This October, Carey Institute’s President and CEO Gareth Crawford, Director of the Center for Learning in Practice Diana Woolis, and Violetta Lopez from the International Rescue Committee conducted a workshop at the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) Conference in Ghent, Belgium on preparing teachers of refugees. The workshop was attended by people from more than a half-dozen countries and was focused on sustainable learning for early childhood educators. A participant from the Germany United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed their excitement and encouragement of the project. “This is great for what is needed in Germany, because there are untrained volunteers who are working with refugees and their only credential is a criminal background check. This could help them understand the basics of refugee children and early childhood development, especially if it included activities they could use and a place for them to ask questions. It is a very practical tool and could be easily scaled up across refugee centers in Germany—where things right now are so chaotic that we don’t know how many children are in how many places and where they have come from.”
One outcome of the workshop is that Dr. Woolis has been invited to Berlin in December to meet with the UNICEF team and discuss how the Carey Institute might support their work. She has also been invited to Amsterdam to meet with the ISSA educational leadership team to provide a demonstration of the model.