Global School Networks CIC is a Community Interest Company focusing on connecting, educating and empowering children all of the world. We provide opportunities for children to progress in life, fulfil their potential and be active global citizens.
The idea originated from Kenya in 2005 and recently we became a CIC. Our core mission is to work with children, schools, families and communities ensuring that we can make a difference. We promote working and learning together between different countries and give people opportunities that they might not normally have. We are stronger working together and are more united. Education is a fundamental human right and it means that children get an excellent start to life. Often the world can appear confusing to children. The internet and television have resulted in us becoming more connected than ever. Sometimes it is difficult to fully understand and comprehend what life is like for others living in other countries. There are some many global issues that children don’t understand.
There is a world of possibilities out there! GSN wants the future to be bright and to increase the life chances for all children involved. The idea for GSN was first thought of in 2005. When John Burrows, the co-director of GSN, worked in Kenya. “It became apparent that the opportunity for children to work and learn together across the world was so important and that it meant that children would be given new experiences and make new links.” Unlike charities, GSN works with schools and communities to provide a service. It is more like a social enterprise scheme with money being spent to on children, schools and communities. Money is all spent on developing partnerships and maintaining communication. We provide a high quality service to schools and families in the UK. Many charities work by sponsoring a child, but it is far more effective to support a whole school and community and it also means that it is fair and equitable. Many schools in the developing world, like kenya, lack the basic infrastructure and resources. It should not matter where you live, buy unfortunately life chances are effected by where you live. GSN provides children with improved opportunities and the ability to make links with others.
GSN working to create opportunities for children
The concept of communication between children fosters a greater sense of empowerment by learning about other cultures and from other points of view. It instills the concept of being an active Global Citizen and how you can possibly impact on someone else’s life just by being there. The penpal project has really taken off and saw many children corresponding with each other for the first time. It has been a revelation and everyone has learnt something new. We also work with schools to develop a global dimension the in the curriculum and provide global school partnerships. GSN is able to manage and maintain links between schools. We have also introduced project work, which the children have worked on collaboratively on a curriculum based subject. We work with schools and communities in Kenya to support them with social enterprise schemes. GSN also provides tutoring opportunities to ensure that children fulfil their potential.
Children enjoying the letter writing project
“I want to see Global School Network develop and progress, as it has huge opportunities for expansion. It is a very exciting time as GSN expands and goes into the next phase of development,” says John Burrows, Director of GSN. Alongside our communication work we would like to support schools In kenya with the infrastructure and capacity to improve. We would like to see learning hubs set up for the community to use, so that schools are able to embrace technology. It seems strange in a world of the internet that still some communities are left behind and don’t have the same access as others do.
In the future, we would like to expand our work and links to other countries; creating a network of schools and communities all working together. The more connections there are then the more opportunities exist.
Of course all this depends on you. Support from you is important for the growth of GSN. Unlike other larger organisations, where money gets swallowed up, GSN provides an alternative. We are a community based organisation working with local people to invest where it matters. You can actively see what happens and what difference you are making to the schools and children involved. Global School Network is a CIC a Community Interest Company with money going towards social enterprise initiatives. We want to support environmental projects, that can bring more money into communities by selling produce at markets, which can mean more money for schools. Often schools don’t have any books therefore we would like to fund a library van brining knowledge and books to some isolated areas. Technology is lack and we would like to build capacity for students to access the internet and correspond with each other.
John Burrows, John Okanga, James Orembe, James Wangwe. The management group in Kenya