KDSL Global collaborates with education businesses around the world. One service we offer is promoting education companies. This month the team had a chance to chat with Ezirim Kennedy of Yagazie Foundation. Learn more about this new team and their work below.
Tell us about the Yagazie Foundation.
We are a Nigeria based non-profit organization that operates independently of a government. We are also a group of humanitarians made up of some strategic thinkers who can adapt quickly and respond to changing and pressing needs faster than governmental organizations which require executive and electoral approval for action.
Yagazie Foundation is consistent and well organized in delivery of critically important service such as sustainable Health care, Education, Agriculture and Environmental, Empowerment, Advocacy as well as human right protection.
We have exhibited high level of integrity and transparency in budgeting of effectual action. We have also not failed to acknowledge the importance of foreign expertise within the NGO framework.
Our mission is to motivate potential leaders, offer a sustained opportunity to the voiceless, underserved, unreached and less privileged from disadvantaged background through the provision of quality health care, enhanced education and healthy environment with the aim of impacting a productive lifestyle in order to disconnect them from perilous activities.
Our 3 focus in Yagazie Foundation is to use Sports to solve problems in Education, Health and Environments.
What are your three pillars?
Indicates our drive to challenge ourselves as a team to creatively overcome obstacles and treats to a to a better living.
Reflects our intense passion/interest in adding or creating value where little or none exists, thereby positively transforming the lives of beneficiaries.
Reflects our good-doing mission to our employees, directors, volunteers, stake-holders.
What is the future of education in Nigeria?
The future of education in Nigeria is dark because the rate of drop out is increasing incessantly as the day goes by. The government is doing what they can and it is not enough to tackle the problems of providing an enabling environment for Students to study and develop in Nigeria. Consequently, this will affect the economy and productivity of the country negatively.
To learn more about the Yagazie Foundation visit https://www.yagaziefoundation.org
Ezirim C. Kennedy JP is a Global Citizen, Justice of Peace, Ambassador for Peace, Humanitarian, Educationist, SDGs Advocate and a Sports Consultant. He is the Founder of Yagazie Foundation, Yagazie Sports and African Coaches League which serves mankind in different ways respectively. A member of the Alumni Association of Ecole Superieur De Gestion Et De Technologie where he studied International Relations and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree, Kennedy has had leadership roles right from elementary school days onward. He has a passion for leadership and that’s why he took some leadership roles with some local organisations in Nigeria and Africa, such as African Coaches League, Yagazie Foundation, African Youth Leadership & Economic Summit (AYLES) etc. He had some professional trainings with GIZ, British Council, FATE Foundation etc. Kennedy always wants to make an impact and sustained societal development to the people in his jurisdiction or any one he comes in contact with. He also has a passion for peace, leadership, humanity, education, sports, good governance and the execution of projects from the grassroots. Kennedy has organised grassroots education, sports, environmental and peace development program across Nigeria and Africa to help give sustainable resilience to the unreached, underserved and less privileged person from disadvantaged background across Nigeria and other African communities.
KDSL Global Managing Director Kevin Simpson has been selected as 1 of 40 educators for the Legacy Cohort of the inaugural issue of UpLIFT, an innovative publication that celebrates black male educators across the USA.
UpLIFTing the 40 Amazing Educators selected for the Legacy Cohort of our inaugural issue! Stay tuned 4 wisdom from these men!
Join the UpLIFT Movement
Learn More: bit.ly/2WyfBMg
KDSL Global collaborates with education businesses around the world. One service we offer is promoting education companies. This month the team had a chance to chat with Shani Brinkley of Feed Your Wellness. Learn more about this new team and their work below.
Tell us about Feed Your Wellness.
Feed Your Wellness developed from my personal struggle with loving my body as it is. After years of dieting, with little success and lots of uncomfortable moments, I began my journey towards uncovering what worked for my body. I released 75 pounds, became a certified Holistic Health and Well-being Coach, and started helping clients how to uncover their health quotient (wellness plan). I discovered that body weight issues weren’t fixed with diets and strenuous exercises, any result is temporary without connecting your body-mind-spirit. Wellness is cultivated from within. Feeding your wellness focuses on what you’re feeding your senses; the food, the mindset, the words.
What are some ways people can focus on wellness during this time?
The first thing I want you to do is acknowledge this has never happened before by saying the following; “This is unprecedented and although this is uncomfortable, I am ok.” and “I am not alone. I am supported.” The first statement offers acceptance and acknowledgement to what you are experiencing. Hearing those simple words comforts your soul. “I am not alone. I am supported” are affirming statements that should be repeated daily. When we feel alone or lonely it is because that’s the storyline that has repeated in our lives. By acknowledging you are not alone, everyone in the world has been affected by this pandemic, there’s comfort in that.
Next, take a moment to count what you are grateful for. What is positive in your life? Are you safe? Do you have clean water? Can you wiggle your toes? Say aloud all that you are thankful for. Expressing gratitude verbally or through writing shifts your mind away from pity to a state of appreciation.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. Tune into what your body needs. Try this simple and easy practice; close your eyes, take three long breaths, put your hand on your heart and connect with yourself. Take these small moments throughout the day to connect and tune into your needs. One last suggestion is to turn off the 24 hour news cycle. Set a timer, watch one news broadcast or none at all. I’m sure you will feel calmer and can focus on fun, relaxation or creating something awesome.
What do you see as the future of the wellness industry?
I believe the future of the wellness industry will focus on mental well-being more deliberately. Mental health can be a taboo topic due to lack of knowledge and understanding. Mental wellness has become an open sore, exposed and needing tending. Moving beyond the pandemic, retreat spaces, events and awareness will be more prevalent. The other focus will be on immersive, integrative experiences for individuals. Hotels, spas and travel destinations will offer services that visitors can add on to level up their wellness that extend beyond the traditional massage package.
To learn more visit http://www.feedyourwell.info
L.A. Shani Brinkley is a 18 year master early childhood educator. Her early career began in Plainfield, NJ, United States of America. During her 12 years in Plainfield, Shani contributed to Early Childhood publications, conducted professional development classes and implemented ELL trainings. She improved parent communication by 15% and increased literacy awareness in special needs students resulting in school based awards. Shani is also a certified health and nutrition coach. Her passion for children’s health and well-being lead her to create and implement successful after school nutritional programs and several parent and child workshops.
Shani has vast experience as an educator abroad. She’s taught in Spain, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. As an immersive educator, Shani uses songs and movement along with researched strategies to help her students excel. In leadership roles, she’s had the opportunity to supervise and implement enrichment programs for over 100 students. She enjoys teaching young learners the foundation for a successful education.
The summer is coming and school will be out. How will you continue to engage your scholar in learning? KDSL Global is highlighting five resources for families as they plan summer learning opportunities.
The mission of Black Girl MATHgic is to inspire math confidence, strengthen math aptitude and develop math identity in girls. The Black Girl MATHgic Box is a monthly subscription box curated for girls on a 3rd-8th grade math level (regardless of their age); each box contains an engaging, real-world math activity booklet, 3-5 items to support the activities, an affirmation to inspire confidence, a profile of a black woman mathematician and a Caring Adult Guide.
The FlUrNing® Learning Group, LLC provides face-to-face and online academic support to K-8 scholars as well as instructional support and materials to educators. By focusing on effective instruction, combined with innovative and creative delivery methods, FlUrNing strives to bring out the FUN in learning. Our online platform is also available to connect with scholars all across the country. By putting the needs of the scholars first, we were created for one reason: save education by making learning FUN for once!
Digital Storytelling Virtual Camps
During the virtual camp, students will create a digital story based on the theme of the week. Sign your kids up for one and all of our fun themes and enjoy.
The course will be conducted through a combination of email, video conference, and phone calls. We’ll conduct the course over video conference and phone calls.
2LearnArabic is an online Arabic language school. The classes are held live in our innovative virtual classrooms using a smart application, and are taught exclusively by qualified, native speaking teachers. We offer one on one live interactive classes.
The mission of Fun Weird Science is to train K-12th grade students to be proficient in each component of S.T.E.A.M. through innovative instruction that will produce creative-minded and critical thinking participants in the global marketplace. They offer camps, kits, and virtual science experiences.
What are your scholars doing this summer? What are some other suggestions you have for summer learning?
KDSL Global is a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. We are excited to officially share our KDSL Global International Education Recruitment division, which will focus on partnering with school groups and education organizations around the world to meet their talent needs. Our diverse team have all worked in the international education space for 20+ years and have completed executive searches, teacher recruitment, and filled consultant needs on education projects around the world. This will be led by Ann Little.
With over 25 years’ experience, Ann Little is passionate about making a difference globally within the education and leadership field. She is a versatile professional with an extensive background and expertise in strategic planning, change management, education reform projects, leadership development, training, recruitment, special education, and inclusion.
Ann began her career as a special education inclusion teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary and Special Education from Hiram College, Ohio. In 2009 she wanted to expand her knowledge and interests by studying abroad and in 2010 earned a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership & Management from the University of Roehampton in London, United Kingdom. She is a licensed teacher in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
After earning her master’s degree Ann went on to work with two international school start-ups in the Middle East and three large scale education reform projects in SE Asia focusing on leadership development, strategic planning, recruitment, building capacity, improving teaching pedagogy and inclusion practices. Prior to this, she led a large-scale special education literacy project in Hillsborough County, Florida with the 8th largest school district in the United States. Under her leadership, the project grew to provide services to over 5,000 special education students in 100+ schools.
Ann is both a visionary and transformational leader who has proven her ability to succeed in driving change through school transformation projects with diverse populations at an international level. She is committed to improving opportunities for students everywhere to access quality education. She brings her ability to work and relate effectively across international cultures to recruitment, leadership, and special education projects.
KDSL Global collaborates with education businesses around the world. One service we offer is mentoring consultants and startups. This month the team had a chance to chat with Maha Sarraf and Dr. Michelle Haag of Ascend Education. Learn more about this new team and their work below.
Tell us about Ascend Education.
We’re Maha and Michelle and we worked together at an American/DP Curriculum School in Dubai. We formed Ascend Education Consultants (AEC) Ascend because we believe in creating communities in which voices come together to promote a unique mission leading to whole school growth, well-being and elevated learning. We created our company to address a gap we have seen between what is taught in the overt curriculum and what is expected by the implied cultural curriculum of the school. At Ascend we work with whole schools to Amplify all voices of the community, Empower leaders at all levels and Collaborate to embed best practices in curriculum and instruction. Additionally, our expertise lies in both curriculum and operations. We support schools’ growth towards accreditation, community building and adding depth and rigor.
What would you say to an educator engaged in teaching online about well-being?
At Ascend, we are teachers, parents and coaches. Teacher well-being is one of the areas we feel is crucial whether online or not. Self care is a very important aspect in our service-oriented career. If we don’t take care of our inner well being, it is difficult to hold space for our students in taking care of their needs. This is a very stressful time–with the sudden change from being a part of a vibrant physical community and collegial support to round the clock remote interactions. It is very important that teachers create boundaries- ensuring they have time for themselves to recharge. Exercise, meditation, nutrition and simply doing things that nurture our inner being are even more important at this time. It’s also important that teachers talk to trusted colleagues/coaches/friends about the difficulties or challenges we are all facing navigating the online world.
Along with self care, we understand that the foremost concern of educators is the well being of their students. The relationship between student and teacher continues to be a priority. It’s important to establish time within the lesson to share concerns, fears, and personal stories. Students still need us to provide that safe space for thinking together. This is also a time for innovation. Teachers can guide blended learning that channels student questions into relevant information sharing. Ascend Education Consultants can support your journey from emergency remote content to innovative interactive community projects driven by students.
What do you see as the future of professional development for educators?
We believe that students, teachers and whole school communities should drive their professional learning needs with supportive growth-oriented administrators. We see more involvement of stakeholders in mission driven school development. All members have differing growth goals and needs and just as we apply best practices for working with students, adults too need individualized experiences. Professional development might be through groups getting together to participate in online “workinars” or looking for “just in time” training to initiate their own plans for innovative achievement. Ascend works with teacher/practitioners as they collect evidence and share their own action research.
We believe that professional means that leaders are found at all levels in schools and development is how these leaders grow as individuals and as team builders.
To learn more visit https://www.ascendeducationconsultants.com/#home.
Maha Sarraf, M.Ed
Constructive Leadership, English Language Arts, Social Studies
Maha has been a teacher and administrator in various international settings at the elementary school level. Most recently she was the Head of School in Kampala. She has also served as a long time deputy director in Dubai. Maha’s education degrees are from the Teachers College, Columbia University in New York and George Washington University. She is fluent in Arabic as well as English.
She is passionate about making sure all students have optimal learning opportunities. Recently completing the Conscious Parenting Coaching Course, Maha says “Education is a wonderful way to grow both academically and personally.”
Michelle Haag, PhD
Integrated curriculum, Science, Math, Instructional Coaching
Michelle’s education and experience has been in American Curriculum schools. Her PhD work was in Cleveland City schools and she has held teaching, curriculum and administration posts in Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and in Ohio. She has taught Masters level courses at Cleveland State University, Lake Erie College, Bilkent University, Ankara and the American University in Dubai.
Having taught in traditional and outdoor ed settings, in elementary, middle, high school and at the university level in several countries, Michelle is passionate about experiential learning and authentic assessment. She sees education as a way to bring students together through and within our shared world.
KDSL Global recently had the opportunity to connect with Fatma Trabelsi for a quick check in about her experience teaching online. She is a grade 4 teacher at Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Fatma was recently celebrated for being innovative an committed to student learning in the new age of distance.
How is your distance learning experience?
I should say things are getting better and easier. I am working my way through all the technology features of the tools that I have never expected to use before! Yet this whole transition is extremely draining as it requires a lot of pre-planning and consistency. If I can use an analogy this whole distance learning is like an airplane prior to take-off. The sound, the spinning, the speed, the fuel, the orientation are all set before the take off. That’s why I find it inspiring and exhausting at the same time.
What technology are you using?
At Graded, we are entering our third week of distance learning. The dust is gently getting settled. The first week resulted in long hours of work in front of screen, serious exhaustion, several meetings with grade level teachers and designing the best possible plan to serve both parents and students of our grade level. Yes, we lacked sleep and we were tense. Surveys were sent at the end of the week to check if things went well. We were surely happy with the survey results.
In the lower school, we are all using Google Classroom, Brainpop for reading assignments/ Science. Screencastify for morning messages and mini-lessons, and Edulastic for standardized assessment. For regular check-in we use Flip Grid. Obviously, all the Google resources / extensions are used to support our presentations and enhance our mini-lessons. Our library has a bunch of online resources that became quite helpful in these days.
One message you want to share with your scholars.
For all other scholars, it is important to remain calm, clear-headed and positive. We remain the familiar and the inspiring figures in our students’ lives. They need us now most as uncertainty and doubt veils their days. As educators we also need to empower each other and support those who need more help. This is a serious time where we need to show solidarity and compassion in both in action and words.
Fatma Trabelsi is an experienced international educator with eighteen years of teaching and leading experience in different international schools across North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and South America. Over the years, she has gained deep understanding of the IB programme as well as the American curriculum. My recent work experience was the American curriculum with a major focus on the workshop model in literacy and math. She has been involved in IB re- authorization visits and CIS/WASC re-accreditation meetings at organizational level.
Throughout her teaching journey, she has often found herself actively engaged with the school growth and development. Fatma has a MA in Education, BA in English Language and literature, TEFL certification, and several years of teaching experience in international schools. Beside her qualifications, she received training as CIS visiting school member and has recently completed a TTC workshop on leadership tools in international schools offered by Bambi Betts along with Middle Leadership course delivered by Nord Anglia.
Dallas, Texas, April 12, 2020 – The “I am not a virus” mantra, which Asians around the world shared, is applicable to all humans regardless of skin color, citizenship or ethnicity.
News sources and AIELOC members based in China revealed that people of African origin are being evicted and denied services at businesses and other establishments such as restaurants. This is in response to an increase in COVID-19 infections and the blatantly racist and unfactual belief that persons of a certain skin color are carrying the virus. An April 1, 2020 PBS News Hour, details anecdotes shared by individuals globally. The report confirms what AIELOC is hearing and now tracking: “As novel coronavirus spreads around the globe, so have xenophobic misinformation, harassment, discrimination and insults.”
AIELOC unequivocally and absolutely condemns these acts of racial discrimination. We are also concerned by the growing number of these cases on a daily basis. AIELOC calls on international education organizations (AAIE, EARCOS, NESA, AISH, Principals’ Training Center, The International Educator, W Lead Asia, Diversity Collaborative, and ACAMIS) to reach out to heads of schools and directors to ensure a response and that an action plan is immediately put in place for staff, families, and students impacted.
On April 12 we asked AIELOC members based in China:
- What response have you received from your community, board, and leadership to this alarming rise in discrimination against Africans and Black Americans?
- What support are teachers and students being impacted receiving?
Below are some of the responses:
- “I plan on emailing my head of school about it tomorrow.”
- “It has been radio silence where I am. Those of us that are African and Black American are very concerned because it could trickle to other areas. They are already skeptical of foreigners and we have to go through an extra layer of security.”
- “My South African colleagues were forced into quarantine even after testing negative. My school hasn’t outright addressed the behavior for what it is: racism and the targeting of people with black skin with Africans of other races simply being collateral damage. As a black community, we’re always going to support each other, and that has happened beautifully. At this point, the mantra is to help where you can and to report racist incidents. In terms of my school, I want to know how they plan to support our safety and well-being in light of this official report.”
News Sources and References
- African Nations, US Decry Racism Against Blacks in China (https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/04/11/world/africa/ap-af-virus-outbreak-africa.html)
- ‘I am not a virus.’ How this artist is illustrating coronavirus-fueled racism
- Email sent on April 11, 2020 from U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China to American Citizens in China email list-serv entitled: Health Alert: U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China (April 11, 2020).
- US Embassy China Alerts and Messages (https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/u-s-citizen-services/security-and-travel-information/archive-alerts-messages/)
The Association of International Educators and Leaders of Color (AIELOC) is devoted to amplifying the work of international educators and leaders of color with a focus on advocacy, learning, and research.
For further information, please contact Kevin Simpson, Founder of AIELOC
Tel: +1.312.478.1695 | firstname.lastname@example.org