Edmund Rice International Schools’ Partnership Program Official Launch

Edmund Rice International has officially launched its new schools’ partnership program with an online event organised by Br Tino D’abreu, Grace David the advocacy coordinator for Edmund Rice schools in India, and Ann Nichols, the Network Facilitator from Edmund Rice England.

Over the past few months, regional advocacy coordinators and ERI animators have been encouraging the schools in their networks to nominate student youth ambassadors and staff contacts and have their principals sign the partnership agreement and share it with ERI.

More than 100 participants, including school principals, advocacy coordinators, mission animators and student leaders in social justice joined from across India, South Africa, Ireland and the UK to show their commitment to the partnership scheme and to share how being connected with ERI in schools enhances their global perspective on justice.

Designed to strengthen the Youth Ambassador program, this new partnership will offer more regular global meets for students, increased interactions with ERI and the global student community, and provide mutual support.
Br Brian Bond, Executive Director of Edmund Rice International joined the meeting from Australia where he gave an overview of the partnership scheme and how the ERI team hope it will foster deeper connections and collaboration between the young people in our schools around being a common voice for justice.

Student ambassador Nityam Soorma from St Columba’s school in Delhi explained how he had enjoyed participating in the EREBB Global Classroom Partners program, meeting other students ‘beyond borders’ and learning about their perspective on global issues.

Lachlan Gregory, a student from St Edward’s College in England had already had the chance to visit Geneva this year which gave him a huge insight into the achievements and shortcomings of the UN, into specific human rights injustices discussed at the UPR sessions he witnessed, and into the work of ERI.

Both are excited to be the Youth Ambassador in their school and looking forward to engaging with other schools on campaigns.

Ashlee Hally a teacher and peace and justice group coordinator at Ardscoil na Mara, in Tramore, Ireland gave an overview of how advocacy works in their school, the role of their Youth Ambassadors and the different initiatives the peace and justice group have been involved with.

Kaylee Lewis from CBC St John’s in Cape Town, South Africa shared the great enthusiasm and work involving both human and earth rights and engagement with UN submissions of her justice group.
Ann Nichols from the Edmund Rice Network in England shared some further thoughts on being an ERI partner school and how to raise the profile of ERI amongst the whole school community.

Tom Murray from England and Cormac McArt from the North of Ireland were thanked for paving the way to setting up this scheme with their work animating advocacy in schools and liaising closely with ERI.

ERI intend to run two School Partnership Global Meets per year and encourage more frequent regional gatherings (in person or online) between partner schools. School Youth Ambassadors are invited to their first ‘Global Meet’ on 30th September entitled: ‘Our Work as ERI Youth Ambassadors, Paving a Way for Justice.’ At this meeting students will share their work to date, their planned campaigns and initiatives they can share with the wider group.

Schools who have not done so are invited to sign and return the partnership agreement form to Br Brian Bond.

A recording of the launch can be found here.

Thanks to Ann Nichols for the information in this article

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