Team Box Activities in Action: Food Fight

New Global Citizens went to Arizona State University to meet 105 students in the Barrett Summer Scholars program. This awesome group of students was happy to participate in an activity about global wealth distribution from NGC’s Team Box called “Food Fight.”

The students were numbered and split up into 6 groups, each representing a region of the world (Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America & Caribbean, USA & Canada, and Oceania & Australia). Each group was proportional to both the land mass and population of the region. The groups were also each given a paper bag containing a number of pieces of candy, proportional to the region’s GDP as a percentage in relation to the rest of the world. Students were instructed to look at the contents of their bag and, discuss within their own group whether they were comfortable with what they had. Once individual discussions were finished, we shifted to a larger group discussion. After everyone was able to see what every group had in their paper bags, they discussed the real world applications of this exercise.

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BSS Students from the Asia group give a thumbs down for their overcrowding and lower GDP

When asked to describe how they felt after discovering the “GDP” of each region, there were mixed thoughts among the group. The USA & Canada and Europe groups said that before seeing what others had, they felt comfortable with what they had, and felt that they had more than enough. Once they saw other groups’ bags, they felt guilty. Students also discussed the effects of land mass and population. One student observed that in a region like Asia that is heavily and densely populated, overcrowding leads to pollution. And in Africa, where land area is abundant, students noted that even though there is space to grow in the region, they don’t have the technology to develop and take advantage of their resources. Many students in the discussion quickly realized how much more the U.S. and Europe have than other regions, and in doing so, increased their understanding of the world and the inequities seen in the activity. One student stated that even within the U.S., wealth distribution is extremely uneven, and that should be considered as well.

The discussion shifted to the question of what we as global citizens can and should do in the face of these inequities. One participant said that “Just giving them stuff isn’t enough; you have to teach them how to make and build things themselves.” Students discussed the importance of acting as global citizens to help alleviate global issues, and not just throw money and less developed countries as wealthy countries like the U.S. tend to do. Through further discussion, they grasped many of NGC’s foundational ideals, concluding that, as quoted by a student, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

This post was written by NGC Intern Kirstyn Rowen.

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Opportunity in Education

World and Book

Image Source: Villanova University Office of Education Abroad

As a student who has loved school and learning from a very young age, it was always difficult for me to fathom why someone would hate school. It seemed so sad to me – school is the best! However, starting in high school and continuing through college, I began to gain awareness of the challenges that face students and schools within many, many communities across the United States and the world. I began to find out the reasons why someone might not like school, and why some schools are not always able to provide the quality of education that all students deserve.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights includes access to education as a listed human right. Although students in the United States do have access to public education, not all students have access to the same quality of education. Many districts lack funding for the support that students need to achieve at their highest level, not to mention other challenges many students face outside the classroom. My hope is to help recognize and take down some of the barriers that inhibit children in our country from accessing quality education, a fundamental human right.

In preparation for graduate work in education policy, working with New Global Citizens has helped me expand my understanding of how we can best serve our students. I hope that all students will someday be able to connect with people and cultures throughout the world, and work together towards solutions to improve our world. Empowering them to do that is my goal and path.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Merry Farrier.

A Path Appears: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty (Part II) Review

Photo: http://apathappears.org/

Photo: Madame Rea (http://apathappears.org/)

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

“Talent is universal, opportunity is not.”

Who should watch: High school students (with parental consent) and adults

Why it’s important: The second installment of the A Path Appears series explores the connections between poverty and other barriers (education, healthcare, etc.) that are faced by countless across the globe.

What Maggie thought: A Path Appears: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty is a must-see and worthy follow-up to WuDunn and Kristof’s Half the Sky (documentary and film). This episode sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals living in extreme poverty in the U.S. (specifically West Virginia), Haiti, and Colombia.

The first location for this installment is in West Virginia, which is one of the poorest regions of the United States because of coal mines closing, manufacturing plants moving, and an overall lack of available jobs. As Jennifer Garner (native to the area) explains, “Poverty is not about not having money, but it’s about not having hope.” Kristof and Garner introduce us to Lynn, a young mother who is doing all she can to stop the cycle of poverty with her daughter by making education a priority. This part of the episode will be eyeopening for most who have not seen such extreme poverty in the United States.

Next, Kristof is off to Haiti to explore the history of aid and its impact on the country’s economic opportunities. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but the presence of countless development organizations has not changed its course. Kristof meets Madame Rea, a woman who runs a school for every child, no matter their financial situation. (In Haiti there is no public school system.) Madame Rea is an advocate for her students, which viewers see when she fights for the safety of a student who is a restavek (child slave). Madame Rea and her fellow Haitians prove that locally-led solutions are the best solutions.

Kristof wraps up this episode in Colombia to share how the Fundación Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar is providing opportunities for teen mothers. Young women in the program have access to job training, counseling, healthcare, and more. Fundación Juanfe is working to empower young women with children while also educating girls on how to stop the cycle of teenage pregnancy (and extreme poverty) in their community. This organization is a great example of a holistic approach to tackling a complicated problem.

Did you get the chance to see this episode? If so, what did you think?

Maggie Broderick, NGC Development & Operations Manager, reviewed A Path Appears to learn more about her click here.

Chiao Reflects on Education: A Pressing Global Issue

NGC Global Project, Sunshine Charity

NGC Global Project, Sunshine Charity

Education is a right, like the right to have proper food or shelter. Education serves as a passport to human development and it expands opportunities and freedom for everyone. It contributes to democracy and economic growth as well as improving health and reducing poverty among the people.

Since 2000, more girls have been enrolled in school than before, measuring from primary education to tertiary education. The number of secondary students has also risen substantially, more than four times that increase in the number of primary students. A major reason for the rise in school enrollments in Africa and Asia is the abolition of school fees and the prospect of a midday meal. However, it is also clear that many challenges still remain in creating opportunities for children to receive an education. Poverty remains as the major marker of disadvantage. Other disadvantaged populations include indigenous populations, street children and migrants, the disabled and cultural minorities. There is also an issue with the inability to recruit female teachers and supporting poor families to making the schools more girl-friendly.

Literacy and the equality of education remains among the most neglected of all education goals with about 796 million adults lacking literacy skills. Two-thirds of this number are women. Millions of children are leaving school without acquiring the knowledge and skills that will help them succeed in their futures. There are currently many different measures in increasing the number of enrollment to schools, like the United Nation’s Education For All program. They are striving to increase enrollment and subsequently increase literacy rates globally. Every citizen deserves a right to education and to be able to gain the proper skills and knowledge to succeed in life.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Chiao May Lee.

Tolleson NGC Uses Indiegogo to raise funds

Video

For an entire month, from February to March, the Tolleson NGC team worked towards developing an awareness video which would educate students and staff and the community about A Ban Against Neglect.

Now, the team is working towards raising $500 via indiegogo to help the young mothers of A Ban Against Neglect in Uganda, Africa.

If you wish to donate and help the team meet its goals, please click here!

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