October 22, 2009 at 11:13 am 2 comments

Taking Global Citizenship Seriously

My name is Kasia Parham. I’m a Mum and a teacher, but recently I turned my hand to writing resources for teaching and learning global awareness. There’s a serious shortage of good material which really engage kids in classrooms. Too often, students spend citizenship lessons aimlessly surfing the internet “finding out about people less fortunate than ourselves” or even just catching up on homework. The exam-driven curriculum in our schools means that teachers and students do not treat citizenship as a serious subject.

This is a big mistake. What is going on in the developing world affects everyone. If young people in developed countries do not learn about what’s going on, there is no hope for any of us. What use are A*s in English and Maths then?

Tanzanian Street Kids

My first book, Dogodogo, funded by Unicef, was published by Macmillan in 2007. It contains the stories of 8 Tanzanian street kids from the Dogodogo Centre in Dar es Salaam. While my husband was serving as British High Commissioner to Tanzania, I was working at the centre as a volunteer English teacher.

Dogodogo launch

We launched Dogodogo at the British High Commissioner's Residence in Dar es Salaam in October 2007. Mama Salma Kikwete, First Lady of Tanzania, and Cherie Blair, who wrote the foreword for the book, and the eight boys who feature in the book, all came to the launch party. The guy on the far right with glasses is the High Commissioner.

Linking with real kids in real time

Since then, I’ve used the book with pupils of all ages and abilities (including EAL). Some of my lesson plans are available on the IB web platform as part of their Sharing Our Humanity Theme. The stories are heartbreaking, but the courage of the kids, all boys, is inspiring. Because the stories are so personal, they are an effective way to get schoolchildren to think about important development issues such as poverty, a child’s right to education, the effect of HIV/Aids on families and communities and climate change. These are real issues facing real children in real time.

You can order the book from Amazon. Since all the royalties go to the Dogodogo Centre, I want to sell as many possible.


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Dogodogo boys visit David Blunkett and UK

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rosy giedroyc  |  November 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Naha & Esupat were wonderful ambassadors for Emusoi & Tanzania on their recent visit to the UK. We were lucky enough not only to meet them in Oxford, but to hear them on Radio London where they were interviewed within 2 hours of their arrival! They went straight from the plane (they’d never flown before..) & rushed to the studio. Yet they managed to sound cool & poised & very much in charge – in surroundings entirely new to them! Only wish we’d been at the book launch where I bet they did their stuff with poise & command of the subject. The book is very good to look at, challenging to read because the subject matter is often uncomfortable, & very important. Come again Naha & Esupat! RG

  • 2. Consortium for Street Children  |  December 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    The Consortium for Street Children (CSC) is the leading international member-based network dedicated to advocating, promoting and campaigning for the rights of street-involved children. We are committed to creating a better and sustainable future for some of the most disadvantaged and stigmatised children by working together to inform and inspire research and action that influences policy and best practice worldwide.

    We feel that the work Kasia is doing is playing a very important role in raising awareness about issues affecting street children. As an organisation we have also developed ‘Voices from the Street’, a teaching resource designed to engage students in the cross-curricular issue of global citizenship.


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