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Teacher Support Network: Website & Magazine

A website & magazine with resources, mentoring and support for teachers and volunteers at refugee camps.

Photo of Klara Pelcl
8 2

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

This is the idea that our team was tackling at the meetup. It is basically taking the Teacher Support Networks (https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/teacher-support-networks) further.

WHO BENEFITS?

Everyone included in the educational process at refugee camps could benefit from this solution. Because of a large quantity of relevant resources at hand and mentoring opportunities, the teachers could benefit professionally as well as personally. Consequently, the students could benefit because the teachers would be better equipped to tackle daily educational challenges at the camp.

PROTOTYPE

Ideally, here is how this could be tested (hopefully in one month):
1. The idea would be discussed with teachers who have experience working at refugee camps. An improved prototype would be tested again and the new version would go into development.
2. At the same time, the possibilities to collect stories, design and print a monthly TSN Magazine edition would be discussed.
3. The first website would go live in about a month, and hopefully, the first magazine would follow at about the same time.
NOTE: Considering the fact that PeerLibrary (https://peerlibrary.org/) is already up and running, we could use it to try out the initial idea: 1. create a group "refugee camp teacher network" and invite people interested in collaboration. 2. get people to upload their stories, best practices etc. (currently, only pdf formats). 3. see discussion and contributions in action.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

I would love to get into contact with someone who can tell me more about the teachers' (and refugees') daily work and life at a refugee camp, and the challenges they are facing. This would help develop an improved, clickable website prototype that could go into further testing.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am freelancing in San Francisco and volunteering at a UC Berkeley project called PeerLibrary.

IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?

  • Yes, and I am looking for a partner working with refugee communities to implement this idea.

8 comments

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Photo of Muzabel Welongo
Team

Hi Klara,
Your idea is really wonderful. I have been in Kakuma since 2010, until this year when I now spend most of my time in Nairobi for studies. I run a local NGO in Kakuma (www.savicafrica.org), and I would be happy to work together to develop your idea.
Some considerations for your idea;
- Most refugees (students and teachers) in the world are faced with educational problems, whereby they have to adopt the curriculum of the host country, which might be different from their home education systems. For instance, in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda, refugees are required to follow the host countries' curriculum, which reduces the quality of teacher because refugees are the ones teaching. Refugees in Tanzania have an advantage because they are allowed to follow their home systems (I know about Congolese and Burundians who have lived in Tanzania).
- Most refugee camps have a very limited access to the internet, therefore I suggest more resources be invested on printed materials.

I hope we will connect for more talk.

With kind regards,

Muz

Photo of Klara Pelcl
Team

Hi Muz,
Thank you so much for the considerations and suggestions!
I will reach out via email this weekend so we can connect and talk more about how to implement and test our ideas. Best regards.

Photo of Em Havens
Team

Klara, thanks for the share and so cool to see this came out of the San Francisco Meetup! Access to mentoring and support is a huge issue for teachers globally, especially in resource constrained areas. I'm curious to learn more about your thinking around how you might prototype this idea either with refugees in San Francisco or in refugee communities around the world. Perhaps there are other ideas or groups in refugee camps you could partner with to test it out here on OpenIDEO...have you seen Muzabel's idea? https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/strong-again-promoting-economic-independence-through-vocational-skills-and-functional-literacy-for-young-refugees-in-kakuma

Photo of Klara Pelcl
Team

Hello Em, thank you for the idea - I'll reach out to Muzabel and see how we can connect. As I mentioned, PeerLibrary could be used to create a "teacher support network" group and invite members that would be interested in sharing their stories and ideas via email (I can create a group, but would have to get their email addresses in order to invite them). This way, we could test how teachers would share resources and discuss them with peers.
However, ideally, we would create a dedicated Teacher Support website where people could not only share resources and discuss texts, but also connect with mentors and maybe even chat with them online. Help with website development, hosting and maintenance would be needed here.
I hope that more will be discussed on the next SF meetup when we enter the refining phase. Hopefully, we will come up with a useful working prototype soon and get a chance to test it in San Francisco as well as with communities around the world.

Photo of Yvonnne Bezerra de Mello
Team

Hi Klara!


Excelent idea! We work in slums and will try to test drive your idea here, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Best regards,

Photo of Klara Pelcl
Team

Hello Yvonne, I am glad to see that you are interested. Hopefully, we will have a prototype soon. Feel free to send me an email so we can connect and talk more about the idea and how to try it out.
Take care!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great build on your Teacher Support Networks idea Klara! You might be interested to reach out and collaborate with Mary and her team on this idea: https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/quality-professional-development-support-and-mentoring-for-refugee-teachers

Photo of Klara Pelcl
Team

Thank you Shane! Great idea, I just checked it out and it really looks like a great opportunity to make something together.