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Global School Networks would like to send their best wishes to people of kenya this week after the awful news of the recent terrorist attack in Nairobi. It highlights the conflict that is going on around the world between terrorism and an ideology that considers attacking others as the best way to achieve their desired goal. Peace is something that we should all strive for.

Deep inequality between the rich and poor in society and the lack of opportunities to progress in life is a breeding ground for terrorists. Through education, peace building and programmes connecting students around the world then we can do something about this.

After a visit to a secondary school in Kenya and hearing about how some people were coming into the village from Al Shabab and trying to recruit students by promising them that they could provide a better lifestyle then you can see how easy this is. Showing students that there is a world of opportunities out there if they strive for a good education is extremely important.

Global School Networks is working with students to provide opportunities that they would not normally have. Allowing children to have a voice, communicate with others and explain what it is like living in another country and trying to appreciate what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes is something that we offer. Joint curriculum projects mean the students are able to work and learn together.

The global community has got to act together. Unfortunately there has been lots of cuts to development budgets recently. It is these peace building budgets that are seriously important to prevent terrorist attacks and prevent the radicalisation of children. This is not just in kenya, but recent attacks in the UK and France show that it is a global problem.

Tackling deep rooted inequality has got to be a goal for society. Reducing the divides between rich and poor and creating more opportunities for social mobilisation, so that children can see a way out of poverty. The Sustainable Development Goals should be a focus for everybody. We should not sit back and say that we can’t do something about it. Everybody can make a difference no matter how small to the world in which we live.

As Director of GSN In Kenya, John Okanga, explained, “I am so happy that the GSN initiative continues to receive overwhelming support through social media. As Director of GSN in Kenya, I get new energy every day I read those encouraging comments from all of you out there. I believe that through this humble initiative, God’s children around the world will share the sights and sounds of creation from near and far and begin to appreciate the diversity that characterizes and beautifies this world, as they learn from one another. This is in itself a major step in developing appreciation of diversity so much needed for re-building the cohesion fabric that has been destroyed by self seeking people that turn previously loving, caring communities into ferocious animals full of hate and ethnic intolerance! Our children are our future, our hope!”

He goes onto say,  “I am just imagining how the Global School Network would provide a platform for many young and innocent minds to develop values and aspirations that shape their thinking away from terrorist mentalities. Already many youth have reportedly been recruited into such groups from Kenya with promises of better lives. This is a sham, deceit that should not be allowed to spread to such innocent minds. I am deeply concerned about the future leaders of not just Kenya, but of this world. And to the leadership of countries all over the world, may you be the examples that such children will emulate as they grow up! I trust that these children will find direction for their future through being part of GSN!

Nelson Mandela was there person who said “education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.” Globally about 64 million children still don’t go to school on a regular basis. Poverty and conflict are a couple of reasons why this happens. Giving children a voice and letting them become educated, active global citizens allows them to grown up and be the future generations that will make a difference to the world we live in.

Connecting and empowering children is our aim at Global School Networks. By supporting us, you will be making a difference to everybody involved and helping to create a world of happy and included children. Sign your school up, so you can be connected to one in kenya, give your child the gift of friendship through our pen friend project, support us through giving money to support our community development work, bring your community group together and get it linked up.

Together we can make a difference one step at a time.