How do your students know their peers living in vastly different cultural settings?
Can they really connect?
What can they learn from one another?
Palms Australia has teachers working with young people from refugee camps on the Thai/Myanmar border; the atolls of Kiribati, where existence is threatened by climate change, and in Samoa where rugby champions are reared. The students of course have so much more going on in their lives than what these single stories suggest. Letting them talk directly with your students will expose many more life lessons on both sides.
Palms’ Australian teachers abroad will enable your students to come together as a community of friends. Friends then work together to raise awareness, undertake further research, share cultural resources (such as music and prayer to enrich school ceremonies) and build global solidarity.
Your students will gain views informed by harsh reality, but also feel the hope of students who value the opportunities education provides. In turn, your students can be agents of incalculable good for our global students.
As Anthony Gittins reminds us, such connections can:
“… begin to rehabilitate those with crushed self-esteem or verging on despair. When strangers become recognizable as friends and are able to embrace and be embraced, they are transformed into a community of friends.”
Anne Chapman, who taught in Atabae, Timor Leste, found this transformation when introducing Timorese students to those in Australia. Their engagement-
“…really helped to show our privileged private school girls that Leni and Katarina (from Atabae) are similar in many ways- they loved animals, loved singing and dancing, loved their families and were indeed very happy… I asked our Australian girls if they would like to have Leni and Katarina as friends. Hence the Grade 4 girls made friendship bands and we started a pen pal system – with pen and paper of course!”
Take the first transforming step and enquire today.