[Human Rights Series] Giving Back
April 11, 2023
Giving Back

Every child deserves an education, no matter their circumstances or geography. But not every child actually does get to go to school or have access to a quality education.

If you have access to podcasts, you likely have privileges that many of our youth and young adults across the globe don’t have. You have a roof over your head; you have food on your table; and you likely have a job that allows you resources and luxuries that some wouldn’t even dream about.

One of those luxuries is likely time. No matter how busy you are, you don’t have to scavenge for food or other basic necessities. And that means you have the means to give back to those who do.

This week on the podcast, I’m sharing part two of a three-part series on the basic human right to an education. In the episode, I share three ways you can make a positive difference in your own life that allows you to, at the same time, give back to others.

If you care about our youth on a global scale, listen in!

Jump in the Conversation:

[1:15] – Part two of the three-part series
[1:40] – Clarifying beliefs about what every learner deserves
[2:43] – Our children are facing many issues
[4:12] – Three ways people can make a positive shift in their energy
[5:06] – Passion and purpose help us all dive into life
[6:51] – Implement a gratitude practice in your life
[8:03] – Explore voluntourism as schools and families
[8:55] – Get involved with Camino Seguro
[9:43] – Give your students and kids the gift of being empowered to make a difference

Links & Resources



Maureen O’Shaughnessy 0:03
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at Education Evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education evolution, micro school coalition, and co founder of active, I consult and train with schools and leaders who are fiercely committed to changing the narrative, reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:08
Hello Education Evolution listeners. Until two weeks ago, it had been a while since I had recorded a solo episode. So to create a three part solo podcast series was definitely a first. This is part two. Let me recount my series intro from the first part of this series. Every now and then something comes into our lives and shakes us up and gives us a chance to reorganize our values and perspective. Recently, something big has made itself present in my life. It is providing me with an opportunity to clarify my beliefs on what every learner deserves. It also pulls in what I know from working in international schools and seven different countries. And it’s touching on the discomfort I always experience when I acknowledged my white privilege and relative affluence. It’s such a big topic. I am creating this three part podcast. In January I learned of a school that serves the poorest of children in Guatemala City, Camino seguro also known as safe passage, learning their story, and my recent visit is the catalyst for deep reflection about human rights, global service and a clear direction forward. The three topics of this podcast series, the Camino seguro children are part of the community that make its living from scavenging at one of the largest garbage dumps in Central America. As you know, many educators parents, employers are very concerned about the increasing mental health challenges that our youth and young adults are facing. I add in my own deep concern for the holistic well being of our young.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 3:00
So then, when I combine this with my recent experience of youth in abject poverty, it led to the theme for today’s podcast, giving back for a global education, evolution, and increased youth empowerment. Giving back is such an important concept. Babies cry and take to survive. Over time, we help young children learn that they are a part of a community, and they have to think of others too. Many schools require service hours to be completed. Knowing the power of this giving back and being a part of a community. Lead prep. The micro school where I serve frequently does service on our expeditionary Wednesdays, we also just returned from a week of environmental service with mountains to sand Greenway and camp Kirby. Our students have also taken service trips in the past to Nicaragua and Guatemala. They come back grateful for all we have impressed that younger kids without shoes, can slaughter them in soccer, and feeling good about making a difference. Let me share three organic ways many folks find to make a positive shift in their energy services. One of these ways these ideas are not meant to replace other resources. Rather to supplement them in an empowering take action manner.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 4:30
One, we can create educational and community job opportunities that align with individual’s own passion and purpose, too. We can implement a gratitude practice in our lives. And three, we can participate in service that we’ll also have the benefit of helping to combat anxiety and depression. Let me unpack each of these knowing that they are not Carol’s but baby The steps that can both promote improved mental health and be sources for meaningful good in the world. One, go for passion and purpose, passion and purpose help us all dive deeply into life. When I have to deal with paperwork or routine tasks, sometimes I can feel the energy drain from me. Compare that to when we get to see friends or participate in a hobby we enjoy, we come to life. This is very true for our young people. They want to feel interested with activities that are meaningful. Working with rescue animals is a passion and purpose activity. The two of my students have enjoyed in internships. How can we bring to life what we do? And how can we make the learning we offer in schools also come to life and align with students passion, purpose, and choice. If we can’t do that, maybe we need to rethink why we are doing things at all. Passion and purpose has also been documented as increasing quality and length of life. Let me add links to the show notes to the concept of IKI guy and the Blue Zones. ikigai is a Japanese concept that combines the term iki, meaning alive or life and guy, meaning benefit or worth. When combined these terms mean that which gives your life worth meaning, or purpose or reason for being. And Blue Zones are regions where people live longer and healthier than average. folks living in these regions are deeply aligned with their passion and purpose. And the results are stunning. This second idea, we can implement a gratitude practice.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 6:55
Many cultures have mindfulness practices such as breath work, yoga, meditation, mindful eating, etc. The slowest down and allow us to be in the moment without the past or future to fixate on. This allows us to live are now fully add on to that the idea of starting or ending our day with journaling or stating what we are grateful for. This really shifts our mind into what presently is giving us life. We used to start our family meetings was something we each were grateful for. And a shout out to each family member for how they’d been kind or helpful during the week that framed our family meeting time together. Our culture is so fast, and media wants us to feel a lack and by all of the things that they sell. When we are mindful, we live on our terms with an intentional pace and being selective about what we spend our life energy and resources on. Third idea, explore voluntourism as schools and families. Yep, volunteering combined with travel is a growing form of giving back. There are so many ways that we can give back and transform a family holiday or school trip into one of gaining awareness of the world’s needs and being a source of hope and mutual growth. I will list in the shownotes school the world which is a great program that I shared in Episode 79. And the two programs my students participated in New Dawn and Mitsui trips.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 8:44
I’m also including an article on responsible voluntourism that provides great Look Fors and the big picture. Specifically, please consider getting involved with Camino seguro safe passage. Their link is in the show notes. When you make a donation, join a support team sponsor a child organize an event or volunteer in Guatemala, you are helping this top rated charity empower people and change lives in one of the poorest places on earth. Parents. This is a wonderful project for a full family to do. It can be raising money or going down to Guatemala and being of service or both teachers and school leaders. Again, this is a wonderful project for your service clubs or your Spanish class or any kids taking international travel trips. Students overall. Feeling empowered to make a difference is a wonderful gift for our youth. Seeing how much abundance we truly have and becoming grateful is also positive for mental health. I am committing to being an ongoing resource for this dedicated Did and powerful source of change in Guatemala City. Please pass this on and open your hearts to see if this might be something that you are also called to do. As always, thank you for being a part of the education evolution.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 10:23
I know how challenging it is to make changes inside your own school or community. I’ve spent years working with schools around the world on creating learner centered programs. And it always struck me how much schools were able to get done with the right tools and guidance. If you’re ready to make changes like this in your own school, let’s talk and put together an action plan. Visit educationevolution.org/consult for a free 15 minute call. And let’s see if we’re a good fit for more work together. Thanks again for listening. To support the education evolution. Subscribe so it lands in your podcast app and gets out to more decision makers. Then rate and review it. For more information in shownotes go to educationevolution.org. Education Evolution listeners, you are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen, heard, valued and thriving. We are in this together and we need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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