TCW has brought together young leaders from Mumbai and Bristol. Through the TCW Global Citizen Twinning Programme, young people have been encouraged to think about shared issues, such as food miles and energy consumption, and to explore and communicate with each other through digital media around a range of environmental and cultural themes. The programme aims to support young leaders to play an active role in the global society and to develop aspirations to tackle shared issues.
In August last year, Wendy (our CEO) and John (our co-founder) were introduced to Vidya of the Ramakrishna Sarada Samiti Centre (RKSS) in Mumbai. The centre is on the edge of one of Mumbai’s largest slums with a population the size of Bristol. Vidya and her team support the slum community by providing local health care, vocational training and a Young Leaders Support Programme. It was this latter activity that caught our imagination, and so TCW funded the Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol, who work with their local community, to develop a programme that brought together RKSS and Greenfields Primary School in Bristol.
What followed was inspirational!
In Mumbai, our young leaders (aged 11-14) decided that they wanted to know more about food and how to grow their own. They went out of the slum every Sunday to a field centre to learn about soil and growing vegetables. Brimming with their new knowledge and bags of enthusiasm, they are now keen to turn part of the RKSS yard and roof into a vegetable patch. And not only that, they also want to clear up a rubbish tip on the edge of the slum and transform it into a beautiful garden.
In Bristol, the young leaders have been growing vegetables on a dedicated patch at the school. They also cooked curry (and some liked it for the first time!), made a film about the project and engaged over 90 people in the local community with the project.
The young people in both countries learnt many new skills, and all partners observed an increase in the young people’s confidence and self-esteem as a direct result of the project.
We started this project thinking that we could teach young people how to become global citizens, but in fact they have taught us that they just need a little support to enable and empower them to just get on with it. Through their action and energy, our young leaders are inspiring and challenging us to be better, more pro-active global citizens.
Planning for the next phase has already started and we are all excited about what lies in store. If you would like to support this programme through time or donation, please contact Anita Beardsley (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.