Global Citizenship: Its time to take down the blinkers
Today I was having a Skype catch up with my parents back in the UK and after the usual chit chat, silly antics and giggles I mentioned the world ‘global citizenship’. My dad laughed.
Why would anyone laugh at a terminology that has spurred on many incredible individuals and created cohesion across countries. Simple answer? To him, the term meant nothing tangible.
I explained to him my idea of global citizenship but then thought that I would sit down and Google a definite description. There wasn’t one. Drat. I could feel the opportunity to ‘have one up’ on my father ebbing away. Have a go, Google ‘Global Citizenship’ and you will see that the top result is Wikipedia. I find this interesting not only for the fact that no ‘oxford dictionary’ option was present, but also that the definition was written on Wikipedia and therefore by a general member of public who felt that the term deserved, at the very least, a mention.
‘In broad usage, the term global citizenship or world citizenship typically defines a person who places their identity with a “global community” above their identity as a citizen of a particular nation or place.’
So, is global citizenship just a terminology used in the third sector to inspire others to take a big picture viewpoint, or does it have added worth?
I have run workshops in schools on Global Citizenship and have had the incredible opportunity to then support these groups of young people to find a global issue that they are passionate about and act upon it. There are numerous ways to be a global citizen. This could be a simple act of sending shoe boxes filled with presents to India, or even establishing a partner school in South Africa like the Bambisanani Partnership whilst using sport as a catalyst to promote education, leadership, health and global understanding
Two individuals I know were inspired to become global citizens after a trip to Kenya in 2007. They felt the injustice that so many children would never be able to attain their life dreams because they couldn’t afford to go to school. They believe that quality education should be accessible to everyone, but unfortunately this is very far from the reality. And so, in 2008 they launched Milele, a small charity dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for children in Kenya who need them the most.
That’s tangibility to me.
With the very current influx of immigration, it’s time to take down our blinkers, look at the world around us and start acting globally. We can each be a global citizen, you just have to care enough to make change happen. For an inspirational story of how two 12 year old boys did just that, and later set up an international charity called Free The Children, now working with 2million young people worldwide watch this video:
Will you be a global citizen. Will you be the change?