Engaging Danish Schools in Development Work: Visit with Adventure Efterskolen 

During the last week of September CB, together with 100% for Børnene and Promentum, visited the Adventure Efterskolen in Broager. We implemented a three-day workshop with their project management course focused on creating engagement both locally and globally around the SDGs for our project Engaging Danish Schools in Development Work. This was accomplished through hands on activities that implemented non-formal education techniques to explore what are the SDGs, how they are being implemented globally to in turn look at how we can view them in a local context. This was made possible thanks to Denmak School in Zimbabwe which shared the ways in which they are localizing the SDGs. This was based in a new relationship between the two schools resulting in what we call Friendship Schools – a sustained collaboration and dialogue between peer groups across the globe. This Friendship School partnership allowed the Danish students to learn about new cultures and contexts, as well as challenge their own ideas of “Africa”. By doing so, we were also able to challenge our own ideas of Denmark as well– leading to many fruitful conversations in group and individual formats.  

After spending the first day learning about the SDGs as a whole and the projects done by Denmak School, in which the students were especially moved by the Zimbabwean peers production greenhouse on site and their solar panel projects, the students spent the second day looking at project management and Design Thinking principles to dream up local ways they could take inspiration to make a similar project. After an intense day, in groups of 3 and 4, the students gave one-minute proposals on ways to implement one or more SDG in their context. This ideation process resulted in student-led proposals on reducing food waste in supermarkets (SDG 2), installing solar panels at their school (SDG 7), awareness about water system pollution from fertilizer run off in agriculture (SDG 6 & 12), and re-examining the meat-free menu options in their school (SDG 2). After getting peer-to-peer feedback and guidance from the facilitators, they fine-tuned their proposals through using Empathy Mapping and Product Walk.  This practice allowed them to imagine how local stakeholders and users might receive their projects. At the end of the day, each group gave a final presentation with these new considerations and the entire course chose one final project they would like to work on over the coming weeks. Spoiler alert: reducing food waste in the supermarkets overwhelmingly won the student vote. 

The last day, as per the feedback from the group, we focused on the concrete ways to ensure an implementation of  the project over a period of 6 weeks This meant the students divided into groups based on interest: project management, awareness campaign, and fundraising; And spent time dividing tasks and seeing how they could work together to guarantee implementation. Their end goal: Having local supermarkets mark down damaged/unsellable food products or to-be-expired produce and have the difference in price be used to raise money that they will propose to the Denmak School can be used on their greenhouse project. We left the group excited about the future steps to take to make this vision a reality. Now it is on them to take the next steps to implement it and continue their discussion with their new friendship school. Of course, we will be here to support them, but ultimately, we are looking forward to seeing how they can make this change in their community while engaging globally.

Authored by: Andrew Gibbons

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