Citizenship Education Week is over. This year the focus was building self-esteem.
All students spent the week compiling their self-portfolios: self portrait collages, CV, my dreams, my hopes, my past, my achievements, my favourite music, poem, pictures, books; how I see myself etc etc
Because 'Self' is undermined in so many ways here. In western society too, youngsters struggle to find a sense of Self and to get the balance right between self-respect and arrogance and many lack self-belief and self-value but there is much greater consciousness to try and help that develop. Here, there are the usual struggles as you grow up but it is reinforced by so many things in society and life: e.g. life is cheap [death is so common that it sends the message loud and clear that we are all completely dispensable]; if you have an opinion but it is not shared by your father, grandfather, teacher, boss it is not valid or allowed; poverty breeds more vices than virtues and the unthinking acceptance of corruption all around undermines the thought of maintaining personal integrity and not allowing oneself to stoop into underhand behaviour etc etc etc
While this aspect of personal development and holistic education is not new in EducAid we hope that the activities this week will continue chipping into the attitudes that result from such an environment and try to help our youngsters establish their self value, self-respect, self-belief - call it what you will. The lack of it so terribly undermines society and democracy. A little step this week that we will continue to build on day by day in all we do.