Taqaddam goes global. Strengthening life skills through intercultural dialogue.
“I didn’t realize how I much I needed to go through something like it until I actually did.”
The biggest impact for me was… “realizing how very different and similar at the same time people are from different parts of the world, we have different cultures but we’re all human, we have a lot that makes us alike more than what makes us different.”
In May 2021, Taqaddam launched its first ever intercultural exchange, and proved just how much value and richness a global dimension to life skills education can bring.
In collaboration with two new UK partners, the Centre for International Learning and Leadership (CILL) and Glasgow City Council, we brought together students from across the UK and the Middle East and North Africa for a series of interactive online workshops and missions and to work together on team projects.
With a focus on the theme of ‘inclusive communities’ the groups were supported on the Taqaddam learning journey, with added global elements to the exploration of their lives, life skills and futures. The activities included sharing local and cultural influences, discussing shared social issues and exploring what life skills are important for more inclusive communities.
Small teams worked together to develop social action ideas on shared issues and the whole group contributed to creative outputs, including a collective poem titled ‘I come from’.
Take a look at the video created by UK and MENA students from the CILL exchange group.
As a pilot, we learnt a huge amount about bringing a global dimension to the Taqaddam programme, and we are exploring more ways on how to include this in all future programmes. It was in bringing students together that the real magic happened. Putting life skills like collaboration, listening, curiosity and creativity into practice in an intercultural environment strengthened the learning, whilst opening minds and broadening horizons. It built greater self-awareness and helped equip them for the globalised world of the 21st century.
All participants agreed that they feel more able to grow their life skills after Taqaddam, and 90% said they feel more confident to meet people from different cultures and countries.
“I had perceptions of what people from other regions were like and how they live their lives, but actually I realised many of these ideas were incorrect”
“It made me curious to see more people from different places and to know how they live and think”
“The workshops gave me insights on problems and challenges we all face and the similarities between them.”
“The workshops were genuinely inspiring! It was also lovely to put our learning into action and work with like-minded people!”
Although Taqaddam has worked in the UK before, it was a first to work with UK partners online in this way and the programme benefitted enormously from the expertise and experience of CILL and the education team from Glasgow City Council.
“I have been involved in international school programmes for 21 years and I have seldom met a more inspiring, meaningful and young person focused project than Taqaddam” (Lesley Atkins, Glasgow City Council)
“The programme content is excellent, very well thought out and appropriate to the needs of participants… I think this is a high quality programme which is badly needed in the UK” (Andrew Hadley, Director, CILL)