In a rapidly changing world, the need for global citizens who are equipped with the knowledge, values, and empathy to tackle the challenges of the 21st century has never been more critical. Vibha, an inspiring NGO, has taken up the noble mission of providing access to quality education and fostering global citizenship. Recently, Vibha had the privilege to participate in the ‘C20 | Policy Dialogue on Education for Life & Global Citizenship’ event, where they highlighted the challenges faced by our education system and shared their visionary policy recommendations.
Defining Global Citizenship:
A global citizen is an individual who not only understands the interconnectedness of the world but actively engages with their community to make it more peaceful, sustainable, and fairer. Vibha envisions a world where every individual embraces their role as a citizen of the world, working together to create a brighter future for all.
Challenge 1: EDUCATE – Building Knowledge for Global Development
One of the significant hurdles in our education system is the absence of curricula focused on global citizenship. Vibha recognizes the urgency to cultivate knowledge and interest in global development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By integrating these essential concepts into educational curricula, we can empower future generations to become active global citizens.
Challenge 2: EMPOWER – Bridging Socio Economic Divides
Vibha recognizes that bridges need to be built between the heart and the mind and between higher and lower socioeconomic strata. By fostering interaction and equal participation, we can create spaces for collaboration and meaningful dialogue. Through empowerment, Vibha aims to break down barriers and unlock the potential of every individual, regardless of their background.
Challenge 3: ENABLE – Celebrating Community Engagement
Vibha recognizes the need for policies that require and celebrate community engagement and purposeful living. By forging strategic partnerships between corporations, communities, and NGOs, we can create a collaborative ecosystem where everyone has a role to play. Through this approach, Vibha aims to integrate education outcomes with real-world impact and create a society that thrives on collective action.
Ms. Ashwini Kumar, CEO of Vibha, presented the challenges and policy recommendations to build global citizens. In her presentation, she introduced the acronym WIND, which stands for World, I (me), Nerve, and Dedication. WIND is a framework that drives Vibha’s global citizenship movement.
W – WORLD: Embracing Interconnectedness
Vibha draws inspiration from the theme of India’s G20 Presidency, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future.” This profound concept reminds us of the value of all life forms and our interconnectedness on this planet. We must acknowledge this partnership with the environment and take pride in our responsibility to give back. It is through fostering global citizens that we can collectively address the pressing challenges facing humanity.
I & N – I and NERVE: Choosing Courage over Fear
Self-awareness plays a pivotal role in the development of global citizens. Vibha believes that by understanding ourselves and our place in the world, we can make courageous choices in the face of adversity. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery, and tenacity.” Empowering individuals with the confidence to take action will help bridge the gaps between different socioeconomic strata.
D – Dedication to Service: Making a Difference
Nelson Mandela once said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others.” Vibha firmly believes in the power of service and its direct correlation with happiness and joy. To create a world where everyone has access to quality education, we need dedicated individuals who are willing to give their time, attention, and talent to uplift others.
Vibha’s Impact: Celebrating Volunteerism and Quality Education:
Vibha’s incredible work over the years has left an indelible mark on society. With a volunteer-driven approach, they have served over 3 million children in India and the USA. In 2022 alone, Vibha’s dedicated volunteers contributed an astounding 40,000 hours of service, and 62 volunteers received the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award. Through their efforts, Vibha has empowered over 5,000 individuals to contribute to the education of underprivileged children, exemplifying the spirit of global citizenship. “
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