Future Learning Space · Refugee crisis · Right to Education

Choosing hope

This excerpt is taken from a Research Report on the Education of Syrian Refugee children – by Shelly Culbertson and Louay Constant.  You can find the report here: RAND Research Report: The Education of Syrian Refugee Children

What caught my eye was the list of Recommendations.


Can you just for a minute, imagine if you were the person whose desk this was dropped onto- if you are the person in the position of problem-solving this – what looks like insurmountable crisis- and THIS list is essentially your ToDo list? Where would you even start? If this were an ER Department in a hospital, how could you triage this list?  What would be the priorities that actually take priority over all the other priorities?!

It truly makes one feel overwhelmed, and begin to be enveloped by a sense of hopelessness. Just HOW can all of this be solved, be managed?

But in the words of the late Christopher Reeve, “Once you choose Hope anything is possible.

That’s where aid groups, humanitarian organisations, charities, and volunteers made up of everyday people wanting to help out however they can, come in.  When something as big – as EPIC- as dire as this is happening, it will take all acts of support, assistance and  care – however big or small – from a great many to snowball a movement of collaborative support and crisis care. And the one thing common to all involved, is they are choosing Hope.



Future Learning Space · Mission Statement · Refugee crisis · TWB · Vision

Mission & Vision Statement

My Mission Statement for my Future Learning Space is a task, that initially, when reading through what was required, I thought how on earth am I going to come up with something half intelligible…..but then I started researching. And reading. And viewing. And seeing. And at the risk of sounding cliched, and scripted – I started feeling heartbroken at what these refugee children are enduring. The terror. The confusion. The loss. The grief. The feeling that the world has turned its collective backs on them. And so writing my Mission Statement suddenly became a no-brainer. What drives me in this task, is simply, to help. The Refugee Crisis of our world in 2016 is staggering beyond belief in terms of statistics.


More than half of the world’s refugees are children. This crisis is heartbreaking in terms of its impact on human lives.  Do you know that the estimated average length of time for refugees to be displaced from their homes, from their countries is now 17 years? 17 YEARS. That’s a childhood.

The fact that education of millions of refugee children is an unfortunate casuality in this most despairing of situations, is reason enough for those of us who are educators, to be proactive in whatever way possible in giving these children safe access, inclusive access, to education and to learning.

My Mission Statement  is to craft and create a Future learning space which serves to address the needs of refugee children, incorporating the Teachers Without Borders initiative, Child-Friendly Spaces.  TWB’s mantra is connecting teachers to information and to each other in order to bring about social change.  In the spirit of this mantra, I hope to enact change, awareness, even a change in perspective if necessary – for those of us looking upon this crisis, by researching, exploring and investigating platforms for this change.

My Vision Statement, as I previously shared on an earlier post, draws on my understanding and knowledge of the 6 Learning Spaces- and is to create a learning space that addresses the needs of refugee children to have an outlet for their creative expression, an outlet for expressing that which words simply cannot.  By drawing on the fundamentals of the Personal learning space, and Collaborative Space  to operate within the parameters of a Child-Friendly Space (TWB initiative) students  have the opportunity to participate in  Art Therapy activities that incorporate and engage in key learning areas.  I hope to help students re-ignite their learning journeys, their curiosity and passion for learning, and safely explore and express their inner-most thoughts and feelings, and hopefully set on a path to healing and resilience. Focus for this Future Learning Space is with the Akre Camp (known as the Akre Castle) in Duhok, Iraq.

Refugee crisis · Right to Education

Where the Children Sleep

Please take some time to look at this photo journalism piece by Magnus Wennman (including featured image above).

As a mother, it rips my heart open.

As a human being, it fills me with shame as to what unspeakable despair humans can drive fellow human beings to.

For so many children suffering the traumas of conflict at the moment, education is probably not high on the list of priorities, but I have to believe that every small action every one of us can enact on, or support, has to be better than sitting idle and doing nothing.

Where the Children Sleep