Learning your Impact in Local and Global Communities
by Amanda Malamut, Simply Equal Education
In the next couple of weeks, students from all over the United States are heading back into the school routine. While we know that the basics like math and English will be covered in classrooms, but we want to make sure that students are self-aware and realize that they can be agents of change. Students should learn that their actions, no matter how small, can make a significant impact in their local and global communities.
Simply Equal Education (SEE) works to help young people in the United States and Equatorial Guinea understand their role as active agents of social change and to help them develop relationships with their peers around the world. Working with schools, youth groups, etc. students in the United States and Canada have helped send over 3 tons of schools supplies to a school in Equatorial Guinea that would normally not have access to basic school supplies.
Simply Equal Education believes that young people have unique ideas that can change the world. Our work in Equatorial Guinea and United States focuses efficacy through meaningful worldwide connections between students. These connections are forged through workshops, school supply drives, and a pen pal program. We want kids to understand that changing their world could mean helping in the back yard, school, neighborhood, town or city, state or county, or even the entire globe.
The importance of agency and self-empowerment within international education and exchange can be summarized beautifully by the Director of a partner school, talking about Dear Friend (SEE's new pen pal program) (translated from Spanish):
The boys and girls have read the letters that their American friends have sent, and have been happy to send the corresponding answers. We hope to continue this activity in correspondence to reinforce our growing friendship and brotherhood. No matter the long distance that separates us... we are given the understanding in their hearts that you have some brothers and sisters who are not close to you and that we are united spiritually.
SEE believes it is not simply a piece of paper or a pencil, it is an opportunity for a child to write their name or color a picture and a chance for a child to see that they too can make a lasting difference in the world. Helping youth connect with and learn from each other through an awareness of self, awareness of community, and an awareness of others is what we believe defines the true essence of education.
Students connecting all over the world, knowing and believing that they have the power to positively impact their world. We believe that this is not a grand idea, but simply, an equal education for all.
Amanda Malamut is the Chief Operating Officer of Simply Equal Education. Click here, to learn more about how to get involved with Simply Equal Education.