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Partner Schools Worldwide > Our Programme > Projects & Development Education

Projects & Development Education

We are very aware of the controversy surrounding unskilled young people taking on projects in the developing world which some describe as “voluntourism”. We share the growing concern that unless the development context is fully understood by students, “project-based” trips can actually do more harm than good by reinforcing the very stereotypes we seek to challenge (e.g. “we need to rescue Africa”)

The reality is that the local impact of project work done by unskilled young people on trips will always be minimal BUT the long-term impact of young people gaining an understanding of development that is embedded in situ by personally engaging in a project can be huge.  Project work is therefore an important element of our programme and we maximise its positive impact in the following ways:-

  • We always set the project in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • We ensure all projects are sustainable and respond to local need by working with reputable local NGO’s
  • Uniquely, we have the travelling students and buddies collaborate on all aspects of development learning and project work.  This not only enables local buddies to learn about sustainable development but, by engaging them fully in project implementation, we challenge the notion from both sets of students that the local students need to be “rescued”

Benefits of Projects & Development Education

Global Impact

An understanding of development goals is essential in ensuring that the next generation understands the impact around the world of the personal choices they make every day

In our experience, understanding how development needs have come about historically and seeing the resulting inequality for themselves inspires individuals to want to take on more responsibility to tackle it

Personal Wellbeing

Seeing oneself as part of a community and taking action to contribute to one’s community have been proven to contribute to positive mental health

Because we are not tied to a particular charitable aim, we have no specific development agenda to pursue beyond equipping young people from both countries with a rounded understanding and an engaging personal experience of it

This means that we are free to work with you to select projects that bring to life any particular aspect of development that is most relevant to your school e.g. a girl’s school we work with have chosen to work with a local NGO supporting female entrepreneurship

Project costs are kept separate from trip costs, fully accounted for and paid directly to the NGO leading the project

We can help you teach your students about development in various different ways, depending on what you do currently. Some schools follow a curriculum we’ve developed for travelling students which starts before the trip and reviews their learnings following the trip. We can also help schools incorporate development learning into their existing curriculum so that all students can benefit.

We have also developed a unique set of SDG workshops which take place on the trip itself. These ensure that students learn why there is a need for development projects and how best/worst(!) to implement them before carrying out the project itself. These workshops have been carefully designed to incorporated the differing educational and cultural needs of travelling and local students and teachers and are delivered in conjunction with local NGO’s

get in touch

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us.  No pushy salespeople, we promise – just a friendly, open chat!

+44 (0) 1252 819462 
welcome@partnerschoolsworldwide.co.uk

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