Generation Global helps open minds in Jordan
22 Jun 2016
The war in nearby Syria has seen Jordan host over 600,000 refugees, while Islamic militancy in neighbouring countries presents security challenges. Globally, there is a trend of young people being radicalised by the ideology, narratives, and propaganda spread by extremists. Education can help students to resist the pull of extremist ideology and narratives, when it encourages critical thinking skills, citizenship values, and respect for diversity.
Our work in Jordan
Generation Global is our international education programme which prepares students to deal with difference, giving them the skills and experience they need to navigate the world in a peaceful way. Since 2009, the programme has been working in Jordan to increase interactions between students from diverse backgrounds, and support dialogue and understanding.
We have previously worked with United Nations Relief and Works Agency ( UNRWA) schools, and Syrian refugees, and currently work with Jordanian schools and Islamic centres. In schools, more than 6000 students have been taught Generation Global materials, and 255 videoconferences have taken place with countries including the UK, USA, Palestine, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. We also work with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, and in 2016 began to train government schools on using our resources.
"Generation Global was one of the most memorable experiences I had in high school"
Generation Global for me was one of the most memorable experiences I had in high school. It’s not every day you are presented with the chance to interact with people from all over the world. Here in Jordan there isn’t much diversity so it’s a rare chance to be able to meet new people. Throughout Generation Global, my classmates and I were able to swap ideology and life experiences with people from all over the world. – Student
When I knew there was a conference I prepared myself and even wrote my questions and what shall I say. But when I started I forgot everything. But teacher Somaya calmed me down – she said, ‘it is ok to be afraid, just relax and talk from your heart’. I closed my eyes and looked at them and started talking. I felt it was safe to talk and not be afraid. – Student
Somaya is a teacher at Al-Hassad Al-Tarbawi International School in Amman, Jordan, which has taken part in a number of Generation Global videoconferences. Somaya has also been a facilitator for our programme since March this year, and recently wrote to us, talking about her experience of Generation Global, and its impact on her students.
I remembered how much effort Generation Global put in … students reach the ultimate level of acceptance of others, and accept diversity in their community. They remember that even if we have different religions, backgrounds, communities, and languages, we have something that unifies us.
"Students reach the ultimate level of acceptance of others, and accept diversity"
I realised that we already have utopia: it is within the Generation Global community. From facilitators to teachers and students, they can speak their minds freely and safely. They can even discuss sensitive topics. They can explore each other's thoughts and know what is true and what is not. They can know and build their own opinions.