Why Global Citizenship?
Development Education acknowledges that the world is currently an unfair place, where 20% of the world’s people hold 80% of the world’s wealth. This inequality continues due to unfair practices in this part of the world - the rich world, the developed world, the Global North. Development Education seeks to redress this imbalance by educating people here about how the world works and what needs to change for it to become an equitable place. As many of these changes need to be made in countries such as Ireland, this means that people here have a real power, as well as a responsibility to get involved, learn about the issues and act for positive change.
In Ireland, Suas have carried out a national survey looking at young people’s interest in effecting positive change in their society. This has clearly demonstrated that more opportunities for young people to actively engage to effect positive change are needed. Young people are looking for opportunities to take an active role in making a meaningful contribution in their societies.
We believe the desire to effect change is present in everyone and, based on our experience and track record of engaging young people, we have a proven track record of enabling transformational change for individuals and groups.
Based on our values, we design programmes which are designed to inspire, educate and engage young people. We believe in the concept of understanding yourself, how you work with others and understanding the context within which you work. Our programmes enable young people to choose their level of engagement depending on their current commitments.
The main element of our approach is to connect people with the issues and allow them to ask the questions, but also provide structured programmes for them to explore tough issues. Elements of leadership, teamwork and service cut across all of our Global Citizenship Programmes.
Although, our mission is education, we are non-prescriptive about the area of positive change in which young people wish to make a positive difference. We have over 2,000 alumni and former participants working across the globe in the private, public, social and non-profit sectors.
Our ultimate aim is that our programmes have enabled young people to understand the issues, made meaningful connections to local communities and that as a result, they have both realised their responsibility to effect positive change in their societies and feel equipped to do so.