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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.

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: Critical Thinking, Character, Communication, 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 is rigourous 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–

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

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

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

Additional module in vulnerable economies: Micro Enterprise Training (M.E.T.)

II) Onsite hands- on work with a corners field project (option of overseas or local), 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 up to 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 best solutions and innovations.Transformative Citizenship Program (for fee)

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, there are 24-hours of 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 is set to be customized, as needed, according to availability of leader and participants
  • Standard time for on-site field project work is 3 weeks fulltime
  • Mentor sessions once-per month for year after program, to support implementation of participant’s own project

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 develop genuine security, to prevent conflict, and to resolve or repair residual damage caused by previous conflict.

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 last year at Joyland School in Kisumu, Kenya.
As an Integrated school, Joyland serves students across the spectrum of physical capacity and challenge, making it a good choice for a pilot educational program.

We have been asked to run an expansion of the Transformative Citizenship Program in Kenya. This expanded run will include training a group of Kenyan educators. We will also be inviting select Ugandan and Tanzanian educators to observe and be trained.

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 concurrently, it creates the most potent and effective combination for building community, regional and national resilience.When citizens are resilient in

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
  • TCP was designed by an educational expert
  • TCP’s objectives are practical and achievable
  • In Kenya, the program is supported by educational leaders
  • In Kenya, corners already has long-established community relationships in Nairobi and the western region
  • In Kenya, the program is run in ongoing consultation with frontline local educators and students.
  • 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. This 2016 expanded run of the program in Kenya puts us in that position…we will teach more students; we will train educators; we will, ultimately, hand over the reins.
  • Summary for 2016
    We will train Kenyan educators & continue to empower youth at the same time. Building on the successful Kenyan pilot of our Transformative Citizenship Program (TCP), we will now train 10 educators to lead this program. Up to 200 more students will also be served in 2016. TCP teaches the skill sets required for economic & social resilience. It includes:1) course study, 2) field project work placement (e.g. farming) and 3) mentored implementation of one’s own entrepreneurship/social development project.

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 will make it a truly locally-owned curriculum. Educators, themselves, will be 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 real work projects for all students; the learning is lasting and productive.

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 will begin to maximize that impact. Upon successful completion of training the first 10 educators in 2016 in Kenya and expanding the program delivery there as well, the Transformative Citizenship Program can be included in Kenya’s National Education Plan and become a standardized school curriculum for the good of all Kenyan youth.

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.