With the global community facing the worst humanitarian crisis in more than half a century, many governments and NGOs struggle just to provide basic services like food and shelter, forcing millions of children to go without education. But education isn’t a luxury. It’s the only thing that can give these children hope for a better tomorrow, and give the world hope for a more peaceful future.
The Global Schoolhouse Initiative provides free K-8 emergency education for children in impoverished communities and child refugees. Our emergency education program is designed to provide students with the emotional skills to deal with their stress and trauma, and the intellectual skills to become strong, resourceful adults. We work with NGOs, governmental organizations and local communities, providing a self-sustaining educational program that builds resilience, positive psychology, and global knowledge.
Our system requires no teachers, no classrooms, and only one laptop per class. Our classes can be led by any literate adult or older child in the community. Most importantly, because our program requires no permanent presence, we can do the most good with our resources. One laptop can give thousands of children a fighting chance at a better future.
If the eye of the heart is open, in each atom there will be one hundred secrets
~ Farid ud-Din Attar
Children learn from traumatic experiences as well as from positive ones. Refugee children and others at risk of trauma are much more likely to struggle as adults, putting them at risk of generational poverty, illness and violence. A study by the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente found that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) like abuse, hunger and neglect are linked to negative outcomes later in life. From drug and alcohol abuse, to suicide, to sexual violence, the more ACEs a child endures, the more likely those stressful experiences are to damage their future.
However, trauma doesn’t have to doom children to a bleak future. Resilience education can help overcome toxic stress, and achieve better outcomes. One high school that adopted a resilience education program saw major improvements in student performance and well-being. Suspensions decreased by 82% overall, helping the whole community, but the results were particularly impressive for at-risk students. Low resilience students achieved better grades, and 72% improved to average or high resilience.
For traumatized children, resilience education can transform their future, giving them the strength to build something better for the next generation. Through evidence-based resilience education, the Global Schoolhouse Initiative can give impoverished children the strength to be global citizens, leaders, and peacemakers.