Our core vision is a world in which communities unite to create the future that they want to see through education.
Our process in Ghana involves the following stages (note that ‘we’ refers to our locally based team):
- We identify individuals or teams who want to create change in their communities through education, often through our online courses in global development, postcolonial perspectives and social entrepreneurship education courses.
- We help them to build a team and strategy to create that change built from local community interests, also connecting them to a network of over 400 educational volunteers who share ideas via WhatsApp and conferences.
- Selected Catalysts participate in our Community Leadership in Education (CLEd) programme, which involves training in basic project management, community engagement, education programme design, child protection & inclusion, fundraising & social entrepreneurship, literacy development, and communication for change. Optional courses include practical STEM and advanced literacy.
- We support them in the creation of Spots (community-led libraries), often supporting with books, science kits, IT equipment and supporting construction.
- We offer communities optional trainings in leading literacy (EduLit) and practical STEM (EduSTEM) clubs with the option to apply to lead our 10 day ‘STEM for a Sustainable Future’ camps for JHS 2 students.
- Our catalysts grow in the confidence and understanding of effecting change.
- Many users of the ‘spots’ have improved confidence and educational outcomes. We are now witnessing many users becoming new catalysts for action.
Why work with communities and not just schools? Some reasons…
- Education can be driven by local aspirations and understanding, relating to local concerns.
- Student performance is directly linked to parental engagement & community influences.
- This allows students, teachers & community members to take ownership of projects.
- Volunteers grow skills & drive project sustainability.
- Students can work together on school work and on wider projects that move beyond national curriculums.
- Students can see active citizenship role modelled by volunteers, leading to later active engagement in their communities.
- All students can have access to space, resources & support in evenings & weekends. Schools & adults can share resources and therefore optimise usage.
- Teachers & students from different schools can work together rather than existing in silos.
Our Current Theory of Change
Dream Spot Model
Together with our communities, we have created a model for what we think the ‘ideal’ or ‘dream’ Spot would look like: