Canadian students video chat with Nicaraguan counterparts
An initiative intended to educate one class in Ontario has far-reaching impact
By Philip A. Tanner, Ph.D., director of programs and strategic initiatives, CCFC
At Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), we believe in listening to children and hearing their concerns. That’s why it was inspiring to see this philosophy come to life in a big way last week when elementary school students from Whitby, Ont. enjoyed a video chat with students from Managua, Nicaragua. They learned each other’s dreams, challenges
The idea for this exchange began when my 11-year-old came home one day with a request: “Dad, we watched an amazing YouTube video on Guatemala — you’ve got to watch it
Before long, we were figuring out how to link Glen Dhu, my daughter’s school, with one of the schools CCFC works
First, the kids swapped videos introducing themselves, giving campus tours and talking about their school routine. Then a video conference clicked on, and there was a tangible buzz in the air as children from both sides of the chat squirmed with excitement. Their hands shooting up as they competed for camera time.
Nicaraguan students asked about our weather, our flag, our food and, to the delight of Glen Dhu students, our diversity. They wanted to know if it was true Canada had six months of winter and that “wolves” pulled us on sleds! They couldn’t believe the facilities — libraries, cafeterias
Glen Dhu students were surprised Nicaraguan students wore blue-and-white uniforms — the white symbolizing purity and the blue for their lakes — and that their entire country’s population was equal to that of the Greater Toronto Area. They were also shocked to hear Nicaraguans lived next to the active Masaya Volcano and that Nicaragua’s national sport is baseball — not soccer. They even learned that the Central American country’s national teams were so underfunded that they sometimes use rocks and grapefruits for batting practice.
There was one clear commonality: students from both countries shared aspirations for achieving greatness. They shared a passion for music, learning instruments, sports as well as living in a peaceful community that supported their ambitions. They wanted to be soccer and basketball stars, engineers, doctors
I was reminded what happens when a small voice sets an idea in motion. My daughter became a catalyst that enabled her teachers to create space for an amazing event, expanding the minds of children in two countries. Now, that’s amazing.
About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a