Over the past months, ChildFund has been piloting a development education campaign in Irish schools. Today, representatives of ChildFund went to Darndale Senior National School to talk to the children who were learning about Maico in Mozambique.
Thinking back to when they started the programme, one student wasn’t too proud to admit that, ‘before this, I didn’t even know Mozambique existed!’ That has certainly changed – students presented us with an impressive collection of work on the country. Here, a student shows what they had learned about the symbolism of the Mozambican flag:
whilst a budding cartographer had drawn this impressive map:
Students had also compared their lives to Maico’s. Reflecting on the difference, they noted that the weather and conditions were much harder for him. His family had very little money or possessions, and it was harder for him to get a good education. Even getting basic things like water required a huge amount more work than it does in Ireland. “It makes us realise how fortunate we are here’, they said.
But they had taken away plenty of positives about Maico’s life too – whilst he didn’t have proper toys, students were impressed by his creativity and imagination in making toys out of waste – some of which they had had the chance to play with in class. And they noted that in many ways, he was quite fortunate – for example, his dad was the teacher in the local school, so he was getting a better education than most. Students viewed Maico as a happy child – after all, he has his family and friends around him, he’s healthy, and he’s supported by those around him as well as ChildFund. Overall, they reported that taking part in the programme had changed their view of life in Africa for the better.
Finally, if development education is about creating an understanding of why international development is a worthwhile project, perhaps the best indication that the programme is succeeding came in the form of this little doodle on the back of one girl’s booklet: