A school link is a commitment between a primary or secondary school in Kenya (among other countries) and a partner school in Flanders (a region in Belgium). Supporting each other, they initiate and work together in a process focusing on educational targets. How a school link will succeed in reaching the objectives, depends on the school's own reality and that of the partner school.
This programme started in September 2008 with a programme initiating phase. During this phase, we researched the visions, interests and possibilities that schools have in Flanders and in our partner countries. Very quickly it was clear that a lot of schools are very interested in this programme.
During 2009 the first school links were initiated in Kenya. Two schools have been successfully paired up with schools in Flanders, and activities are set to roll out throughout the year 2010.
Such cooperation can be considered as a concrete and realistic added value for schools willing to embrace and to focus on the world. It can be considered as a tool for teachers who want to give an instrument to kids and students in there exploration of differences and similarities with "the other" in another part of the world. This will lead to a clearer image they have from "the other", and it will alter the vision of their own reality.
Simultaneously, it creates an opportunity to approach themes about globalisation in a less abstract way. In such way they can contribute to a sustainable world where there are equal changes for everybody.
For schools it is an opportunity for international exchange. Broadening their horizon, and obtaining new skills are for students important and new challenges. Teachers are willing to exchange experience with teachers in another part of the world.
We realise that it will be not at all comprehensible to set up such cooperation in a sustainable way. It will be a slow growth process with a lot of obstacles to overcome.