My Voice-My School (MVMS) is a virtual exchange education project that empowers youth by communicating across borders. Originally designed as a student voice/advocacy project for Palestine refugees students trapped and displaced by the conflict in Syria, the project extended to include students in conflicts more widely.
Based on online video conversations between Palestine refugee students in UNRWA schools and their peers in schools overseas, MVMS gets students to learn about each other as they discuss their ideas about what makes a quality education. The conversations and specially designed curriculum materials support children to become advocates for their education and future.
"I learned that students have a bigger say in their education and that teachers are willing to listen, as long as you can come up with a plan."
My Voice My School partnerships are implemented through a specially designed 12-week programme underpinned by a teaching booklet and training. Students explore ‘Quality Education’ and develop a classroom project which they share with their peers via three online exchanges.
The exchanges are lively and provide insight on how the students living environments affect their education. Teachers' feedback ranks virtual exchange as the most impactful learning tool to improve education outcomes followed by project based learning and learning and teaching facilitation techniques.
This innovative project combines teacher development, student-centered learning and ICT use in the classroom with communication and advocacy. The live exchanges and discussions between the students are recorded and shared for media coverage.
Classroom resources have been created with input from educators and students in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the United Kingdom and the USA. This collaborative approach has ensuresd parity among all participants in the programme and has fostered a joint purpose and sense of solidarity. As the resources and accompanying training are implemented in multiple education territories, they take a skills-based approach, echoed in the OECD global competencies.
My Voice My School is an education project that seeks to empower youth. It gives students a voice and an opportunity to communicate across borders, highlighting the importance of providing quality education for all, whatever the circumstances are.
The project is situated within the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 on Quality Education. Giving students a voice in the development of a global quality education for all, students have the opportunity to share their ideas about education and their future. As such the project also reflects the international partnerships implementing the Global Goals.
MVMS has been funded through donors to UNRWA Syria Crisis Appeal, Programme Budget, Education in Emergencies and the Jordan and Lebanon fields. Renewed funding of MVMS exchanges will maintain live links with Palestine refugees youths or more broadly paired classes participating in the project.