Posts tagged ‘citizenship’

British International School in New York meets Dogodogo

I was given a warm welcome by Year 6 at the British International School in New York, and their class teacher, Ms Elizabeth Bowie, on November 23rd. The students read the stories of the Dogodogo boys, watched a DVD about the centre, and asked some searching questions about what life is really like for their contemporaries in Africa who are denied even the most basic children’s rights.

Worlds apart? Not any more! Year 6 students at the British International School, New York, reached out to the Dogodogo boys after reading their stories. (Photo by Ms Bowie.)

The children came up with some creative ways to help raise the profile of street children everywhere, promote the book and support the work of the centre. One of them suggested writing a letter to President Obama, enclosing a copy of Dogodogo for his two daughters. 

The positive (and practical) response to the book from BISNY students and their teacher, filled me with hope.

“I hope I can change the world like you have done with the Dogodogo boys.” Piers

 “This book was really inspiring and it made me want to help the Dogodogo boys even more.” Arielle

 “I would fly to Africa just to see you because I would like to see how the boys lives are.” Jacob

 “To me, Dogodogo is another word for hope.” Luccas

 “I really liked the book. It’s a very good book. I hope the Dogodogo boys have a good life.” Faisal

 “All of you have inspired me to do more things to help and I am thinking of ways to spread the word about you and your life stories.” Sophie

 “I hope that I not only can help Dogodogo children but also the whole world.” Sam

 “It was great to read and learn about such inspiring lives. You are all so brave and I hope more people in the world can understand about what obstacles so many children in the world are faced with and help you overcome them.” Ms Bowie

 Perhaps a brighter future lies in store for the Dogodogo boys – and for other street children – after all.

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November 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm 1 comment

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AND WHY OUR KIDS MUST LEARN ABOUT AFRICA BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

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.

October 22, 2009 at 11:13 am 2 comments


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