Diversity Week 2021:
During the 2021 Diversity Week at Greenwich High School (February 22-26), Level Up Village (LUV) worked with Bella House, Dean Dr. Garfield Charles, to organize three events aimed at amplifying “Student Voices.”
These three events were made possible through the support and generosity of the Greenwich Alliance for Education.
Global Disruption to Education: Student Voices from Harare, Zimbabwe and Greenwich
Monday, February 22, 2021
Two panels of students from schools in Harare, Zimbabwe and GHS met to compare their experiences during the pandemic. They talked about ways they tried to stay connected to friends, stay active in sports and the arts, and stay entertained to pass the time. They also described all the things they have each done to overcome challenges to learning. In this regard, they understood how much they valued being able to carry on with their education.
The Global Coding Course: Student Voices from Zimbabwe and Greenwich
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Students presented four websites built over the course of a four-week course in HTML and CSS led by Ronald Nyamukuwa, Instructor and Regional Manager of Level Up Village Zimbabwe. Students began by getting to know each other through the sharing of videos where they introduced themselves and their interests. Groups researched topics in Public Health, Political Leadership, and Climate Change and collaborated on the creation of websites treating these topics from both the U.S. and Zimbabwean perspectives. Classes met on Wednesday afternoons for an hour, with students in Zimbabwe joining the classes at 9:45 pm local time. The course provided an opportunity for students to learn directly from each other about these issues of global importance. At the end of the presentations, students in GHS classrooms who were tuned in to the session were able to ask questions, such as: “Is coding worth learning if you're not considering going into a field involving computer science?” The answer was “Definitely ‘yes’!”
Empowering Students in Rwanda
GHS students attended a presentation with two successful Rwandan education advocates, David Dusabirane and Benon Mugisha, who grew up in Rwanda, recently completed their degrees at Brown University and Samford University respectively, and returned to Rwanda to work on various education and business initiatives, which included supporting teachers and students with online learning during the pandemic. David and Benon described the incredible progress in the last 26 years in the areas of business, education, and national government (where 65% of the parliamentary representatives are women!). They fielded questions from GHS students, such as “What is one program or normality in Rwanda that they believe could make the US a better place if it was adopted here?” David and Benon spoke about Umuganda -- a Kinyarwanda word that means “coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome.” In Rwanda, this means a day at the end of every month where people come out to serve each other and their community by cleaning, making repairs, gardening, and beautification among other things.