GCC & Concern Worldwide
My trip to Malawi, Africa, was singlehandedly the best experience of my life.
In a Model UN class I participated in for years, we used a curriculum called Global Concerns Classroom. This curriculum was introduced to my mom and I by Pauline N, who taught my sister's Global Issues class years before. The curriculum is the educational arm of Concern Worldwide, a NGO primarily based out of Dublin, Ireland. Concern currently works in 29 countries to transform the lives of the world's poorest people. The GCC curriculum was created by Concern in order to educate young people about global issues around the world, and how to take action. The organization "... does not promote one way of thinking, but emphasizes critical thinking, debate and analysis, and informed action"(gcc.concernusa.org ). Through the GCC lessons, we focused on topics such as complex emergencies, refugee awareness, child labor and survival, maternal health and nutrition, education, displacement and climate change, among many others. The Global Concerns Classroom has been an outlet for me in so many different ways.
Through the lessons this past school year, we looked at complex emergencies. In March of 2017, we attended the Global Youth Summit in Boston. There, we were split into teams with other schools from the area, and for the day, analyzed a specific country, finding solutions to combat their emergencies.
After such in depth learning about global issues, the curriculum encouraged students to apply for the 2017 Field Visit offered by Concern Worldwide each year. After attending the Youth Summit, showcasing the Community Action Plan, writing an essay and answering a few questions, I was able to apply for Concern's Field Visit to Malawi, which would take place in July of 2017. Three students from the United States would be chosen, as well as six from Ireland.
In May, I was informed that I had been chosen as one of the students to travel with Concern to Malawi in July. Thanks to Global Concerns Classroom and Concern Worldwide, I was given the experience of a lifetime at absolutely no cost - to travel across the globe, and experience firsthand just how much Concern is doing to aid in these communities. I learned more in that one week in Malawi than ever before. For those seven short days, we traveled to 5 different villages, interacting and learning with the people that live there, so that we could come back home and share what we learned with our community. Learning about programs such as Theatre for a Change, Star Circles, SKILLZ, the Graduation Project and Emergency Livelihoods, I was given a whole new perspective on our world and my own circumstances. I could have never fully prepared myself for this trip, but what I did see and experience, was so much more than I could have imagined.
In the end, we are so much more the same than we are different. Our circumstances may be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but as people, we are all one.
// I hope you will follow my blog, where I will share in depth descriptions of the specific programs, villages and people I learned about and from.
Concern Worldwide concernusa.org
Fundraising for Concern Worldwide will help communities all around Malawi, as well as in other underdeveloped nations across the globe. Every donation, no matter how big or small, will help in combatting global poverty. I am so grateful I was able to travel and learn with Concern this summer, and I hope to share more and more of what I learned, with my community.
Together, our efforts could make even the smallest difference for one individual living in poverty.
Thank you :)