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KEN SARO-WIWA FOUNDATION: CALL FOR EDUCATORS

KEN SARO-WIWA FOUNDATION: CALL FOR EDUCATORS

Posted 17 May 2005

The Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation (KSWF) is looking for interested elementary and secondary teachers to participate in an education outreach program around the 10-year anniversary of the execution of Nigerian writer, human rights and environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

The educational outreach program is part of a series of activities hosted by KSWF leading up to November 10th, 2005.

In 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his Ogoni (Nigerian community) colleagues were executed by the Nigerian Government following their campaign against the devastating environmental impacts of oil companies in their lands in the Niger Delta.

Nine years after the killings, the Ogoni and other marginalized communities in oil producing areas, which Ken cared much about, pine away in poverty and neglect, denied such basic amenities as water, power, roads, schools, and hospitals. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s non-violent methods that advanced the use of literature, critical thinking, enlightened public debate and dialogue as tools of conflict resolution appear forgotten in a more turbulent Africa-where conflicts continue to be about resource control and environmental insufficiency.

On November 10th events will be taking place internationally as part of a commemoration and mobilization around the issues for which Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni people fought.  This broad-based response is a testament to the legacy of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the continuing environmental and human rights abuses in Nigeria and around the world.

KSWF-Canada will be coordinating a series of arts-based, educational, and awareness raising events here in Toronto in partnership with other human rights and environmental organizations. Part of our campaign will be an educational outreach program that seeks to mobilize/excite/attract/inform/educate/enlighten students about Ken Saro-Wiwa and explore issues of human rights, environmental rights, indigenous rights, corporate responsibility, activism and citizenship.

The educational program will be designed for students in grade 7 and 8 and possibly grades 11/12 (depending on interest) and will include an opportunity to contribute material to be presented or displayed at the November 10th events. Students will be given the opportunity to speak with members of the Saro-Wiwa family, as well as view films about the plight of the Ogoni people, discover Nigeria and Nigerian influenced art/music, engage in debate about the issues facing this area with regards to the environment and social activism, and much more. Our education coordinator is currently designing a resource package with lesson plans, resource materials, and curriculum-referenced activities for an in-school program.

We are hoping to find a team of teachers who would be interested in running this program for their students sometime between September and November 2005. In addition, we will be calling a short meeting of interested teachers with whom we can discuss possible implementation strategies. Teachers are not required to participate in this planning meeting however. Interested teachers should contact the Education

Coordinator for more information or to submit their name as a potential partner in this project.

For further information please contact Anna Chudnovsky, Education Coordinator, 416-516-1323

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