When learners, teachers and colleges all work for the common good, society transforms. We have witnessed this phenomenon around the world—now more than ever.
The Director of the Doxavil International School Oghara, in Nigeria, said that Full-Circle Learning programs made his school the best in the region. When promoted to become provost of the Mosugar College of Education, he quickly acted to train graduating student teachers from two colleges and to launch the FCL course, Why We Learn, into Nigerian teacher education. He told them about the sweeping reforms he had seen as a principal among learners engaged in Full-Circle Learning.
Maverick Nigerian Full-Circle Learning Facilitator Harry Kennedy has helped such K-12 schools break new ground in the Delta State. His own students helped more than 20,000 Nigerians prevent malaria and infectious disease and monitor chronic health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Now Harry has set his sights on eradicating another disease—teenage addiction. During the school break, he sponsored a long-term camp to offer a sense of purpose for youth leaning toward dangerous lifestyles, guiding these teens to embrace their own power to become tomorrow’s young leaders.
Full-Circle Learning students celebrate the intersection of life skills, scholarship, the arts, and community giving. Service projects sometimes honor mentors or elders who demonstrate these community transformation skills.
For example, Nigerian students at the Estate Community Primary School, in Osun State, spent three weeks learning the art of batik, dyeing waxed cloth in rich patterns.
During this training, they embraced the habit-of-heart of creativity—not only in their artwork, but by seeking creative paths to enrich their community. The children sensed that happiness in the human family depends on the fabric created in their own classroom family.
In a first step to giving back, the students’ honored their batik instructor, Abel Alfred, a local artisan who graduated from the school himself some years ago. They chose some of their best work to offer to Mr. Alfred as a gift.
Help Full-Circle Learning’s students transform their communities with creativity.
Across Africa each year, 215 million people suffer from malaria, according to the World Health Organization. In some regions, the death toll surpasses that of Covid-19. When malaria strikes a community, 67% of the dead are children—but Africa’s children also lead the campaign to make malaria a problem of the past.
Full-Circle Learning students realized that tackling any public health crisis begins with the habit-of-heart of awareness. Schools in Liberia, Nigeria, and Zambia currently work together to spread the awareness that can protect communities from malaria.
In Nigeria, Harvard International students traveled across the region to galvanize peers as health advocates in their effort to save lives. A team of student researchers learned from their visit to a local hospital and taught their new knowledge to their classmates for a half an hour daily. Via cell phone, they met with learning partners abroad. Inspired by this international exchange of wisdom, they next traveled to another town, Umutu, where they visited six schools and trained 2,700 children and 170 parents to act as health advocates. In the photo above, the students are on the road to make this change.
Meanwhile, the rainy season brought flooding to Liberia. Standing water bred new mosquitoes to carry the malaria parasite. At Ma Vonyee G. Dahn Memorial School, students toured a malaria research lab and a public health department to get the facts. They shared specially treated mosquito nets and information about treatment with families in 14 homes. Elderly and high-risk community members who lived near the school happily received the gifts. Other community members welcomed a public presentation (see photo below) which detailed the steps for mosquito eradication.
Zambia’s Gifteria School also undertook a malaria prevention project. Students, parents, and teachers worked together to clean up the local environment and drain standing pools where mosquitoes could breed. Two local orphanages were especially vulnerable, due to their location near a stream. The Gifteria students visited these orphanages and the surrounding community, mosquito-proofing the landscape and giving treated nets to those in greatest need.
By enhancing their projects through “wisdom exchanges,” each group of global learners accomplished more than they could have on their own. At present, the students continue their public health advocacy to improve the wellbeing of their human family.
Help FCL’s students slap out malaria.
In one project, students from HarvardInternational School offered valuable quotes about the purpose of learning when interviewed about their response to distance learning provided by FCL during the pandemic. (See the distance learning video on this site.)
The school has offered integrated learning strategies to help students engage in various transformational projects such as:
In 2020, Funmilayo Aberejesu also brought her Full-Circle Learning experience gained at Gambian schools back to her homeland in the Osogho Osun state of Nigeria, where she worked with students from the Salvation Army school.
Below, teachers gathered for one of multiple regional trainings in the Delta region.