Laidlaw Scholars Supporting Education Globally During the Covid Crisis
This week, more than 30 Laidlaw Scholars from the UK, Ireland, Canada, the US, Rwanda, and India, launched the Reaction for Education program: a one-week program to get to action to support education during the Covid crisis.
Getting in touch with parents, kids, or teachers around you to assess their needs, contacting tech companies to provide digital material for underprivileged families, registering for tutoring... Those are the kinds of actions that the Laidlaw Scholars will encourage the participants of the Reaction for Education program to take.
The Reaction for Education program is a one-week program during which participants join a group of 15 people who, just like them, want to get to action to support education all over the world. They are guided by two "mobilisers", who are Laidlaw Scholars: their role is to guide the participants to action, to encourage them along the way, and to help solve challenges they are facing. Every day, the participants receive an email with suggested actions, and kits and guides to complete the action. And everyday, they speak through an online session together to share their successes and challenges.
Creating content for the program
For the last two weeks, the scholars have been preparing the content of the program, so that it adapts to the actual needs of parents, teachers, and kids all over the world.
First, they experimented with the program as participants, in order to spot the potential improvements and challenges faced by future participants. Then they designed content that could be provided to parents, kids, or teachers, to help them during these unusual times. These include:
- Websites to gather resources such as iAscend by Brandon (US), this one by Lena, Moyin and Farida (UK), and this site by Siddharth (India).
- Rose created a resource pack for parents to use to help keep their kids active and fit in lockdown if they have limited space and access to outdoor areas;
- Kahra created a video that provides a fun way to learn for children.
Communicating to recruit volunteers
To ensure we had enough participants to launch the program, Scholars posted all over social networks (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn...) to recruit participants. They created graphic content to attract participants into this adventure, and even created Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Make sure to follow them!
Getting trained to become mobilisers
Last week, all the Scholars followed a live training and watched modules (videos) to go deep into how to support their participants during the week. Those include learning about community building (how to create a feeling of belonging within a group), online facilitation (how to facilitate online calls, WhatsApp groups), and much more.
Zulekha, a scholar from the UK, has been coordinating the whole team to be sure the program is ready to launch and to support the mobilisers during this week. Good job Zulekha!
Congrats to all the scholars for your energy, contribution, and will to make an impact!