A new campaign has launched to give a global voice to parents, teachers and pupils in Africa and India who live in the some of the poorest communities in the world. Kou, Samuel and Tenneh are among those who talk about how the education provided by Bridge Partnership Schools for Liberia has changed their lives, asking people across the world to share their story. Bridge International Academies has launched the public awareness initiative to draw attention to the need for high-quality affordable education options worldwide.
The three new empowering short videos showcase pupils and families from communities often living in extreme poverty, often earning less than $1.90 a day. The mothers, fathers, children and their teachers profiled make clear that they are determined to craft a better life for their children, their pupils and themselves by pursuing education to escape poverty and find a better future.
Bridge runs schools in struggling communities including: the notorious Nairobi Matabre slum, the Al-Shabaab region of northeast Kenya, the poorest parts of Nigeria’s Alimosho area, the impoverished towns of eastern India, and across places once torn apart by Ebola and civil war in Liberia.
Creative agency GMMB produced the films, which enable parents, teachers and pupils to be heard across the world – far beyond the underserved and often remote communities in which they live. These families and communities should be the most important voices in conversations about the urgent need for global education reform. However, it’s their voices that are most often lost in the combative debate around new models to deliver better education options to pupils in low and middle-income countries.
Worldwide, there are 263 million children and young people out of school, of which 61 million are primary school aged children. In addition, there are an estimated 330 million children who are in school, but not learning. The most recent official estimate puts the global shortage of teachers at 69 million.
Listen to those featured in the films who understand what’s at stake for their lives, their children’s lives and the future of their communities. They show how Bridge transforms lives, and their stories will be shared around the world with the hashtag and rallying cry of #myBridge.
Tenneh said of her son, who studies at a Bridge PSL school, “Since he joined Bridge, he’s doing very well. I didn’t know my son could achieve such amazing, amazing results. But I thank God.” Otis Kpan, a Bridge teacher in Nimba, said, “When I see the child is progressing, I feel very happy, because it means that I am doing great work.”
Samuel, father of a pupil at Bridge said, “Because of Bridge, I think my daughter is going to go very far. Since I brought her here, she has really improved. She is among the top. I like the teaching, the teachers, the management. In fact, I want her to go to university, and then to go abroad.”
Bridge Partnership Schools for Liberia, “The voices of those who are directly impacted by poor education, absent teachers and failing schools are rarely heard. These films are designed to empower Bridge parents, teachers and children and make their voices heard. “Too often, debates about education in Africa or India are dominated by those from the West, with little space for mothers and fathers and teachers on the education front lines. We want to change that.” Bridge pupils consistently outperform their peers in national exams, win scholarships to prestigious schools in their home countries and the USA. Bridge graduates are following their dreams of becoming doctors, engineers, lawyers and much more.