FRIDAY DIGEST: Four! Swim Serpentine and Steve Sinnott Foundation Young Ambassadors & Send My Friend

We’ve launched into the new season with a hive of activity.

In September Ingrid and Anne participated in Swim Serpentine to raise money for the Steve Sinnott Foundation and Education For All! They raised well over their target and we’re so proud of them. Thank you both!

We’ve just returned from the CPC17 where the Steve Sinnott Foundation Young Ambassadors from The Gambia, with Send My Friend, were campaigning for education for all. It has been incredibly inspiring and thought provoking, and we thank them!

Marie Antoinette, Campaigns assistant Ellie MacDonald, Leeza

Fatoumatta, Marie Antoinette, Therese, and Leeza

Mary, Leeza, and Kate. Teachers supporting Young Ambassadors and Youth Champions.

Fatoumatta.

Nicky Morgan MP, Fatoumatta, Therese, Tom Palakudiyil (Water Aid SE Asia Director), Rory Stewart MP.

Fatoumatta, Therese, and Wendy Morton MP

Therese.

Young Ambassadors and Send My Friend Youth Champions

Fatoumatta, Priti Patel MP, Marie Antoinette, Therese, Leeza.

At The NEU stand at CPC17. Leeza, Ema Jackson, Send My Friend to School Campaign Manager, Therese, Fatoumatta, Ann Beatty, and Marie Antoinette.

Young Ambassadors and Send My Friend Youth Champions

Leeza and Marie Antoinette

Chief Exec Ann Beatty is off scoping another project this week, but attended a leadership course by Lemn Sissay at Manchester University this week, and is feeling inspired to continue making a difference.

Until next time, keep up all the fantastic work!

Julia @SSF


A Visit to the Ben Uri Gallery during Refugee Week 2017

Just before the summer, SSF Chief Exec Ann Beatty was invited by colleague Evadne Bygrave to visit the exhibition ‘Thirty Six Pounds and Ninety Five Pence’ at the Ben Uri Gallery during Refugee Week 2017. The exhibition featured art produced during art therapy sessions at the New Art Studio by current refugees and asylum seekers.

Ann said:One evening after work we went to check it out and I was amazed by the beautiful artwork and essential work Tania Kaczynski and Jon Martyn are doing to support asylum seekers and refugees. They are giving people a second chance in a supportive environment.

Tania Kaczynski said:The N.A.S is a place for asylum seekers and refugees to make undirected art together. It has an inclusive and democratic environment, and addresses the emotional needs of its members through the restorative nature of art making socially.
All our members are victims of war, persecution, loss of family, home, culture and language. Art is the universal language that gives voice to the silenced. We prioritise above all the power and freedom of human imagination; a world untroubled by borders. All the members continue to endure extreme emotional trauma manifested in anxiety, insomnia, fear and dread. Yet within their fragile sense of self is a desire to repair, learn and rise again. Our members’ knowledge of art is varied, most have never made art before, some have had some experience in their countries of origin. They come from Iran, Pakistan, China, The Ukraine, Turkey, and The Congo. Art making is more than a technical ability, it is a visual expression of one’s experiences. It unravels our dreams and nightmares. At any one time 4 or 5 languages are spoken at once, yet we all communicate within the context of the universal language of art making.

Some of the wonderful artworks are featured, courtesy of Ben Uri and the Artists themselves, below, but to find out more about the exhibition (which has now finished) and the project please visit: http://benuri.org.uk/refugee-week/ For more about the New Art Studio visit: http://www.newartstudio.org.uk

 


FRIDAY Digest THREE!

It’s been a busy few weeks! Here are some of the highlights…

A BIG thank you to Caerphilly NUT for walking to support Education For All at the end of June…

On Education For All Awareness Day, we were joined by Dorothy Thornhill and many others at West Herts College for a day of stories, films and planning. If you want to be involved next year, get in touch!

We enjoyed a lovely day at Belmont Primary School, who participated in Education For All Awareness Day too…

We posted an essay entitled ‘Outside The Classroom Windows’, if you missed it to can find it here: http://www.stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk/knowledgebase/outside-the-classroom-windows/

An excellent read!

In July Chief Exec Ann Beatty met with our Patron David Puttnam at the House of Lords…

Ingrid Khedun is swimming the Serpentine for the Steve Sinnott Foundation in September. She has been training, and in fetching swim hats too! Will you support her? It’s easy at JustGiving… https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ingrid-khedun1‬

We had a wonderful afternoon sharing and learning with students and teachers from Unesco Aspnet School, Hyogo Senior High, from Kobe, Japan!

As well as sharing our My Life Changed films, we discussed the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and Education For All.

Until the end of August you can catch the Steve Sinnott Foundations’ My Life Changed animated films at Big Screen on the Beach Watford throughout it’s run! First showing was on 30th July, with the film ‘Equal Access in Nepal’. If you are in the area and watching, you can see the final film at  4.30pm on the 20th of August, and you fancy sending us a selfie while-you-watch, @ssfoundation on twitter is the place to send it! More info about the schedule of films here: https://www.watfordbigevents.co.uk/big-screen-on-the-beach

The Steve Sinnott Foundation campaign song A Better Place To Be is now available in BraillePlease contact admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk if you would like a copy!

WATCH an ‘edited highlights’ of stories and explanations, filmed at the launch of our My Life Changed animated films a couple of months ago. Featuring, among others, Billy Jean from Haiti, Chief exec Ann Beatty, Filmmaker Lucy Lee, and singer Evadne Bygrave.

https://youtu.be/6qlgrmb4sds

Many thanks to the amazing efforts of Steve & Colin, who raised over £1000 for The Steve Sinnott Foundation, cycling the Pru100 for Ride LondonFANTASTIC!

That’s it for this one, have an excellent August and see you after the holidays!

Julia @ SSF

 


Outside The Classroom Windows

Anyone who is interested in the global effort to see more children reap the benefits of literacy, numeracy, languages and a broader awareness of the world will be used to seeing headlines like this, from the guardian: “Drive to get children back to school failing worldwide”. To many of us, ‘back to school’ has become synonymous with ‘back to learning’. When we mean to say ‘learning’ we are happy with the shorthand phrases ‘in school’ or ‘in the classroom’ or ‘at their desks’.

The images conjured by this language are clear. In the west, we have a shared experience of what ‘education’ means that informs our thinking on a subconscious level. Learning looks a certain way: rows of uniformed kids at cantilevered desks, a teacher at the front, textbooks and alphabet posters, double maths and a bell that’s for them not for you. We know that education is more complicated than that but the metaphors that we use have powerful connections attached to them – and so that’s what we think about when we think about it.

Anyone who has seen the realities of providing access to learning up close will know how woefully inadequate this conception can be. The one constant in international development is variety. Cultures, political realities, even the particular features of local geography – all of these can drastically alter the way that learning is best provided.

Haiti, for example, is the smaller half of a small island beset by natural disasters and still bearing the scars of centuries of political turmoil. The Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Learning Resource Centre there, providing a central hub for a network of teachers, is a tailored solution to a unique problem.

Because Haiti is small, a hub makes sense. Because the Haitian people are urgently engaged in the building of a modern democracy after the autocracy of the Duvalier dynasty and the subsequent years of turmoil, it makes sense to empower teachers to share ideas and teaching materials; and to give them a structure to facilitate this exchange.

But what works in Haiti will not necessarily work in mountainous Nepal or in Sierra Leone, hit hard by 2014’s ebola epidemic, and where 39% of girls are married before they turn eighteen.

If we step outside the traditional, one-size-fits-all approach that would have us just build schools and staff them in every country where literacy rates are low, we can find that unexpected actions can have surprising effects. In countries where girls have traditionally been excluded from schools, for example, something as easily overlooked as providing adequate toilet and sanitary towel disposal facilities can do wonders for increasing female attendance.

Technology, too, is giving us a glimpse of a world beyond the desk. Already, today, apps like Duolingo are providing free, self-directed learning to millions. Learning marketplaces like Udemy are connecting people who know things with people who want to learn them on a peer-to-peer basis. The Global Learning Xprize is offering a $15 million bounty to the team that best develops “open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic within 15 months”.

In Africa, where Smartphone adoption is rapidly catching up with the global average, it might well suit some children better to help them self-direct their own learning using free, open source apps than it will ever suit them to round them up into photogenic classrooms in the service of our idealised vision of education.

If the international community wants education for all, it will have to realise that the goal of seeing every child ‘In School’ might not only be unachievable, but might not even be desirable. We have to be willing to treat different situations differently and to embrace positive change when we see it.

Schools are vital, Classrooms will always play a central role in global education. But we should not be wedded to them, they have always been a means to an end and outside their windows new shoots are sprouting.

Our end, our purpose, must be Learning. Learning. However, wherever and whenever lessons can be learned.

If we maintain our commitment to learning above all, it really is possible to imagine a future where every child can be given the tools they need to create their own ideals and to make the world anew.

 


FRIDAY Digest!

It’s been a busy (and hot!) few weeks.

A couple of weeks ago Chief Exec Ann Beatty was invited to, and given a generous donation by, the Zonta Club of Guildford, and met with Baroness Sharp and Sue Doughty, the President of Zonta Guildford.

In her own words: “It was great to be with so many like minded women who are passionate about the importance of girls education”.

Ann with Sue Doughty

Ann with Baroness Sharp

Ann had an inspiring time at the NUT Young Teachers Conference 2017 at Stoke Rochford Hall. Sienna-Rose wants to be a teacher when she grows up!

Isata’s Journey, part of Steve Sinnott Foundations’ #MyLifeChanged films, was shown at the conference. Miss it? You can watch the films on our Vimeo.

ASPnet Project Manager Shaista Khan visited Hockerill College with a team of researchers from the Korean Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE).

In just FOUR DAYS TIME Pamela and others, together with NUT Caerphilly, will be doing a sponsored Walk for the Steve Sinnott Foundation. Will you contribute? Visit Justgiving.com to DONATE!

Ingrid’s page for her sponsored swim for the Steve Sinnott Foundation in September for Swim Serpentine is UP! You can read her story, and DONATE at Justgiving.com

The Denham Divas Choir held a cream tea concert a couple of weeks ago, raising money for the Steve Sinnott Foundation. The Divas raised £123, which will add to their target of £1000. The money will buy a range of musical instruments for the Haiti project. They’re halfway there, at around £500!

 

And finally, coming up on June 30th, we’re taking part in Education For All Awareness Day, at West Herts College. Have a pretty save the date flier to remind you!

And please get in touch if you need more info admin@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk

That’s all for this week, keep cool and don’t forget to drink lots of water!

Julia @ SSF