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Written by Abigail Chifusa, Global Schools Project Officer.

In a world where education serves as a beacon of hope and transformation, the Global Schools Program (GSP) has once again taken a significant step towards a brighter future.

On August 26th, approximately 300 passionate educators from around the globe gathered for an impactful onboarding call, setting the stage for the fourth cohort of the Global Schools Advocates Program.

This initiative has consistently demonstrated its commitment to promoting global citizenship, sustainable development, and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

Leading the way was Kendra-Lee Heney, Global School’s Project Lead for Education and the manager of the Global Schools Advocates Program.

This year, the program received an overwhelming influx of applications.

With over 3,500 applications submitted, 2023 marked the highest application rate ever. After a rigorous selection process, the program welcomed approximately 300 Advocates who already completed the Global Schools Advocates Training Course, gearing up for the transformative journey ahead.

2023 marks a pivotal moment in the race to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. At the halfway of the 2030 Agenda, with just seven years left, the pressure is on to mobilize collective action, and these educators are ready to lead the way.

Global Schools Program Director, Amanda Abrom, took the opportunity to shed light on the mission of the Global Schools Program. Her emphasis on supporting and empowering schools and educators worldwide to engage with the SDGs, ESD, and global citizenship education resonated deeply with the advocates.

To understand the significance of this new cohort, let's reflect on Global Schools’ remarkable journey thus far:

  • The Global Schools network spans over 1,500 schools worldwide, creating a global community dedicated to sustainable development education.

  • In 2021, 177 advocates from over 45 countries embarked on a mission to bring ESD to their school communities, kicking off the new Advocates program for teachers.

  • The 2021-2022 cohort consisting of 327 Advocates representing 75 countries, collectively carried out lessons and activities for over 75,000 students in their school communities.

  • The 2022-2023 cohort of 308 Advocates, hailing from 74 countries, has reached over 74,000 students in their respective school communities.

During the onboarding call, Advocates were introduced to resources to support the implementation of ESD in their communities, including the 2023 Global Schools Program Advocates Toolkit and the Advocates Handbook, which will serve as invaluable assets in their mission.

The 2023 Global Schools Advocate cohort, comprising 310 dedicated educators from 84 countries, is a testament to the power of collective action in education. Together, the new Advocates are poised to drive meaningful change, inspire future leaders, and contribute to the realization of a more sustainable and equitable world by 2030. The Global Schools Program gives a huge congratulations to these educators, and is very grateful to everyone who has joined this year and for their unwavering dedication to bringing ESD to students internationally.

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