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‘They eat kidney beans like us’: kids learning from kids

Last week, Raul and I were back in Timor Leste to continue working with local primary school students who are participating in the Our Day Project and also linking with a school in Australia.

It has been great to see how much the students remembered and learned from our last visit. Their media skills have improved enormously and they are much more confident about capturing their world on video to show their peers in Australia what their life is like and what is important to them.

We also got to meet Felix, our new ChildFund Connect facilitator. Now that the program is up and running, Felix will be in charge of maintaining the kids’ enthusiasm for learning about different cultures, countries and media. He will also support the children to keep producing their own stories and videos, and help facilitate the links with schools in Australia and other countries involved in ChildFund Connect.

The highlight of our visit this time was showing the kids the videos made by their partner school in Australia and talking about what they learned from them. Grades 5 and 6 and other students squeezed into the classroom to watch, laugh and learn about life in Australia. The noise of 50 children in one room quickly subsided when the video began and Aussie children started popping up on the screen.

Afterwards, we asked the kids what they thought of the videos. They said: ‘The roads are bigger and better than here’ and ‘They eat tomatoes’. They also pointed out a few similarities: ‘They eat kidney beans like us’, ‘play hand-clapping games too’ and ‘the flowers that live in their trees are the same as here’.

I was struck by how animated and engaged the kids were in this discussion and how much they seemed to absorb from the videos. It’s great to see them learning about the world in a way that really interests them.

Next stop for us is Laos, where the children we’re working with are also participating in the Our Day Project – will send another update soon!

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