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Compassion Education Corps

Utilize an established network of cities, specialized partners and a community of a million people to respond to educational needs & crises.

Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
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What problem does your innovation solve?

The Charter for Compassion proposes the creation & implementation of a corps of global volunteers from our network: to react to continuing the education of students during times of crisis and disaster and to create an online learning program for girls who are being robbed of an education. We intend to team up with Xocial.com, a company known for applying technology that tackle difficult problems & promotes community and action in their platforms. Also, Xocial has a track record on measurement.

Explain your innovation.

We propose to create and execute a train-the-trainer program. The design and implementation would be for a corps of teachers, social workers and Charter members, in a selected pilot country, to be able to respond in an emergency to the educational needs of youth and especially of girls. As purported in the writings of Paulo Friere we would be working closely with local people to inform the content and process for the program. For example, the Charter has a number of partners in Amman, Jordan, who are working with refugee programs at the border and in Amman proper, who currently help with tutoring and providing supplemental learning experiences. Many of the latter are geared to what might be termed "survival education." While this is meaningful work it doesn't always get to the core need of education as seen by youth and their families. With the help of the Compassion Education Corps we will work to enhance existing curricula and work with Xocial.com to produce the curricula through smart phones, use of the cloud and/or by using flash drives. The simpler the technology the better. In a recent training session in Amman, working with almost 250 students, teachers, admin and parents, students from 11 different schools undertook creating compassion projects for their individual schools by using the OpenIDEO process. We can use this same process to design our curriculum. The beauty of working with local partners is that the material can be developed in the vernacular language.

Who benefits?

The world will benefit from the education of a child. With more than 123 million children between the ages of 15- 24, who can't read or write, 61% are girls. Children born to literate mothers are 50% more likely to send their children to school thus ending a cycle that plaques over 65 million girls. In Amman with the refugee crisis, there are many professionals in the camps and in resettlement who can become a part of the Compassion Ed Corps-becoming primary contributors and teachers in the program along with local Charter members. The program can be a K-12 venture, with the help of involving older students with younger children as well as with corps members. Curriculum will be developed to respond to the needs of girls. Number of children served will be based on how many people are in the corps. We propose to work where we have multiple partners. Our expectations are high. Measurement will be quantitative & qualitative-pointing to skills & content results & analysis for replication.

How is your innovation unique?

We are proposing a student directed curriculum. Just as Sugata Mitra was able to prove with his "Hole in the Wall" approach to education (he put a computer in a hut in India- allowed students to use it) students can learn on their own & more importantly teach others. Mitra has gone on to do amazing work world wide. We are adding help to students in the way of the Compassion Education Corps-directed by people from their own communities-in their own language. Integrate the work originating in Paulo Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, starting with the notion of coming to consciousness of need and incorporate Mitra's learning experiences. Our approach will also include the principles of Robert Hanvey through introducing how education should be guided by understanding one's own perspectives and weighing them against others, awareness and caring for the earth, importance of cultural continuity, and an acute understanding of the inter-dependency of the world and responsibility to act.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

Technological transfer of content is a concern. How best to work with locals to determine the educational content needs and address the differences in values: such as the importance of girls receiving equal education opportunities. Development of unique pragmatic experiences that become a focal points for continuing on a theme of learning. Arriving at several different models of measurement & evaluation, i.e., how can students measure their own learning and make decisions on next steps; what parts of what we do can be replicated in other geographic areas; can there be a template through which we can start a new process; how much of the training can be done through the internet; what are the best presentations for archiving materials.

Tell us more about you.

Charter for Compassion is a network of cities, made up of grassroot organizers who are working on sustainable action plans to address severe needs in their locale. They do this in conjunction with sector partners (arts, business, education, environment, healthcare, interfaith, peace, social justice, social services, science & research, women & girls). There are 400 cities & 1700 partners. In addition, we have geographic hubs in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, UK, USA.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Natural disaster
  • Armed conflict
  • Prolonged displacement
  • Extreme drought

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

Prime places for the Compassion Education Corps' work would be in Jordan in two camps, Zaatari and Mrajeeb Al Fhood and resettlement programs hosted by the Collateral Repair Project, an organization responsible for providing for 5000 Syrian and Iraqi families. We also have strong local partnerships with schools, teachers and healthcare providers who would be trained, along with recruits from the camps to be a part of the Corps. There is a compassionate city program in Amman to lend support.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

In addition to Jordan we are poised with strong Charter teams in Mexico , Pakistan, Indonesia to work with emergency situations in those countries or in the case of Mexico, in other Spanish speaking countries. Our Australian team, which is closely linked to education and healthcare can be trained to help in expanding our work in the Asia and the Pacific. The Charter also has a healthcare hub located in Canberra at the National University with access to a strong core of educators and students.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

As stated above, the Charter has initiatives in 52 countries with multiple partners. Depending on the country(ies) selected for this project we would first enlist the efforts of the organizing team from the city and then partners. Using Jordan as an example, we would solicit help from the Amman city team, local schools, Charter partners: Collateral Repair Project, Help4Refugees, Reclaim Childhood and UNICEF. The Amman team continues to build partnerships and defining its work.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

The Charter director, instructional designer & facilitator,has been involved in intercultural education programs for over 30 years heading National Security in Education programs in Brazil at the Paulo Friere Institute, Guatemala working with Women for Guatemala, and directing three Fulbright Hayes Fellowship programs in India. In addition, the Charter's Global Compassion Council has a number of members who are working on localized issues in Cuba, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Pakistan & Palestine.

Innovation Maturity

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Organization Location

Charter for Compassion International is registered through the State of WA, US. We have 400 city organizing teams in 52 countries & 8 country hubs.

Website

Main website-www.charterforcompassion.org. Ed section on site includes registration for our Compassion Schools Charter, a section on thinking about education and revolutionary ideas: https://www.charterforcompassion.org/compassion-education-reader/thinking-about-education-revolutionary-and-transformational-ideas. https://www.facebook.com/CharterforCompassion/ is one of 4 pages we have-including women and girls: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Charter%20for%20Compassion%20women%20and%20girls. Maintain accounts on https://twitter.com/TheCharter, Xocial.com, Instragram, & Medium.com.
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Attachments (2)

CharterPoster2.jpg

The Charter for Compassion is a document that urges the peoples and religions of the world to embrace the core value of compassion. In May 2013, the Dalai Lama said the Compassionate Cities campaign is one of the most important activities on the planet. Charter Partners have created a Compassionate School Network in Pakistan, a Dutch Compassion Award and Stanford researchers are showing businesses why compassion is good for the bottom line.

CfCIEdFlyer(2).pdf

Since its inception the Charter for Compassion (CCI) has been committed to cultivating compassion in educational settings, and creating the kind of culture where it is a norm of student and staff behavior. We have created a Charter for Compassionate Schools, a Compassion Reader which includes sections on revolutionary and transformative ideas on education, conducted workshops that address dealing with critical issues based on the pedagogy of Paulo Friere and published a number of online guides.

50 comments

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Spam
Photo of Pattie
Team

As I read your proposal as well as all of the comments, I feel proud, moved, and inspired. Working closely with the youth, their families, and local to shape the content and process lays groundwork for curriculum that address the identified wishes, needs, and challenges as well as enhance the existing curricula. Drawing on professionals who are in the camps and in resettlement, involving older students as well as each city's partners, capitalizes on local resources. Utilizing the Charter for Compassion Network local partners and global volunteers magnetizes the offering. Once the technology is worked out and the curriculum, the train-the-trainer approach using the corps of teachers, social workers, and Charter members makes implementation so much more doable.
I am aware that Michelle Obama and Meryl Streep (along with others) developed a global educational initiative for girls. I would suggest that the Compassion Education Corps connect with that initiative during the planning phase. https://www.peacecorps.gov/about/global-initiatives/let-girls-learn to see what might be learned from this initiative. I would be willing to research this if that would be helpful.
As I looked up the link, I discovered that Trump talked in May of ending aspects of the Let Girls Learn programming. It is not clear if that has happened. Michelle says she plans to continue. The possible ending of the program makes Compassion Education Corps all the more timely!
I, like Michael, wondered about including boys. After reading that 61% of those 15-24 are girls, I support starting with them and as the pilot projects are assessed and found to be a doable model, then consider providing the program to boys. And I am reminded that Archbishop Desmond Tutu says: "IF WE ARE GOING TO SEE REAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE WORLD THEN OUR BEST INVESTMENT IS WOMEN."
I too support interactive experiences, dialogue, and opportunities for connecting beyond the internet as long as that is identified as a need by the students and those locals involved in the shaping of the curriculum.
I am also gratified by the number of people that have added comments after reading the proposal. We already have a corps of people who are shaping the proposal that has been so carefully crafted by Marilyn.

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Pattie, your reference to the Let Girls Learn is wonderful, and yes, I think we should contact them immediately and I would suggest that you coordinate that effort with Sande Hart (Charter's Women and Girls sector coordinator).

You are correct as comments come in they present a wonderful opportunity to begin to define the project in more detail and to respond to the possibilities of new approaches. I am very anxious that we begin forming the team for this program. I think we can do this shortly. Prior to the Feedback function of OpenIDEO I think we can explore who from our various Charter Compassion Hubs and Partner sectors what to be involved. We have received positive responses from the Compassionate Mexico and Australia hubs and a number of individuals from the Charter and have picked up some new interest from people responding to the Comment section here.

I think there is a general curriculum to this program for all students, a special one for girls and very possibly other programs (see Marco's question below). Much of this to be revisited very soon.

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Photo of Sande Hart
Team

Hi Patty, I am aware of the Let Girls Learn initiative and would like to bring this to the Women and Girls sector and invite this conversation with your help. Let's connect!!

Spam
Photo of Pattie Williams
Team

Marilyn, Sande and I have connected. I agreed with Sande that I would do the research about the Let Girls Learn. And my goodness, what a comprehensive global strategy this is! Peace Corps, State Department, Agriculture Department, Labor Department, Millennium Challenge Corporation, US Agency for International Development are all involved. I have sent to you both a PDF overview of the research with links to each of the aspects of the global strategy. I learned a lot. So step 1 of what I offered is complete. Next steps could be that we link with this effort in someway to be determined. I also attempted to include the PDF in this comment section and was unsuccessful. Perhaps there is a way to include it once the two of you review it so that others can see what is being offered.

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Photo of Pattie Williams
Team

Sande, I did the research on Let Girls Learn. And my goodness, what a comprehensive global strategy this is! Peace Corps, State Department, Agriculture Department, Labor Department, Millennium Challenge Corporation, US Agency for International Development are all involved. I have sent to you both a PDF overview of the research with links to each of the aspects of the global strategy. I learned a lot. So step 1 of what I offered is complete. Next steps could be that we link with this effort in someway to be determined. I also attempted to include the PDF in this comment section and was unsuccessful. Perhaps there is a way to include it once the two of you review it so that others can see what is being offered.

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Photo of Sande Hart
Team

Hi Pattie- this is exciting stuff. We must get our Women and Girls Partners and Directors of Women and Girls and our Ambassadors, as well as City organizers to understand this and the impact this will have on not only these girls lives but their work as well. It's a natural relationship. Thank you for your research and excellent work. Let's keep this conversation moving forward and bring it to our layers of leadership.

Spam
Photo of Pattie Williams
Team

By all means!

Spam
Photo of Brioné LaThrop
Team

Marilyn, the Compassion Education Corps is not only timely, but essential. The world has over 65 million displaced people and its critical that resources are provided for our most vulnerable citizens.

It's great that the Compassion Education Corps will begin in Jordan. They are doing some phenomenal work and could use additional resources and support in this area. I volunteered with students at the UAE Jordanian Mrajeeb Al Fhood Refugee Camp and they are brilliantly integrating the residents in the running of the camp. Prior to the war Syrian had one of the highest adult literacy rates in the region (85%), if you can find a way of incorporating residents as trainers and co-participants in the development of the curriculum, you may be able to address the issues of devices, lack of power, etc. Engaging the residents can also create a sense of community, well-being and reintroduce hope for the future.

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Brioné, I like the idea of incorporating residents in addition to our local partners. In fact, the recruitment of getting volunteers might be directed by our partners. I used Jordan as an example to make this proposal real, but my hope would be through the possibility of being able to use the train-the-trainer method, we might be able to have several different teams to respond to emergency and on-going needs. The important thing is to have teams who can deliver training in different languages. Our Mexico Compassionate initiative is very interested in this concept and I'm hoping with compassionate partners in Jordan and perhaps in Dubai and other Arab speaking countries we can pull together our Arab speaking group. Also, because of the outreach capacity of Compassionate Indonesia we can be training a Bhasa Indonesian team. Are you interested? Can you get students at your university interested?

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Photo of Lesa R. Walker MD, MPH
Team

Hi Marilyn Turkovich .  As Founder of Compassionate Austin (one of approximately 400 self-designated compassionate cities/communities that are part of the Charter for Compassion International (CCI) Compassion Cities Campaign), I am so excited about this project! CCI could mobilize compassionate cities throughout the world to engage in design thinking to address this challenge and offer local solutions. In addition, I am currently working to organize an OpenIDEO Austin Chapter. I believe there is a wonderful crosswalk that we can create between the compassionate cities and the OpenIDEO city chapters. This is a fantastic opportunity to catalyze and enhance global education efforts for youth in emergency situations!

Spam
Photo of Ovonyoli Wanjiku
Team

The innovation involves to some extent the use of computers. Emergency situations often come with disruption of electric power, have you considered the installation of solar panels alongside the other intervention protocols so that the learning system continues uninterrupted?

Spam
Photo of Brenda
Team

I am so impressed with the Charter for Compassion organization, the people and how we are all learning to collaborate together. Thank you all, and I am happy to be a contributor.

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Brenda. First, thank you for your very generous words. Second, you should be careful for what you offer. If we are lucky enough to make it through the review process to the comment process, we would like to get a few volunteers to help us grid out the comments in categories, collect names of potential informants and organizations, and then to help with an analysis of the comments. This would have to be a quick process because we would then need to begin reviewing, revising our proposal. Are you games?

Spam
Photo of Lisa Berkley
Team

Hi Marilyn!
Having been a fan of the Charter for years, and recently become involved with the Charter Women and Girls Sector, I am very excited about this proposal! Thinking about social media...

Is Xocial.com considered a form of Social Media? And could it be used in this initiative?

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Xocial.com is a social media platform, but it is also works with a organization model and a product model. Xocial claims it is a team of "do-gooders," who are in reality a group of developers, strategists and even investors who want to use technology to help out in difficult situations, and generally to make us better and more productive people. As an organization they are always looking for new challenging experiences that can stretch their imagination and delivery. In addition, instead of measuring positive social impact (how many "friends" we might have, etc.), Xocial is concerned about how much good an individual can do in the work and has created a personal measurement tool to record "XP" (experience) points.

We will be working with Xocial.com in several different ways:

1. Creating a technology model that will support the content and process of our work. Deciding what the model will be? Can we have technology that works in the cloud and /or without internet service?
2. Designing an on-going platform for girls and female youth that supports and enhances their learning experiences.
3. Building a student-centered measurement system.
4. Creating a platform for the Compassion Education Corps to record milestones, share ideas and content and process ideas.

Spam
Photo of Ken Bentham
Team

xocial is honored to partner with the Charter for Compassion to help inspire compassion, kindness and gratitude to a global community of "do-gooders".

xocial works with organizations to create public and private campaigns for socially good causes, with challenges that encourage users to engage with the cause. Challenges have points ("XP") attached to them based on their time, effort and impact. Challenges are verified by uploading stories, photos or videos. Sharing functions let users post completed actions to social media platforms, extending campaign reach. The points collected are used to gameify the campaign, encouraging users to out-nice one another - while measuring the impact by users, teams and challenges.

Participation in campaigns (along with peer to peer recognition) contribute to a social impact score for users, community partners, charter cities, countries and sectors.

We are very excited to work with the Charter for Compassion to build a "Compassion Education Corps" - advancing the movement of education for women across the globe while helping to measure the impact of our collective actions.

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Thanks Ken, if we manage to get this funding we are excited to have you as one of our media gurus and the entire Xocial.com team. Thanks for everything you've done for us in creating our own Xocial.com platform, and now Carta de Compassion (in Spanish).

Spam
Photo of Lynne
Team

The initial work I have instigated with academics on
Compassion Universities Australia will provide a research network able to be mobilised in this project to develop an education Corp capable of support young people in times of crisis. I am in contact with Chris Kukk in the work he is doing globally on compassionate universities and this project could provide a focus for our engagement. For example Federation University Australia has a working collaboration with Timor Leste.

Spam
Photo of Sande Hart
Team

Women and Girls are disproportionately impacted by conflict and war, environmental degradation, hunger, and all problems that threaten any given community, culture, religion, etc. Education is the single most effective solution, close only to economic literacy and empowerment. When our girls are educated, we grow a culture of inclusiveness, care and care giving. Women are most likely to elevate the human capitol of a community, thus improving the entire economic stability along with it. The work of the Charter for Compassion and it's Partners, and partner networks, in true collaborative partnership leadership provides an environment to leverage and advance solutions for women and girls. This vision of the Compassion Education Corps holds the promise to disrupt the core characteristics of a community that prevents sustainable growth but can be traced back hundreds of years. Those characteristics that continue to emerge no matter what the problems or issues are will begin to shift to a culture of inclusiveness, health and well being. Train the Trainer further demonstrates the scalable model the Charter is proposing, with the critical need for embracing a variety of methodologies and disciplines that accomplish this goal through the robust and thriving network of the Charter for Compassion International.

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Hi Sande, if we make it to the next stage it will be a perfect time for the Charter's Women and Girls sector members and Ambassadors to share their insights into what is being presented in the program. Perhaps to even sponsor calls that would relate directly to the content, especially how to bring in girls whose parents might not be supportive of their continuing their education. As I have explained in a number of replies to posted comments, I do think we might consider a separate project that would be solely for girls and female youth.

Spam
Photo of Sande Hart
Team

I see rich opportunities through the Women and Girls sector that would deepen this work through efforts of our Ambassadors, our Partners and our leadership. We are at the ready when we move on to the next phase of this amazing project.

Spam
Photo of Trude Lisagor
Team

As an educator, I believe this project would truly make a difference and have a positive effect on many lives. Compassionate education is key to healing our world. I applaud your efforts, Marilyn!

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Well Trude, as the African adage goes, "It takes a village to raise a child," and in this case it will take the Charter network to pull off such a program. I think each of our sector hubs are capable of taking leads in their countries, and compassionate city initiatives to join in. Also two of our partner sectors: Social Justice and Women and Girls will take a major lead. We'll be looking for mentors for students. Perhaps this is something you can think about.

Spam
Photo of Vinciane Rycroft
Team

Great project. The education charity Mind with Heart supports the projects, working with 30 schools on compassion education fully supports this.

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Dear Vinciane,
Thanks for your endorsement. I hope that if we get this project off the ground we can ask for your expertise with your knowledge of working with youth. I believe there are synergistic points between some of the processes we would like to bring into the program with those you have done so successfully with The DARE to CARE Youth Gatherings you've held in the U.S., London and Oslo--sharing their stories on empathy and compassion in their lives in a fresh, relevant, and lively way.

I know we look forward to working with you on this project.

Spam
Photo of Kurt Hicklin
Team

I think this is a great project. I especially appreciate the idea of responding to the need of educating girls. I wonder if you foresee any challenges in doing so in areas where the education of girls is not valued or even tolerated, and if you have any ideas of how the Charter will address those challenges?

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Kurt, such an important and overwhelming question. I think our partners and organizing groups in the Charter's Women and Girls sector will be our best informants to answer the question. In fact, this may be a very important conversation that the Women and Girls sector can undertake to help us understand and acknowledge the issue culturally. Also, the folks on our Mexican organizing team have also been addressing this important issue.

Spam
Photo of Mimi
Team

Hi Marilyn,

I love this idea. I especially like the way that you propose implementing the program (student directed, led by people from the community and in the native language, involving older students with younger children as well as with corps members). I believe that this will be very effective. You propose to work where the Charter has multiple partners. I think a strength of the Charter lies in the robustness of its network, and by having partners across the globe the Charter has the insight necessary to create and develop relevant content and processes for the program you offer.

My main question lies in the program or curriculum itself – does the Charter intend to create a standard curriculum that can be replicated or revised depending upon geographic area, or is a new curriculum built from scratch in each geographic area the Charter aims to serve (informed by specific needs)? Does the Charter provide material? It seems that this hits on one of your questions too, as stated in the section “What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea” (“what parts of what we do can be replicated in other geographic areas; can there be a template through which we can start a new process”)

This is great!!!

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Mimi, thanks for these insights. As Paulo Friere writes in the Pegagogy of the Oppressed it is important for the community to come to a "consciousness" of their concerns, to decide on possible directions to deal with their oppression, and to act collectively on how to work with and overcome their negative situations. That being said, there will be come parts of the curriculum that will be the same no matter where it is experienced, but there will be essential differences that reflect geographic, cultural and situational differences.

Spam
Photo of Merida McCarthy
Team

I want congratulate this innitiative. Women in less developed countries have great difficulties accessing education and this could be the answer. How do you see our Compassionate Nuevo Leon forming a team that would respond to emergency situations not only in Mexico but in other Latin speaking counties?

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Hi Merida, In part I answered some aspects of your question in my responses above to Marco and Cristina. However, I think there is a continuation of my answer to your question and where I left off with replying to Marco. I'm wondering if we shouldn't begin to explore a series of exercises, activities, content study sheets, and action oriented challenges now. I keep thinking back to our conversations when we were preparing campaigns and challenges for the Xocial.com platform in Spanish. When we were thinking about Latin American authors that women and girls should have exposure to in their education. If we stay on this same line of thinking what is it that women and girls need to know in order to be happy, contributing and active members of society? I'm certain we have our own ideas. I'd like for us to create a lateral thinking map and bring in the Compassion Education Program team and expand on this more--more voices, more ownership of the project. I think we should see how the Xocial.com team can help contribute to this conversation.

Spam
Photo of Marco
Team

It can also be unique if it gives preferential education to life capacities and decision making over academic matters. And great importance to exercise like sports to contribute with preventing early pregnacy.
We, at the School for Compassion, would love to participate, and I am sure we can get an even bigger group of people willing to help.
We have no doubt at all that this kind of educational projects are of the most important value and contribution for supporting youth and make a better world.
We have many emergencies situations in Mexico such as earthquakes, but how could this project work when there is a prolonged teacher strike like we have had in Oaxaca? It seems that this project is also good for helping students become leaders and helping to reduce problems in communities.

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Hi Marco, I think the primary goal would be for the Compassion Education Corps to design a rich content filled curriculum that would be based on the themes that are set out in the writing of the three primary theorists: Friere, Hanvey and Armstrong, informing our work. Our pressing challenge would be to take the ideas given to us by students expressing their needs and interests, but we would also weigh these against our instructional designers. I totally understand the importance of interactive experiences and personal education and dialogue--all of these are essential to a well-rounded life style. I can't imagine that young people would be robbed of not having these experiences which they would carry on for the rest of their lives. One of the ways we could assure that "gaming," other than traditional sports would be to get students to participate in the Compassion Games: http://compassiongames.org. The Compassion Games are a powerful social tool designed to ignite, amplify, and catalyze compassionate action in communities, including in school settings, around the world. By infusing the power of playfulness and compassion with the fun of friendly competition, the Games offer a unique way to strive together to serve each other, our own personal well-being, and the Earth. We should talk about how these might be promoted in the schools in which you work.

You pose a good question about limited emergency situations with events such as a school strike. When I first read your question, I thought, this is a whole new element of the work of the Compassion Education Corps that we haven't considered. It made me think back to the Mississippi Freedom Schools that operated in the 1960's in the U.S. Freedom Schools were temporary, alternative free schools for African Americans mostly in the South. They were a part of a nationwide effort during the Civil Rights Movement to organize African Americans to achieve social, political and economic equality in the United States. Freedom School teachers would educate elementary and high school students to become social change agents that would participate in the ongoing Civil Rights Movement, most often in voter registration efforts. The curriculum adopted was divided into seven core areas that analyzed the social, political, and economic context of precarious race relations and the Civil Rights Movement. Leadership development was encouraged, in addition to more traditional academic skills. The education at Freedom Schools was student-centered and culturally relevant. "Curriculum and instruction was based on the needs of the students, discussion among students and teachers (rather than lecturing) was encouraged, and curriculum planners encouraged teachers to base instruction on the experiences of their students."

There is a model that we can and should draw upon. Thank you for asking this. It presents us with a whole new avenue of exploration.

Spam
Photo of Cristina P.
Team

Marilyn: I think it is a great project!!! Is it possible for Encuentro Mundial del Valores, as a Human Rights arm of the Charter and Compassionate Nuevo Leon, to be a center for this program in Latin America?

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

No one in Mexico or Latin America is better positioned to working with this Project. In fact, a central core of the Compassion Education Corps has to be Compassionate Nuevo Leon and Encuentro Mundial del Valores. Your exposure to creating a network of compassionate universities and through the Compassion Teaching Program are prime to enrich the personnel, resources and experiences of the project.

I think there is even another reason, and that is the yearly conference of Encuentro Mundial del Valores itself. While it has been attracting thousands of people to Monterrey for nine years, the importance of its presentation is extraordinary. Can you imagine, having it live streamed to refugee camps, to other projects who are involved in this OpenIDEO process? Youth and local teachers and citizens being exposed to the wisdom of speakers as you have had: the Dalai Lama, Rigoberta Menchu, Mary Robinson, Riane Eisler and so many others would be such a gift to those who would be able to view the proceedings of the conference. Also, wouldn't it be every more of a gift if we could have a dialogue with this years presenters with students?

Finally, at least for this response, here is how I envision your team working with and becoming a part of the Compassion Education Corps. We would work to encourage members of your organizing team and people involved in the Compassion Education Program to be trained in the process outlined in the proposal presented here from day one. Being that the Compassion Education Corps Mexico would be bilingual they would be able to train other potential facilitators we have in compassionate initiatives in Latin America. Another important aspect of the Compassion Education Corps Mexico is the high regard and work Encuentro Mundial del Valores has done with indigenous people in Latin America. I am so excited for seeing how we can continue to grow our collective ideas.

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Photo of Lynne
Team

As the Australian facilitator for the Charter for Compassion I fully support this amazing project, capable of indeed reaching millions of young people, particularly girls in times of crisis. The Charter family is growing across the world, and therefore has the capacity to train and deliver education projects in a timely fashion as needed. Current research is showing that compassion is THE important motivation in responding to suffering, and compassionate leadership has also been shown to create the necessary conditions for innovation within teams. As a former teacher and current Adjunct Research Fellow at one of Australia's major university's I would bring my relevant experience in developing curriculum and in researching in compassion to this project. Lynne Reeder PhD l.reeder@federation.edu.au

Spam
Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
Team

Lynne, we need your help. We need someone who loves research, measurement and evaluation. If I am honest, I view it similar to eating spinach, good for you, but when served hot, not so tasty. I know it is a necessary science for helping us who are primarily drawn to pedagogy "stand up and take notice" of the importance of analysis, redefining and moving to plan for replication. However, for me, one of the most important aspects of our program will be for students to learn how to set their own milestone, evaluate their progress and contribute to their next learning steps. This needs to be done, not in isolation of the instructors guidance, but in association with it. It should that the measurement conversation needs to be incorporated into this project from day one of development.

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Hi Marilyn,
The program is very inspiring and I see the potential for the Charter for Compassion to play a role in having a positive impact on the lives of young people.  While I think the idea of focusing the programs on girls, I think in situations that changes the regular dynamics of the family, it is also a good opportunity to provide educations to young boys in order to prevent them from being influence by other potentially dangerous activities and it might help them support the continued education of girls. I also like the idea that the training is not just focused on survival since and more future based which could instill a sense of hope and resilience. I think expanding on that aspect could extend this idea beyond its initial deployment.
While electricity and technology will be a challenge, perhaps there is a way to get organizations, especially technical university to create a solar powered reader which could store the necessary information and instructions for the classes.

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Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
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Michael, I appreciate this comment. It seems that so much is being done with technology and while the possibilities seem to be several, I think with our friends at Xocial.com and their outreach we will be able to find several avenues of delivering and archiving material.

I think the most important starting point of this project is learning what is being done in the field already, what have been the lessons learned--the benchmarks and discovering the problems of content and delivery. However, more important is talking with students, parents, field workers about what are the dreams, fears and needs of refugee children. I believe we need to know what children think about education, their expectations for the future, what they feel is most important to learn. I remember a number of years ago a cultural anthropology study on asking people in the developing world what they thought were the five most important things in live for them. The results were startling for a Western to hear: continuity in one's life rated high--just being able to know that tomorrow would have the same parameters as today and their wouldn't be any surprises--ranked very high in responses. So did love and caring of family and food security. I think we should lean on this type of study to formulate a similar pattern of questions to help inform how we design the curriculum.

At this point without more input from those most closely linked to the project's core, I see that we will be preparing a general experiential process content for children and youth, both boys and girls. However, I do believe that we have an obligation to have an integrated supplemental, though very defined program for girls. Much of this program initially needs to be grounded in self-love and compassion and the affirming of the importance that women "hold up more than half the sky," especially in their worlds. I think it would be extraordinary if we could get every girl involved in an Compassion Education Corps program to be mentored by one of our Women and Girls sector members. I believe this is possible.

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As the Australian facilitator for the Charter for Compassion I fully support this amazing project, capable of indeed reaching millions of young people, particularly girls in times of crisis. The Charter family is growing across the world, and therefore has the capacity to train and deliver education projects in a timely fashion as needed. Current research is showing that compassion is THE important motivation in responding to suffering, and compassionate leadership has also been shown to create the necessary conditions for innovation within teams. As a former teacher and current Adjunct Research Fellow at one of Australia's regional university's I would bring my relevant experience in developing curriculum and in researching in compassion to support this important project.

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It's good to see the Charter for Compassion contributing a Compassion Education Corps to this challenge. By establishing a "Compassion Response Network" through a Compassion Education Corp you ensure that the emergency situation is informed by compassionate action. It is often challenging when relief workers come together in response to a crisis. Compassion is the glue that binds the response team together and transcends ideologies and philosophies. It is a transliteracy that everyone can relate to. The Charter for Compassion and its programs offer a unifying framework from which emergency responses can be organized and delivered. Given the breadth and depth of the Charter's network that we know of directly, we can see this being an innovative creative solution.

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Jon, you are so on with this comment. Even if we don't make it to the finals with the OpenIDEO I think we can, should and have the responsibility of contributing to other projects in the way of designing and implementing a Compassion Response Network. The Charter for Compassion certainly has that network to which you refer. Thanks for the heads up on this idea.

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Hi again! As I reflect more on this project, another couple of questions come to mind re: working in other countries:

Regarding where "the innovation will be implemented" section above, one of the things I am most impressed with re: the Charter is the number of countries that have signed on.

Would it be possible for further expansion (in addition to the other countries listed here)? If so, where?

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Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
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Ideally there would be a core group of Compassion Education Corps representatives in the train-the-training session from core CCI hubs and also from some of our related sectors, especially women and girls. While many of my examples in the above project description are geared towards Jordan, it might be that there is a more ideal country in which we would run the pilot. Training a core group of facilitators would expand our ability to replicate the project in other countries, including those in Africa, Southeast Asia, Turkey, Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. It is especially interesting to note that one of the very first Compassionate cities was Gazientiep, Turkey where today a large number of refugees live. Through out partner organizations we have also had experience with Syrian and Iraqi refugee programs in Lesbos, Greece.

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Photo of Lynn De Vree
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Marilyn, you said that one of your concerns was ","how can students measure their own learning and make decisions on next steps." I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this.

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Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
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At the heart of this project is the goal of having students (and parents) direct the content of what is being offered. In my thinking, that also means that as a part of the evaluation and measurement process we need to flip the way that avenues of research, collection of data and analysis are done. Students, at all ages should be involved in setting and evaluating their education interest, needs and accomplishments of their own learning. of course they need help at looking at the big picture (see goals presented below in the response to Katherine's questions). We need to create a strong connection in what we are promoting in the project's content with real life experience. Students need to be informants on the curriculum and have continual opportunity to see how things are working.

Another area for evaluation is to use the qualitative research model--a process that recognizes that research should be conducted in a natural setting thus making sense of the interpretation of the results. Questions that are used in qualitative research are the why and wherefores rather than asking “how often” something occurs and how widespread it is which are more evident in qualitative research.

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This is such a useful and relevant project! I could become a significant link between development and humanitarian situations (in the latter INEE is regularly involved/ applied), especially where compassion can help prevent/ mitigate challenging situations. Also where kids are impressionable and the ones taking on a country/ region's future, their relevant education is most needed, but too oft underestimated (I partly grew up as a third country national attending a foreign school in different foreign school where the two latter countries went to war - what I was taught then has remained with me ever since). Happy to be involved in making this happen, either in its pilot phase and/ or in its further roll out. Wishing C4C ALL the best with this application!

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Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
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Rianne,

Thank you for sharing this part of your background. Can you be a link to the Inter-Agency Network for Emergency in Emergencies (INEE)? We should think seriously of bringing them into the project. There is no need here to reinvent the wheel. I think the work they have done on minimum education standards in emergencies is impressive and can certainly be reviewed by ANY country. The leaning towards a global vision is essential in holistic education for the future of us all. I hope you would consider being one of our team members and work with us to pursue a dialogue with INEE.

Would you be open to share more of your background? Perhaps this would be front and center of your profile. What were you taught as you were caught in a war situation? How were you taught? Who did the teaching? How were you/or were you encouraged to take on responsibility for your own learning? What kept you resilient in the process? [I know you developed this value because of being involved with you in a committee situation.] What did you care about the most at this time of your life? We have so much to learn from you--almost as much and as important as working with children and youth who are "living" these real life emergencies. Thank you so much for considering answering these questions.

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Photo of Lesa R. Walker MD, MPH
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Marilyn Turkovich  What a wonderful project! Mobilizing the vast local and global networks of the Charter for Compassion International is an innovative and powerful way to meet this challenge. I like starting with the pilot and iterating and expanding to other sites. It appears that the Charter for Compassion is primed and ready to build on experience and established relationships to create a viable, supported, local, and student-driven methodology for educating youth in emergency settings. It is so critical that empathy and compassion are at the core of the educational efforts. This project will establish one or more models that can be expanded and replicated. The collaboration with the Smart Cities Council is an added bonus! I also like the fact that the Charter for Compassion has already used "design-thinking" in an educational training session in Amman and plans to build on this experience!! Impressive work!!

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Photo of Marilyn Turkovich
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Lesa, thank you for these observations. The more I get immersed in this idea the more I realize how important the pilot will be. While we might look to Jordan, Mexico or Indonesia to create the initial design, it almost seems that the beginning model might be in English and include English speakers, of which there are a vital core in all three countries mentioned. In this way we can invite members from the Australian, UK and US hubs to become trained facilitators. This will then give us a solid cadre from which to draw in order to sustain the project. The essential goal here would be to eventually incorporate this as an ongoing project of the Charter for Compassion.

The initial phase will be to introduce the Design Thinking Model and then perhaps to experiment with the model with folks on the ground, perhaps a core group of refugees, including teachers and older students to see how issues are generated. Of course, I know that it will be important to introduce the pedagogical concepts of Paulo Friere which are a perfect match to the Systems Thinking Model. The most difficult situation with his methodology is to be creative in the designing pragmatic experiences from which students will determine the direction of their own learning. I anticipate that this will be one of the primary stumbling blocks we will encounter.

Another concern will be the technological arm, but I will leave that to the experts. However, I see an advantage of using the Cloud, incorporating the use of smart phones, and there might even be the need, in some cases to put together education kits. I remember using one such kit that was produced to teach Afghani children in war zones. It was simply made of cloth and had a cloth map and alphabet chart and some inexpensive charts and guides in it.