EDEM630 Tomorrow Is Here! #SP4Ed

Learning Cloud Hubs set up by children who grew up in refugee camps; leading development in their country.

syrian_refugee_10

Growing up in a Refugee Camp

So you have been wondering  how it is possible that children who grew up in dire situations could possibly be leading change in their country. The natural deductions that are made are usually that these children would have been ravaged by a war, not of their own making, would have their lives n disrupted and ruined for ever. However, these group of 200 children have a different story to tell!

In these camps, once winter had passed and snowmen built they had nothing to do other than play around and pull pranks on the neighbours in the tents; then make a dash for it so they would not get caught. They did not have to worry about food and water because it was provided by these large tanks that drew up raising the desert sand into a cloud. However, they had nothing else and boredom began to set in.

Finally, out of curiosity and something to do, they visited a home where some volunteers had set up fun learning labs using tablets and computers. It was fascinating to work with them and play games. There were no limitations and only some basic s rules around the care of the equipment; otherwise you could dream up any future you wanted. And that is exactly what these children did.

At home in a 'Cloud!'

At home in a ‘Cloud!’

What started as a game to build a new country and some fun learning scenarios around when they went back to their country, turned out to be a reality. While interviewing Raed, as he showed us around the creatively planned space he called his ‘ Dream Come True’, he kept pointing out with exuberance the finished scenarios which had been ‘dreamed’ up those 20 years ago. He picked up a globe and passed it to me with almost a gleam in his eyes; I should have been warned by that look! I was immediately in a cloud ( literally) with myriads of options I could choose from. Almost intuitively, it presented the choices I would have made; the history of the journey of the lab, the jobs that these children were all involved in, how they were linked etc.

I was impressed! Preempting my questions he touched one of the faces and I had the opportunity to see the discoveries that Zara had made. A seat which turned into a media centre for a student with everything imaginable on it. Zara asked me if I would like to try it in the lab and I looked dubiously at Raed. Could I travel through the globe he had handed me? He laughed and shook his head. ” We are still working on that. This is just a wireless connection, you know, like you used to have on phones. This is just more sophisticated and you actually feel more connected.” He did go on to explain that you could choose the physical ‘skin’ to be anything; a cloud, a coffeeshop, a theatre.

This reminded me of  the strains of a poem by the scholar Rabindernath Tagore that I had read somewhere; “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free”. I forget how it ended but it did talk about a country awakening into a freedom. As my tour finished I walked away thinking that these children had truly managed to build their own future out of the ruins of the past. Their tomorrow was here!

4 thoughts on “EDEM630 Tomorrow Is Here! #SP4Ed

  1. Hi Aleta,

    This is wonderful! I like the way you told a story incorporating the future scenario and really captured our attention at the same time. The photos also helped tie it all together. One of the most exciting parts of the evolution of technology for me is the potential that children in impoverished and dire living situations will be able to change their lives through technological initiatives.
    Thanks, I loved the article!

    • Thank you Sarah,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      Yes, it indeed has been a privilege to be involved in the lives of these children. Thought I would share this with you even though it sounds incredibly foolish; I actually believe in them and that they will be able to make a difference to their country in the future.

      With regards,

      Aleta

  2. I wanted to read more about this scenario, along with your other post this morning it is easy to visualize your ‘futures’ and to feel excited about the possibilities. I love the way everyone’s work is different but full of hope, and such a myriad of different potentials. I was particularly taken with the ‘skin’ on the globe concept. A privilege to read.

    • Hi Lesley,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      Yes, I have indeed marvelled at the amazing skills that everyone has and how open and insightful people have been with their desires to build a better tomorrow for the coming generation.

      Your thoughts and ideas, on your blogs, have influenced me to think a bit deeper about some of the issues presented to us in a a more realistic way; sometimes I get lost in the clouds and forget to come done to earth;)

      With regards,

      Aleta

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