Activity - Partner Updates, May 2018



"El planeta es la escuela" es el proyecto que lidera la Fundación Karisma en el que participan grupos de jóvenes en Fresno (Tolima) y Medellín, (Antioquia)

El objetivo es generar experiencias que fortalezcan la relación entre los jóvenes y su territorio, a través de dos estrategias:

  1. Explorar oportunidades para crear o innovar en el territorio.
  2. Elaborar relatos personales o colectivos (en diferentes formatos como dibujo, fotografías, videos y textos) que den cuenta de las experiencias que están viviendo los jóvenes desde su propio punto de vista.

Para el escritor colombiano William Ospina, es urgente que los procesos educativos tengan un propósito que no se reduzca al éxito y la rentabilidad individual, sino que consuele un sentido profundo de dignidad y de comunidad. Algo que solo se alcanza en la educación, si se le da lugar al pensamiento, la creatividad, la comunicación, la socialización y la felicidad. En resumen, si el "Planeta es la escuela" nuestra tarea es aprender, innovar y narrar el territorio.

El proyecto se desarrollará con dos grupos: las mujeres jóvenes del “Festival Motivando a la Gyal” de Platohedro (Medellín) y un grupo de estudiantes de grados 9, 10 y 11 del Colegio Real Campestre (Mireya y Las Marías, Fresno)

En abril, los jóvenes del colegio realizaron una serie de entrevistas a habitantes de Fresno que actualmente tienen negocios relacionados con temas en los que manifestaron tener interés, como turismo, fincas ecológicas, mecánica, etc. Entre abril y mayo trabajarán con un grupo de artistas para transformar las memorias de esas entrevistas en nuevas narrativas usando imágenes, dibujos y creando cuentos o crónicas.

En mayo de 2018, ambos grupos compartirán un taller de 3 días en la ciudad de Medellín con el objetivo de crear nuevas redes de colaboración entre los participantes y tener la oportunidad de compartir experiencias, historias y retos desde diferentes perspectivas en relación con las preguntas sobre sus territorios. El taller se llevará a cabo en Platohedro.


"The Planet is the School" is the project led by the Karisma Foundation with groups of young people in Fresno (Tolima) and Medellín, (Antioquia).

The goal is to generate experiences that strengthen the relationship between young people and their territory, through two strategies:

  1. Explore opportunities to create or innovate in the territory.
  2. Elaborate personal or collective stories to tell experiences from their own point of view, using different kinds of supports like drawings, photos, video and written text.

For the Colombian writer William Ospina, it is urgent that educational processes have a purpose that is not reduced to individual success and profitability, but rather encourage a deep sense of dignity and community. Something that can only be achieved in education if critical thinking, creativity, communication, socialization and happiness are part of the process. In summary, if the "planet is the school" our task is to learn, innovate and narrate the territory.

The project will be developed with two groups: the young women of the "Festival Motivando a la Gyal" from Platohedro (Medellín) and a group of high school students from the Real Campestre School (Mireya and Las Marías, Fresno)

In April the students at the school conducted a series of interviews with people in Fresno running businesses related to the interests that they identified in the first part of the project, including tourism, eco-farms, mechanics, etc. The students are now working with a group of artists to transform the memories of the interviews into new narratives, including images, drawings and stories.

In May 2018, both groups will participate in a three days workshop in Medellín together with project partners from Karisma and IDRC. The purpose of this activity is to create new networks of collaboration between the project participants, and to have the opportunity to exchange experiences, stories and challenges from different perspectives. The workshop will take place on site at Platohedro, one of the Colombian partners of "The Planet is the School" project.


TakingITGlobal (TIG) is developing a Guide to Inclusive organizing for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Guide to Action on the SDGs will build on TIG's 7 existing Guides to Action, with a specific focus on inclusive design principles for youth led projects. This guide is being developed as a stand alone resource and also as an embedded element to strengthen inclusive outcomes for two national programs:

  • #RisingYouth, an initiative to support youth led community development initiatives awarding over $1 million in grants.
  • Create to Learn, which is providing capacity building for youth from 40 Indigenous communities to foster media making and digital skills.

Designing, testing and piloting these toolkits and their associated activities with integration into program delivery enables participatory community collaboration and in built audiences to engage across the design process.

The SJRK team will work with TIG to support the development of Inclusive Design content. It will be published in accessible PDF format and tested through community gatherings and workshop delivery across Canada.

Digital media created by Indigenous youth about their communities will be featured on, an interactive educational platform and mobile app providing an authentic audience for their work.

TIG will also be connecting and sharing best practices of inclusive design across a national coalition of partners working on youth service and exploring the integration of the SJRK storytelling tool into Create to Learn and the #Decarbonize/Decolonize initiative.

Fundación Universitaria Tecnológico Comfenalco (FUTCO)

Fundación Universitaria Tecnologico Comfenalco is working on two challenges:

  1. Supporting the action of youth movements in the city of Cartagena de Indias.
  2. Building the capacity to monitor the environmental state in the city of Cartagena together with the Environmental Guardians.

Video documentation of interviews with youth in Cartagena can be found on the site as well as on YouTube.

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)

Update coming soon!

SMARTlab/ Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland at UCD

In collaboration with UWEZO Youth Empowerment, other youth organizations, and young people, SMARTlab PhD student Aniyamuzaala James Rwampigi carried out a study in Rwanda from November to December 2017 to discover the mismatches between young people with learning differences and Rwanda’s formal education system, understand the reality of their lives and work, and make recommendations to match the mismatch.

The full report will be made available soon, but major findings include:

  • the realities of employment for young people with learning differences in Rwanda, who often work in informal sector jobs in areas such as market selling, security, and agriculture
  • the ongoing challenges of recovery from the 1994 Rwandan genocide for the entire country, and the impact of this on young people with learning differences
  • how factors like low income, inaccessible and unsupportive environments and a lack of inclusive resources and learning materials impact the learning experiences of young people with learning differences both in formal education and in other contexts
  • the desires of young people with learning differences to empower themselves and improve their lives by acquiring skills, knowledge and support outside of the formal education system
  • the ways in which technology, especially mobile phones and social media, factors into the lives of young people with learning differences and,
  • the enthusiasm and desire of youth and youth-serving organizations to gain knowledge and approaches to better work with youth with learning differences through inclusive design

Recommendations for matching the mismatch include:

  • building working networks of diverse young people working together towards a common goal of inclusion and improvement of livelihood as a strategy to facilitate peer to peer learning and strengthening capacity
  • advocacy for gender-inclusive policies and initiatives which take into consideration the voices and needs of young women with learning differences
  • developing contextualized materials to train youth organizations, youth cooperatives and others on inclusive design principles to support working together with young people with learning differences in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes at all levels

The research study also conducted basic training on how to develop a business plan with many of the young people with learning differences involved in the study. In the longer term, more comprehensive training materials for youth friendly inclusive business development should be developed that can be adapted to various contexts, supported by exchange platforms and platforms to share knowledge on managing and developing business.

Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)

The IDRC has been working on the development of a digital storytelling tool that will provide a forum for the gathering and sharing of stories created by youth with learning differences and others involved in social justice action. This tool will allow for creative, multi-modal story authoring and storytelling, including language translation options.

Through feedback collected during the story gathering process the tool will be co-designed with the youth that use it. In one example, the IDRC will be heading to Medellín, Colombia in May to participate in workshops at Platohedro, together with organisers of the upcoming Motivating the Gyal festival (taking place in September 2018 - see 2017 festival info here). The Storytelling tool will be used at the workshops in May to gather and share individual and collective stories behind the festival, and to provide "behind the scenes" documentation and a festival blog. Feedback about the tool will be gathered from participants.

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