Published: 2019-03-17 12:27
Last Updated: 2019-03-17 14:37
Global Nomads Group’s program is a middle and high school-based program that exposes Jordanian students and classrooms to their global peers, through virtual exchanges aimed at promoting meaningful connections. GNG’s programs give all young people the skills and opportunity to engage with difference, harness the power of their voice, and experience deep empathy.
The organization’s signature program, Campfire: Collaborating Classrooms, gives youth worldwide a virtual space to connect and tell stories. Utilizing an asynchronous online platform, youth leverage the power of storytelling to learn about one another. Rather than have global youth share opinions and information about themselves with one another, GNG engages them in sharing stories. The stories are often brief, yet impactful, revealing deep truths through small moments, bringing social issues to life through day-to-day realities. Before bringing the program to their students, teachers join a global community of educators participating in GNG - led innovative professional development workshops that equip them with the tools needed to introduce global education in their classrooms.
Since 1998, GNG has reached more than one million students in over 60 countries on all seven continents. In 2013, GNG opened a regional office in Amman, Jordan to lead the organization’ growth in the Middle East and North Africa region.
An educator at Al Shobak School located in Irbid, Jordan shared that "As a teacher, the Campfire program [allowed] me to apply teaching methodologies as effective group work. Although it is promoted in our national curriculum, it is sometimes hard to apply due to the big class student numbers. But the way the group forums are structured helped me a lot with that. It was also great to see how independent my students are as learners. When working on their stories, I was surprised by their work."
Another educator at Fagoo’ High School for girls added, “I would like to express my happiness with this experience. The things that I like in this program are that it simulates cultures that we are not familiar with and connects with other communities to learn their cultures It is good that we will work together to achieve these goals.”
In Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Palestine, GNG works with schools located in underserved areas to provide them with opportunities they otherwise might not have. GNG envisions young people today, no matter who they are or where they live, as, “the generation that will lead us forward into a more just world, one that preserves the human dignity of each and every person.”
After participating in GNG programs, students at Um Kulthoom School in Al Zarqa’a, better understood some of the challenges Jordan faces when integrating Syrian refugee youth into Jordanian public schools. Through their collaboration with Syrian classmates, a group of Jordanian students have discussed their personal stories and triumphs with each other and their global peers. At the end of the program, the students were inspired to positively engage with their community and become active global citizens by raising awareness of issues that affect youth such as smoking, drug addiction, and school dropout.
Mohamed, a student that goes to Al-Hasan School in Irbid reflected that "Campfire will stay always with me. I will work hard to learn more about English, and I will remember the difficulty I had in writing English in Campfire and how much I improved. I will also remember the interactions with students and their stories.”
Participating youth from all over the world have shown growth in many areas according to their educators. GNG states that 90% of educators have noted an increase in students’ enthusiasm in contributing to positive change in their communities, 87% of educators report that students made substantial gains in global awareness, and 75% educators say that students developed their digital literacy skills. Some youth are building their self-confidence and leadership skills, others are practicing new languages and forming friendships, but they all are learning about themselves and our world in a new way.
The regional director of Global Nomads Organization, Ihab Salameh, explained that “Through our programs students can build their 21st-century skills that enable them to realize the important role they play in their society and grow the sense of belonging to their identity and how they can positively contribute to the positive change”.
Global Nomads Group is continuously working to expand its reach and diversify its programs. In 2019, GNG launched personalized learning programs and youth-led facilitation conversations to ensure that youth around the world are engaging with their global community. Learn more here.