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The Global Ed Bridge: Linking Continents and Serving Students

Preparing advocates to serve the educational needs of a rich and diverse student population to advance peace and foster prosperity for All.

Photo of Nwankem Foundation
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The unique The Global Ed Bridge project will connect community experts on two continents in a series of programs through a technology-based learning environment. The Global Ed Bridge will strive to stimulate learning and community-building on each side of the globe. Through mentor and coaching relationships, teacher leadership development, classroom integration of assistive technologies, and a cross disciplined approach to special education, the The Global Ed Bridge will create local advocates to serve the educational needs of a rich and diverse student population. These advocates will advance peace through mutual understanding of culture and context and appreciation of the value of all community members. Prosperity will be realized when all members of the community are encouraged and supported to find their gifts and contribute to the health and happiness of the whole.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The Global Ed Bridge program is being designed and developed as a strategy to address the preparation of primary and secondary teachers and support staff by creating a technologically based “bridge” with content experts in North America. The team from Nwankem Innovative Learning Academy (NILA), composed of education and special-needs experts from the USA, will work cooperatively with local facilitators in Buea, Cameroon, to design, develop, and deliver a special-needs educational program, and family-oriented training modules to increase the impact of the teacher training into the home and other environments. Thus, the beneficiaries from this program will be the students with disabilities who will be educated by the trained teachers, families and the community at large.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Children with special needs in Cameroon, at present, receive no specialized services or accommodations to meet their educational needs. By governmental policy, students with special needs are not provided accommodations, special education interventions or a welcome into the current public-school classroom. These children are destined for a life dependent upon others or constantly seeking aid and handouts. Their dignity for living a life fully realized is greatly compromised due to circumstances beyond their control. A significant barrier to serving the students with special needs is the lack of teacher preparation in recognizing and addressing the special needs of this population. In Cameroon, and throughout other developing countries, primary and secondary teachers receive little or no training in serving the educational needs of these students. The Global Ed Bridge model will span the globe by connecting content experts on one continent with educational and community resources.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The Nwankem Benevolent Foundation is organized to deliver social services and programs that provide long-lasting effects in children and youths in their own communities by improving their access to equitable, quality and lifelong education in an effort to advance the Sustainable Development Goal 4. Inclusive education has been internationally recognized as a philosophy for attaining peace, justice, and prosperity by providing equal access for all children.
URL is https://nwankembf.org/

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

I was an educator working in the Cameroon public school system and a mother of five. My third child, Carlson with special needs had no educational path or services in this public-school system. I quickly realized that meeting his educational needs requires special programs; and skilled and trained educators and support staff. With a group of other volunteers, we established an all-inclusive school in Cameroon for children like Carlson, and a project that would train and prepare these teachers.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The Global Ed Bridge will create local advocates to serve the educational needs of a rich and diverse student population. These advocates will advance peace through mutual understanding of culture and context and appreciation of the value of all community members. Prosperity will be realized when all members of the community are encouraged and supported to find their gifts and contribute to the health and happiness of the whole.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We would partner with existing professional organizations, for example the World Confederation of Physical Therapy, to advance the distribution and inclusion of new target populations.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The local teachers at St. Rita’s are incredibly bright and dedicated professionals.
The parents are very dedicated and involving
The community as a whole is buying into this innovative educational opportunity for the children with disabilities

Geographic Focus

Developing countries

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

We require 24 months timeline to do the pilot program

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

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Photo of Karuna Kline
Team

Thank you for showing love, kindness, being brave and standing up to give these children a voice! Children with special needs play a beautiful role on this planet and we all need to be more aware and understand this role better. If you are looking for additional resources to support your project, please take a look at the book "Six Steps to Child Advocacy" by Amy Conley Wright and Kenneth Jaffe. If you are interested our office headquarters could even send you some copies. FCH-Espwa's partner ICRI has worked for decades in the field of child advocacy; fighting for children and fighting for those who fight for children. ICRI's Global Director, who co-authored this book, has also been training advocates including teachers, parents, community leaders and local and national governments on how to succeed in child advocacy since ICRI's inception in 1981. The book also includes other good research reference points and additional sources that you might find helpful. In addition, if you are looking for further advocacy support or training you can contact us http://www.icrichild.org.

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