The contributors at 'A Shared Future' (from left): Caroline Murphy, Comhlamh, Mark Cumming, Facilitator, Hannah Crowdy, National Museums NI, Suzie Cahn, iCommunity, Paul Crewe, Development Perspectives, Roisin McGlone, Peace and Reconciliation Facilitator, Kevin McParland, DkIT, Nick Doran,Saolta, Bobby McCormack, Development Perspectives, Richard Moore, Children in Crossfire, Dr Clare McAuley, University of Ulster, Seamus O'Gorman, Children in Crossfire, Helen Henderson, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Katie Martin, Facilitator.
Drogheda based development education charity Development Perspectives and Children in Crossfire, a similar organisation from Derry, came together last week to explore the importance of education and the positive impact it can have in addressing the challenges facing people living in border communities.
The conference, which took place in in Armagh, was called ‘A Shared Future’ and included academic inputs, panel discussions - and some group artwork.
The conference was opened by Children in Crossfire’s Richard Moore who spoke powerfully about how love and compassion are what forge the chance for everyone to reach their potential.
A compelling statement to begin the day and to remind the room that education is more, and needs to be more, than facts and figures.
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Following Richard’s address panellists from across sectors and counties were then welcomed to discuss the role of global citizenship education in a divided society and in decolonising education.
Inputs came from professionals working in educational institutes, Saolta, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, National Museums NI and more. The wealth of backgrounds and experience led to rich and diverse contributions enhanced further by the comments of the participants in the room.
Development Perspectives’ Paul Crewe, one of the organisers of the event said:
“Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has the immense capacity to foster positive change within societies. Our intention for this event was to explore how GCE can play a part in shaping future all-island cooperation within this space. But this is only the beginning of a wider conversation and the energy, contributions and feedback from our attendees indicate an appetite to move this conversation further with a view to beginning to increase cross-border cooperation in a meaningful way.”
This was seen in action when the attendees shared their knowledge with each other in the afternoon session when they collaborated on a poster showing what global citizenship education means to them. This provided a great opportunity for learning from each other’s knowledge and experience and moving from thinking to doing.
As the day came to a close, Development Perspectives CEO left us with some powerful words to consider – ‘Let’s be the co-creators of the future we want to see.’