About Paul Crouch

International educator

Zero Hunger

The UN have set 17 challenges that are everybody’s goal, they are things that impact on the way we live, like zero hunger. We have decided to take up one of the challenges and improve Madrid. We are hoping people from around the world will see what we are doing and will try to spread the word so that all homeless people and people in poverty will be able to eat some food. By the end of 2030 these goals are hoping to be reduced by at least 50%. Will you take up this challenge with us?

the-global-goals-grid-color

We are doing this to help homeless people that can’t afford food, so many people are struggling because they don’t have anything to eat . Now that we are in this pandemic of the corona-virus, people are struggling more and more with financial problems. We are also trying to help by using paper bags and recyclable materials instead of plastic.

Zoexpress

How much time will it take?

We think that it will take approximately a week to do this, since 2 days will be enough to prepare the food and things, and the other 3 left over days, the school council and some teachers will be able to talk to the homeless and comfort them and hand them the food.

We will need:

Baking paper to cover the food

Buns, cheese, ham and butter for the sandwich.

And fruit for a small desert.

THIS IS EVERYONE’S GOAL, SO HELP US ACHIEVE IT!

Zoe – Year 5

 

More Than Just a Sandwich

I have been leading a short global citizenship programme for our Year 11 students post-examinations.  We have been looking into the importance of global citizenship education, what it is, and how we can all become better global citizens.  In one of the first sessions I used my analogy of a sandwich and the endless variety of ingredients (see earlier post) needed to make a satisfying sandwich, and the representation through the eyes of a geographer placing two pieces of bread at exactly the opposite sides of the Earth at the same time.

wangari maathai

We also looked at Wangari Maathai´s simple but powerful story of the hummingbird, you can watch it here.  Still a real favourite of mine.

I challenged the students to form their own analogies of global citizenship after our early discussions and to submit their ideas in between sessions via a form.  I thought I would share just a few…

How can you best explain global citizenship or represent it (be as creative as you like – a sandwich, a hummingbird…)?

Clockwork – global citizenship is a mindset. It is like clockwork. When you work with other global citizens it creates a system or rather a society that allows humanity to coexist with the problems you are passionate about. Combining all aspects that create an effective global citizen you become a crucial part of that clockwork that allows for society to keep moving.

selective focus photography of pasta with tomato and basil

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Spaghetti – I would represent global citizenship as a spaghetti plate where all the cultures, ambitions and personalities intertwine and contribute to the whole, like the individual spaghetti pieces.

Sea– it has different species of different colours, that together, form the sea, and they come together to form something beautiful.

Ship – global citizenship can be represented as a ship, commanded and sailed by all the nations in harmony with each country and citizens taking part in sailing the ship.

drone footage of a beach

Photo by Herman. io on Pexels.com

Beach – each grain is a quality, as someone develops, their persona grows and becomes stronger. Each wave, metaphorical for opportunities, brings new grains upon to the beach, (qualities) shaping the strengths and weaknesses of one’s personality. However, sometimes challenges arise, but a good global citizen will learn from such threats or conflict and learn new attributes.

Circle of hands – I would represent it as the different cultures and minds around the world folded hands in a huge circle while a white dove passes by.

Ants – I chose ants because they are a small dot on the huge planet but by working together they can get things done fast and can really make a change.

silhouette photo of person holding door knob

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

Bee – pollinating the flowers, and therefore helping the wider world.

Door – global citizenship is awareness which comes after you have opened your mind to new experiences and to being selfless or generous. When you open a door, there is effort behind this action however it is not as difficult as it may seem, and when the door is opened, you can be conscious of the real world.

Nyumbani

This year we are living a very different reality.

Kenya has been in partial lock down since March and everyone has had to adapt to a new way of living, just like in Spain. Schools are closed but the children are still being taught. The curriculum is available on a TV channel and there are also lessons on the radio. Not everyone in Kenya has access to the internet but some teachers are sending in materials which can be downloaded. This is really useful especially for the Nyumbani children who can enjoy benefiting from extra input. All the subjects are covered, maths, science, English, Kiswahili, social studies, etc. so not too different to Spain!

The children in Nyumbani Home in Karen are all well and safe. They have been extra careful with washing their hands and using sanitisers as well being equipped with masks and gloves. None of the members of the Nyumbani family have suffered from Covid-19 and we are very grateful to all the staff who are working tirelessly to ensure the good health of everyone involved in the programme!  No visitors from the outside have been allowed to come since the start of lock down.

nyumbani1

Each cottage in Nyumbani Home has children of various different ages, just like any normal family. Each cottage has around 14 children so that’s a large family!
As always the children get up early (6 am!) in order to take their medicines and have breakfast before classes start at 8 am. They then tune into the Educational Channel on TV. The children are divided into groups depending on their grade. Classes carry on until 5 p.m with some breaks and time for lunch too. There is a large open space with grass and trees where the children can run about and play safely. No visitors from the outside are allowed to come so there is very little chance of infection.nyumbani2

Last week the cottages were involved in an art project and made some posters which they displayed on their front doors. They are all hoping that the virus will take note and stay away!

 

 

 

Nyumbani, beyond the Home in Karen.

Many people have lost their jobs as a result of the virus and so a huge number of our Lea Toto families are now living below the poverty line, unable even to access basic food. You may remember some of the lovely crafts which are available for sale in the school at events such as the Mighty Merienda. These crafts are made by our Nyumbani Lea Toto families living in the informal settlements around Nairobi. Now they have nobody to buy their goods.

Nyumbani Village is also in lock down and so the grandmothers who were relying on the sale of their baskets for an income are suddenly left with no customers. The needs of all the families grow daily.

nyumbani3We have had some very welcome donations which have slightly eased the immediate need for food, but as this crisis continues, so also the need becomes greater and the families more desperate. A recent report really brought home the reality of the crisis. A woman told of how she put stones in a pot to boil in the hopes that her children would tire and fall asleep before they realised that the anticipation of food would come to nothing. These are truly tragic times.

Nyumbani4As well as Covid-19, Kenya is also dealing with other emergencies.  A swarm of locusts are destroying the crops while floods are rendering many families homeless.
Despite all the devastation, we are working with great determination to ensure that all our people are staying safe, accessing their medicines and basic foods. We are grateful for any donations, particularly in these times when the needs are global.

Thank you! ASANTE SANA!

Izabella Hearn

Amigos de Nyumbani

Nyumbani UK; Sponsor a Child in Kenya

USA LINK

An Around the World Challenge

It has been a challenging and unusual few months, but the Student Council in my school have continued to meet weekly to share feedback and to work on new virtual projects that enhance the spirit of adventure and collaboration.  A challenge has been planned to replace the annual Summer Fair and to raise much needed funds for the four school charities. The challenge draws on the promotion of physical exercise and also community togetherness to reach a goal, at the same time raising funds for the charities.

Aim: To complete one full lap around the world as a school community (approx. 40,000 kms)

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The student committee has encouraged everyone to extend their physical exercise routines and to go above and beyond. This does not mean the usual walk to the shops, or a typical stroll around the block. They are encouraging you to do that bit extra, not only for yourselves but also for charity! This can include any form of exercise: running, walking, skating, swimming, climbing, skipping, rolling, cycling… as long as you have challenged yourself, covered a certain distance and recorded it. The students then ask you to submit your distance (honestly and truthfully) whenever you have completed it, this could be daily or weekly, it doesn’t matter. The website has been specially designed for this challenge by the students so that everyone can input their totals, make a donation, and monitor the collective progress around the world.  The website also includes information about the four school charities. 

The students would like to encourage everyone to be as honest as possible, and therefore recommend that one of the following apps, or similar, are used to record your distances when exercising specifically for the challenge:

  • Nike + Run App/Club 
  • Endomondo 
  • Runtastic
  • Runkeeper 
  • MapMyRun (Underarmour)
  • Strava
  • Cyclemetre 

SanPedroKomoot

Try and beat your distance each time and set yourself some personal targets.  Maybe even link these targets to a monetary amount that you (or more likely your parents!) will agree to donate if you achieve them. The important thing is to enjoy your exercise though and to be safe, always inform an adult of what you are doing and where you intend to go if you are exercising alone.

To donate is easy and very important. Ideally we want to raise as much funds as we do during a typical Summer Fair, so please do support this challenge and share our website with family and friends. They can take part too! There is a link to our GoFundMe page on the website, and here you can make your donation; once, twice, as many times as you like! A few ideas could be:

  • Set personal targets linked to monetary values for individual family members
  • Set a collective target as a family or group of friends over the two week period and allocate a monetary value to donate
  • Maybe donate an amount every 5,000kms achieved by the collective community
  • Maybe donate an amount on completion of the whole distance, around the world
  • Or do all of the above… it is really up to you – every little bit helps!

bomberasayudan

The total funds raised at the end of the challenge will be divided equally into four and donated to the four school charities listed below :

Porque Viven, ANAR, Nyumbani and Bomberos Ayudan

The students very much look forward to hearing about and seeing the journeys around the world, and thank you all in advance for your enthusiasm, support and kind donations.

nyumbani

A Global Citizenship Sandwich

Sandwich

I do like a sandwich… fresh bread, a variety of tasty fillings, a scattering of potato crisps and a beautiful summer’s day on cut grass for a picnic.  But sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes, types and flavors, with a wide variety of ingredients and fillings, no one is perfect but all can be equally delicious.

This is  Etienne in New Zealand preparing one half of a very special sandwich.

NZ

This is Angel in Spain preparing the other half of the same sandwich.

Spain

We call this an Earth sandwich where two slices of bread have been carefully placed in the exact opposite places on the exact opposite sides of our Earth. 

EarthSandwich

So if Angel was able to drill directly through the centre of the Earth from Madrid in a straight line he would come out somewhere in New Zealand with Etienne, probably close to the city of Wellington.   There are other places on our Earth, but not too many though, where this unique feat of creating an Earth sandwich can be achieved.  You can see all the green shaded areas on the map below and their opposite locations.  All the black areas would end up in the oceans or seas and therefore not be possible to make the sandwich.

earth_sandwich

Being a geographer, I love this concept of an Earth sandwich and the accurate use of latitudes and longitudes to map opposite locations.  I especially like this idea of an Earth sandwich when I consider myself as being a global citizen.  Myself and the Earth as the pieces of bread and the fillings being all the unique elements that make me the global citizen that I am and want to be.

hobbies

These fillings are endless… and could be shaped by… our nationalities and heritage, the places we have travelled to and seen, the religions and faiths we may follow,  the hobbies and interests that we have, the way we interact and communicate in person and in cyberspace, the languages we speak, and the habits we probably should give up, and the habits we should try and be better at.

 

They could also be shaped by the global goals for sustainable development… or even the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

the-global-goals-grid-colorEven schools (should) help us everyday to become people who care for others and the world around them, that is why I am passionate about global citizenship education.

Traffic lights

For me global citizenship is about having a go, being prepared to leave your comfort zone and trying new experiences.   But this is not enough.  A global citizen is always learning, they focus on the moment and make connections with the people and the environment around them.  They reflect on how they were made to feel and how they made others feel, striving to learn more about themselves and other people.  A global citizen always wants to learn more and is not afraid to set personal targets for self-improvement and growth.

In a school and throughout a learning community there are an abundance of opportunities for global citizenship education.  These opportunities should not be perceived as separate, or an add-on, to a formal education programme, instead they should be fully integrated and encouraged to enhance the overall learning a person is able to achieve inside and outside of school.  The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.  There are many individual parts that make up a sandwich, we may not particularly enjoy the individual parts or choose to eat them by themselves, but together as a whole, lovingly prepared and reflectively put together, these many ingredients and fillings can make a truly amazing and successful (global citizenship) sandwich.

Mystery Guest Round

I was in Phuket, Thailand, attending an IB course for geography teachers in November 2003.  The course was great, challenging and collaborative, just as you would expect from the IB programme.  My priority though was finding a television, one with the right satellite connection, this was our time! 

Matt_Dawson

The England rugby team had made it to the final of the Rugby World Cup and were playing their great rivals, Australia (the Wallabies) in the final, right smack-bang in the middle of our IB Geography course!  Luckily, our facilitator was a fellow rugby enthusiast and we were able to motor through the agenda and finish in time to find a suitable venue and watch this momentous match.  It was a tight game, and at 17 – 17 the match entered extra-time.  The England scrum-half, Matt Dawson (number 9) made a darting break through the Wallabies tired defence giving England territorial advantage in the dying seconds.  Matt picked himself up, re-positioned himself and spun the ball back to the England fly-half (number 10) Jonny Wilkinson… the rest is history!  You can watch it here

MattDawson1

Matt Dawson is now a TV and radio presenter and pundit for the BBC in the UK.  One of the shows that he features in is called ´A Question of Sport.´ To raise awareness and to support the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, Matt has been doing as many quizzes as he can, joining people from all over the world, online, to complete a quiz.  We were very lucky and honoured that Matt was able to join us for our weekly staff professional development session last Thursday and complete part of our starter quiz.  This was Matt´s 108th quiz so far since starting less than two weeks ago.  It was a real pleasure to meet Matt and to have the opportunity to reminisce with him about the 2003 final.  He was interested in every one of us and how we are successfully adapting our teaching and learning during these testing times.  He also answered a number of questions asked by the teachers at the Meet.  It was a real highlight of the school week and we would like to thank Matt again for his kindness and sincerity in joining us.  #NHSHeroes #StayHomeSaveLives #DawsDoesQuizzes @matt9dawson

Lockdown Likes

Rediscovering books of old

Sporting classics being retold

Rays of sunshine filter in

A joyous time to empty a bin

Lunching together (Spanish time)

Board games, jig-saws, quizzes, mime

Open windows fresh air breathes in

Online meetings (shorts and flip-flops!) let’s begin

Radio podcasts, #BBC

Nothing like a cuppa tea

The patter of rain, rumbles of thunder

Classic films, tears and wonder

International friends in a virtual space

aprendiendo español at my own pace

The distant sounds of cutting grass

Memories, summer days long in the past

Darting swallows busy at dusk

Old San Pedro makes no fuss

Coming together one community claps

The time, the place, the people, perhaps 

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Paul Crouch, 23.04.2020

Tres Cantos, Madrid

 Lies But Answers.

Contributed by Jade Harcourt-Harrison (2nd place, U14 Amnesty International Journalism Competition, Thailand)

AI

In Syria it is not difficult to find victims of felonious detention and torture. The conflict between the rebels and the Assad regime has had a massive impact on the country’s citizens. Thousands upon thousands of victimised people go missing in Syria: activists, opposition fighters, journalists, civilians and humanitarian workers. The government’s security police are persistently submitting innocent, harmless people to egregious detentions. These people are not political terrorists; they are not actively rebelling against the regime; they are simply helping people in this war torn environment.  However, because of these selfless acts their lives are destroyed. They all endure inhumane, unacceptable, violations of their human rights. The list of atrocities is shocking.

These victims are…

Snatched from society

Dragged into the depths of prisons

Thrown into rotting cells, darkness swallowing them, concealing them

Shackled to the floor, like animals

Tortured, tortured and tortured

Beaten, whipped, sexually harassed

Pushed into water, no air, burning in their chests

Hung from the ceiling by their hands and legs

Finally, they speak … lies… but answers. They will say anything, to stop the unbearable pain.

An example of these horrific crimes against humanity is an anonymous victim who reported to the BBC about her terrible experience in Syria. She was at a peaceful protest when the army started to open fire; which led to a bloody massacre. She bravely stayed to treat the injured protestors and later fled the city. During her escape the regime’s security police captured her.

44percent

“I was subjected to torture, atrocities, insults… They were focusing on the psychological element – insults, humiliation – as a punishment because of what I had done.”

Her ordeal was far from over…

“I was subjected to beatings, whippings, electric shocks. I was detained in a single cell, it was a horrible place under the ground. There were three floors – and I was kept there for one and a half months.”

After these horrendous actions had taken place, she was confirmed innocent in a trial in the country’s terrorism court. She then managed to escape to Lebanon to a refugee camp, continuing to endure hardship and suffering. She applied for a resettlement in England and luckily, this was granted.

Facilitating Debate

Facilitating Debate

However, masses of Syrians are not as fortunate, despite the continued efforts to resolve the conflict and eradicate these crimes against humanity.

We must continue to support humanitarian organizations that are working tirelessly to help these victims of torture. We must not let these abhorrent regimes camouflage their guilt in deceptions and denials.  We must ensure that the plight of these people doesn’t leave the media spotlight.  As the old Chinese proverb states: “it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Jade Harcourt-Harrison

St. Andrews International School – Green Valley, Thailand

 

Giving nature a home

A bug hotel

A bug hotel

Today me and jonah loot at sum bugs to put in ar log piyul mowstlee we loot undneef the bricks becus we fort that los of bugs will liv udneef thum for sayfdee so we lift thoom up but befor we evun think abat  it so I said we need a buckit in cays there ar poysun bugs so we got a buckit naw we can get sum bugs in ar buckis then we went to find some bugs I fawd some bugs so put thum in the howtel I will  thas wot I said naw jonah has fa wd some jonah  said Im gowing to put it in the howtel.

WP_20150708_006Today me and Jonah looked at some bugs to put in our log pile.  Mostly we looked underneath the bricks because we thought that lots of bugs will live underneath them for safety.  So we lifted them up but before we even thought about it so i said we need a bucket in case there are poisonous bugs so we got a bucket.  

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Now we can get some bugs in our buckets.  Then we went to find some bugs.  I found some bugs so put them in the (bug) hotel I will.  That’s what I said.  Now Jonah has found some. Jonahs said I’m going to put it in the hotel.

 

Giving Nature a Home: @natures_voice  www.rspb.org.uk

 

Make the ordinary come alive

One o'clock...

One o’clock…

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.

 

A tree climbing gang

A tree climbing gang

 

Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.

 

Sticks and rivers

Sticks and rivers

 

And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”

By William Martin

The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents