Sonairte has successfully run ‘Youth for Change’, a Global Citizenship Education (GCE) project for post primary school students and teachers since 2013. ‘Youth for Change’ is generously funded by World Wise Global Schools as part of an Irish Aid Development Education grant.
Over the years we have had the privilege of working directly with over 20 schools in Meath, Dublin and Louth, engaging with both students, teachers and the wider school community through our student workshops and teacher training events.
Through participating in ‘Youth for Change’, students are offered the space and time to immerse themselves in nature, adopt an eco-centric perspective and strengthen their positive resilience using Global Citizenship Education (GCE) approaches.
Our specific objectives are:
- To empower and inspire post primary school teachers using GCE
- To empower and inspire post primary school students using GCE
- To foster nature connection and a sense of responsibility to the natural world and to one another.
Our 2020-21 ‘Youth for Change’ project has an emphasis on cross cultural exchange, connecting local school communities and refugee and asylum seeking communities with one another and with nature. Sonairte welcomes all community members to co-create a shared space for reflection, storytelling and transformative change.
Throughout the project, students explore their role as global citizens and how they might create more equitable and sustainable communities. They are supported to flex their active citizenship muscles by engaging in research and action projects that complement and enhance their learning. Students are empowered to take steps towards change which can be applied to address local and global issues, recognising how the two are inseparable.
Nature connection and mindfulness are integrated into the programme supporting inner transformation in the journey to being an engaged pro-active citizen and helping to alleviate anxiety around the climate and biodiversity crises. ‘Youth for Change’ fosters empathy, adaptability, collaboration, creativity and communication, as well as promoting self-esteem and empowerment. All of these skills are nurtured and cultivated through immersion in nature connection practices throughout the programme.
Sonairte offers further support to schools through teacher training workshops, where teachers come together to explore best practice and innovative ways of integrating GCE into their classrooms. Some of the themes covered in our past GCE training workshops are: Global Citizenship Education and Stewardship of the Earth; Permaculture Design Principles; Design your School Garden; and Empathy in Education.
Please contact Nicola Winters on 087 293 7884 with any questions or if you wish to visit Sonairte with your post primary students for a Global Citizenship Education workshop.
During 2021 many of our activities were behind closed doors, we made some videos to share the beauty of nature and to share diverse voices talking about what nature means for them. We hope you enjoy!