peaceful, educated global citizens.
Beyond Fourth Grade
The social entrepreneurs for global service work often dedicate their entire lives to their chosen work. Sometimes they come from other countries and settle in a location of need, developing a non-profit and redirecting their financial resources toward this change of life direction. Sometimes education offers opportunity for a student to return to their home community to create change. In all cases, these social entrepreneurs are an inspiration for us all.
We have learned that finding these trustworthy partners who live, work, and know the communities that can become our sister cities are essential for navigating local customs and processes. Raising funds is often the best way to bridge the distance between us.
As we become educated through projects below which address needs often unfamiliar to our lives we can become partners in these transformations, networking connections to solutions that promote the bonds of peace and prosperity.
Global Sister City Topic Areas:
- Human Rights
- Legal Support
- Building Peace
- Environmental Preservation
South Africa: New Jerusalem Children’s Home
4Canoes: Teach with Culture and We Can Learn
Our Golden Hour: Educating Children of Indigenous Communities