Menu

Programs

Transformative Citizenship Program

corners supports resilience and peaceful interdependence of citizens and global communities.

AS A PROGRAM

At the heart of corners’ work is The Transformative Citizenship Program (TCP)

corners addresses significant gaps that have been acknowledged in many educational contexts, including in Canada, the U.S. and Kenya (our current locations of operation). These gaps exist in many places across child, adult, and professional education systems.

They are gaps in capacity development around conscientious citizen engagement, entrepreneurship, life skills, and character development.

This constitutes a body of awareness and skills essential in all walks of life.

The Transformative Citizenship Program explicitly addresses these gaps throughout its four curricular modules: Communication, Character, Critical Thinking and Civic Engagement. It enriches this intensive learning with practical application in the second program component: the onsite field project work placement. Finally, it ensures lasting learning and the ripple effect by mentoring participants in implementing their own entrepreneurial/social development project once back in their home contexts.

The Transformative Citizenship Program aligns participant learning outcomes with personal and broader social innovation needs–

  1. On the front end, our educational curriculum is rigorous and reflective
  2. Applying the curriculum learning to onsite field project work with corners, its leaders and local stakeholders provides the opportunity to put the learning into practice and, at the same time, refine one’s own project design according to this work experience.
  3. Finally, corners is committed to mentoring participants through the implementation of their own projects for up to a year after their onsite field placement work is done.

As a social development driver and supporter, corners is highly-responsive and nimble, with deep knowledge of the contexts in which it serves; with deep commitment to those communities.

CORE PROGRAM OVERVIEW

corners is dedicated to citizens, globally, becoming more able and engaged– in their homes, communities and countries; as well as around the world. At present, we primarily offer The Transformative Citizenship Program along with its field project work in Kenya and Canada (Ontario).

We facilitate our mission through the Transformative Citizenship Program, which has three main components –

I) Four-module coursework–

Communication: capacity to express oneself -one’s ideas and values, as well as to work and co-exist peacefully together

Critical Thinking: capacity to examine issues, plan and execute ideas, adapt to challenging conditions

Character: awareness of one’s values and how to practice them; the capacity to practice them on a daily basis, being strong and still peacefully co-existing with others

Critical Thinking: capacity to examine issues, plan and execute ideas, adapt to challenging conditions

Civic Engagement: capacity to engage others and collaborate together; to contribute in positive, sustainable ways to community and society

II) Onsite hands-on work with an ongoing social or economic enterprise to practice application of skills learned in coursework

III) Design and implementation of participant’s own entrepreneurial/social development project at home; with access to a corners mentor for a year (group project in some contexts

These three components, together, facilitate long term positive impact for individuals and the community at large. As a participant in corners’ Transformative Citizenship Program, participants become better able to examine social issues; speak to those issues; develop enterprising solutions around such issues; and engage with others in effectively implementing sustainable solutions and innovations.

Transformative Citizenship Program (for fee)

TCP is currently available to secondary students, post-secondary students, and professionals anywhere.

With these participants, the Transformative Citizenship Program prioritizes skills development in citizen engagement, conflict prevention/intervention, social entrepreneurship, and reciprocal relationship-building.

TCP can accommodate most work and school schedules. The coursework is available via skype, as well.

For these participants outside the school context, there are 24-hours of intensive, face-to-face curriculum with several significant individual assignments prior to and during course. The sessions are each 3-hours.

TCP is open to secondary student groups as a standard year-curriculum within or outside school schedules.

In the cases where students can earn formal credit for their work, we are able to customize field project work experience and participant project development to be relevant to participants’ school programs or professional fields.

Program Schedule:

  • The coursework scheduling can be customized, as needed, according to availability of leader and participants
  • Standard time for on-site field project work is three weeks, fulltime
  • Mentor sessions once-per month for year after program, to support implementation of participant’s own project, with communication access in between

Fees:

Students (with registration): $926 CDN
Professionals: $1920 CDN

N.B. Participants are responsible for all travel/living expenses associated with field work placement.

Application Process

We accept applications to our program on a rolling basis, any time of year. The process entails two components:

  1. Letter of Interest: 250 words indicating motivation to apply, what one envisions gaining from TCP, what strengths and interests one would be bringing as a participant
  2. Interview (in-person or by phone)

Transformative Citizenship Program (no fee)

TCP IS AVAILABLE TO GROUPS, SCHOOLS & COMMUNITIES IN NEED ANYWHERE FOR NO FEE

In such contexts, The Transformative Citizenship Program : prioritizes entrepreneurship/life skills training and reciprocal-relationship building in order to cultivate economic and social resilience, to prevent conflict, and to resolve or repair residual damage caused by chronic crisis.

It is a program that can be run in group/community contexts, as well as in educational institutions

corners is able to collaborate with stakeholders in its active locations to create sustainable opportunities that can reach well beyond the limitations of traditional aid.

In Kenya–

The Transformative Citizenship Program for secondary students in Kenya

corners delivered a Kenyan pilot of the program in 2014 at Joyland School in Kisumu, Kenya.
As an Integrated school, Joyland serves both girls and boys and students across the spectrum of physical capacity and challenge, making it a good choice for a pilot educational program.

corners then rolled out an expansion of the Transformative Citizenship Program in Kenya. This included training a group of Kenyan educators.

Leaders of education in Kenya (and elsewhere) are concerned about particular gaps in school curricula. They are also concerned about the issue of the radicalisation of youth.

The two identified gaps in Kenyan national secondary school curricula:

  1. character development/civic engagement skills
  2. entrepreneurship/life skills.

When these capacities are taught and practiced in concert, it creates the most potent and sustainable combination for building community, regional and national resilience.When citizens are resilient in relationship with each other as well as with the earth that is feeding them, they become invulnerable to being conquered by challenges.

How we know that TCP will work for vulnerable youth:

  • corners has already run a pilot of the program successfully in 2014 and an expansion to train educators to teach 200 more students, 2016 and 2017
  • TCP was designed by an educational  and development expert
  • TCP’s objectives are practical and achievable
  • In Kenya, the program is supported by educational leaders – corners was invited to roll out TCP and to have it absorbed into Ministry of Education directorate in next phase
  • In Kenya, corners already has long-established community relationships
  • In Kenya, the program is run in ongoing consultation with frontline local educators and students, as well as community stakeholders.
  • Our ultimate aim is for full local ownership of TCP in any context or country. This will be facilitated in Kenya by engaging the education system (as we have) and training local educators to teach the program. The 2016 expanded run of the program in Kenya put us in that position…we taught more students; we trained educators; we will, ultimately, hand over the reins.

Challenge

Economic and social resilience require two things: food security & secure social relationships. For those battling chronic poverty and crisis, these two essentials seem unachievable. Additionally, youth who are not constructively empowered and have become understandably bitter or hopeless are more easily radicalised. With support and practical education, resilience is achievable. Food security and secure social relationships are possible and sustainable. They can do this! We can help!

Solution

TCP is a results-oriented tool in empowering youth to achieve economic & social resilience. Training local educators in this program makes it a truly locally-owned program.. Educators, themselves, are more empowered by their training in the program; as they teach it.

Since TCP 1) teaches essential entrepreneurship/life/civic engagement skills, 2) applies those skills in real world settings, and 3) mentors social and economic enterprises for all students; the learning and the enterprises are sustainable.

Long-Term Impact

Economic & social resilience is the vision. The Transformative Citizenship Program is already having a positive impact on youth. By training educators, we have begun to deepen and broaden that impact. The Transformative Citizenship Program becoming absorbed into its Ministry of Education directorate will standardize it as a school curriculum for the good of all Kenyan youth.

Taking the Transformative Citizenship Program online supports limitless scalability, in Kenya and beyond.

Beyond Kenya–

corners has been invited to run the Transformative Citizenship Program elsewhere; in particular, in rural community settings and for urban family groups. We will proceed with these down the road, when schedule and resources allow. Transformative Citizenship software will be the game-changing piece of that.