To use story telling + film making to inspire young people 12-18 around the world to tell their stories and make change in their communities
Tell us about your idea
This is a short 2 minute clip of WALK ON MY OWN, the 28 minute film made by 13 year old Ndèye Fatou Fall of how her village community came together and put an end to child marraige and the long tradition of female genital cutting. Amazing. Watch the entire film if you can on WNET ByKids Link.
This is a photo of 13 year old Ndèye Fatou Fall in her village in Senegal, while making a 28 minute film to tell the story of how her village came together to stop the age-old traditions of female genital cutting and child marriage. Just one film of a series of now 15 of young people from Tibet, Colombia, Nicaragua, the United States, and India who make powerful films about making change in their communities, finding their voice, dignity and self worth.
One thing we have all learned in these first intense three months of learning-from-home during the Coronavirus quarantine, is how uninspired distance learning resources are, as well as missing important links to how young people can really engage and feel empowered through virtual learning content.
BYKids, a nonprofit that helps young people (12 - 19) around the world makes amazing, powerful short 20 minute films about critical issues facing their communities; like the climate crisis, hate and discrimination --- around race, background, gender, religion or sexual orientation, and Global Dignity, which works with parents, teachers and community based youth leaders in 80 countries around the world, have come together to design and implement a new initiative to create and distribute a new series of short films by young people, with wrap around educational and learning resources and prompts, to inspire hundreds of thousands of young people to find their own voice, sense of dignity and self worth, and to tackle issues that they care about in their own communities.
Global Dignity has reached over 3.4 million young people through its Teaching Dignity Workshops, not only in classrooms and schools, but also working with community-based youth groups and in refugee camps. We aim to be working in 100 countries by 2021.
Together with BYKids, we will work to get their 15 current youth-created, powerful films shared with our growing network of parent, teacher, education and youth leaders around the world now and through the months ahead when millions of young people are learning from home and not able to attend school.
Secondly, we will use the next several months (June - August) to work with a number of the most creative and visionary education leaders we know and work with to design a longer term virtual and distance learning initiative based on this story telling and film model that will be a powerful resource for teachers, parents, youth leaders and young people, even when schools are open again in 2021. Leaders like Ken Robinson, who is back in London and forming a new organization, Boundless, to tackle this same challenge. (#1 TED Talk of all time: Ken's talk on Creativity and Imagination in Education.)
This initial moment of crisis for teaching and learning around the world, because of the Coronavirus, with 1 billion young people out of school, has put a spotlight on the need to dramatically improve the quality of the virtual learning resources. Our focus in not on the core academic skills, but rather on young people's confidence in their own talents and voice, their sense of hope and vision for the future, social and emotional learning, ethics, values and global citizenship.
Finally, we will be reaching out to an innovative middle school here in New York City that is part of the XQ High School Initiative of the Emerson Collective, to test our initial ideas and approach to how best to align these new virtual learning resources into the school curriculum, as well as our Partner Organization, Beaconhouse Schools, in Pakistan, which is educating over 300,000 children and young people in 5 Middle East nations.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
Global Dignity, our colleagues at BYKids, with our respective networks of leaders and allies in now 80 countries around the world, had already been talking together in the past year about combining our resources to co-design a powerful new set of virtual learning resources to be used by teachers, school leaders, school systems and networks, as well as by community-based youth groups and nonprofit youth leaders.
Both non profits share the mission of working to help young people tap into their own self worth and value, to believe in their ability to make a difference in the world and to have hope about the future. And, to treat others with understanding and compassion, countering the hate and discrimination that comes from being afraid of others with a different skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or background. And finally, to see themselves as global citizens and change makers, willing to think about, understand and tackle the issues facing their own communities and our world.
Both organizations are in turn connected to other powerful teacher and learning networks, education leaders who are open to adopting new content in the area of social and emotional learning, ethics and values, global citizenship and human rights.
Together, we know that there currently is a dearth of powerful virtual learning content and curriculum in this area - again, our expertise is not with the core academic subjects. We are determined to combine our expertise, connections, and networks to develop a powerful set of new teaching and learning resources in the virtual, distance-learning space.