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Barge Newsletter
From Head of Barge, Stan.

Another busy and rewarding academic year comes to an end, with many schools closing for their long holiday break. At Barge Program we have spent the last few months reflecting on our year of trips. We worked together on our tri- annual strategic planning for the program, and were pleased to see that as a program we are linking to the UN Global Goals.

We worked collaboratively as a staff team - Goal 17
We discussed actions to become involved with our local area schools - Goal 4
We plan to revise our snack policy - Goal 2
And we are continually learning about environmental issues - Goal 15

Find out more about each of these goals in this month's newsletter, and think about how you can connect to the UN Global Goals. Safe and happy holidays!

Stan (Erin Stanley)
Head of Barge Program

Goal 15 “LIFE ON LAND”: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

and degradation affects 1.5 billion people globally
Invertebrates and micro-organism are key to ecosystem services, but their contributions are still poorly known and rarely acknowledged
Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects
Every year, 10,000 species become extinct
Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants
Not just because we should preserve the natural beauty and diversity of our planet, but because as humans we rely on the natural world for our very survival
Less than 1 per cent of the over 80,000 tree species on Earth have been studied for potential use
As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries 
rely on traditional plant-­‐based medicines for basic healthcare
No such thing as a free lunch - invest in healthy soil
Due to drought and desertification, each year 12 million hectares are lost (23 hectares per minute), where 20 million tons of grain could have been grown

Global Goal 4- Quality Education

Education has the capacity to transform on an individual basis, and to create a harmonious and equitable society.
Philip Hughes (2007)
     The key aims of the 4th Global Goal, Quality Education, are to ensure all children have access to quality early education provision, primary education and secondary education. By 2030, all children should have equal access to all levels of education, including children with disabilities, indigenous people and children from vulnerable situations. Gender disparities will also be eliminated. The specific focus is on quality education, and therefore, by 2030, there must be a substantial increase in the supply of qualified teachers, particularly in least developed countries.
Facts and figures:
  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics found that 124 million children are out of school and 757 million adults, two thirds of whom are women, cannot read or write.
  • An estimated 50 per cent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-afflicted areas.
  • There were 2 million more children not enrolled in school in 2013 than in 2011, suggesting that pressures on education are riving along with population increases.
  • Only 45 per cent of children will attend secondary school.
  • 11 percent of compulsory school-age children in Thailand are not currently enrolled for school.
     Quality education has the potential to be a powerful catalyst for development, minimizing poverty and maximizing prosperity. Education has the ability to improve lives in many ways, including economic growth of communities, lower death rates of children under 5, higher wages, fewer child marriages. All these positives impact on other global goals.
Quality education requires:
  • Quality learners, who are healthy and attend school regularly
  • Quality learning environments, where adequate space and resources are provided
  • Quality content, which is student centered and provides local and national content, life skills and peace education
            These aims can only be achieved through a world wide commitment from country leaders, educational ministers and citizens. Substantial funding must be provided to support educational institutions and it must be compulsory for all children to attend school, including secondary education. Citizens must also continue to support this global goal and raise awareness to how vitally important quality education is to achieving the aims within all the global goals.

UN Goal 16: Peace and Justice Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Living as a community is an important part of life on a Barge trip. As part of this, we encourage students to take responsibility for cooking and cleaning but also for making choices that lead to us living well together. Our program  uses a number of activities that address issues of conflict management and help young people to experience mediation and other ways to move beyond fuelling conflict.
One of my favourite activities for primary students is collaborative sandwich. As a class, students are given everything that is needed to produce a jam sandwich and fruit drink for afternoon snack. However, just as in the real world inequalities exist between countries, in the game, groups are not all given the same materials. Some have the raw materials: the bread, the jam and the fruit juice, while others have technology, knives and spoons but no raw materials to work with.  After a few minutes of frustration there is usually a student who suggests that the groups interact and share with each other and so the process leading to a lasting solution gets underway.
This simple game is rich in analogy and once full of bread and jam, students are able to discuss many of the issues contained within the Peace and Justice goal: the need for effective governance and fair rules, issues of human rights, the need for fair trade not exploitation and the problems of bribery and corruption.

Goal Number 2.  End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

During the September 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, hunger and food insecurity was one of the key topics of discussion, generating the SDG 2 – End Hunger and Achieve Food Security. Some targets were laid for this Sustainable Development Goal in a bid to achieve by 2030, to support some of the 1996 World Food Summit goals. The targets are generally descripted as below.
1. End the global hunger crisis and ensure all people, especially the poor, have access to sufficient and nutritious food.
2. End the malnutrition monster and address the nutritional needs of infants, adolescents, the elderly, and pregnant and lactating women.
3. Increase small-scale farmers’ agricultural productivity and incomes through equal and secure access to land and other factors of production, financial services, knowledge, opportunities and markets for non-farm employment and value addition.
4. Formulate measures to ensure the food commodity market and its derivatives functions properly, and that market information reaches farmers in time to avoid surprises on such market aspects as price volatility and demand variations.
5. Influence the redefinition of trade restriction policies and distortions in large world commodity markets in favour of the interests of these small-scale farmers.
6. Encourage investment, through such methods as increased international cooperation, in agricultural research, rural infrastructure, technology development, agricultural research and extension services, and livestock and plant gene banks, as a way of enhancing the capacity of agricultural productivity in developing countries, especially the least developed ones.
7. By 2020, ensure the UN helps maintain the genetic diversity of domesticated and farmed animals and their related wild species, seeds and cultivated plants through establishment of diversified plant and seed banks at both the national and international levels. The body is also to ensure that benefits reaped from genetic resource utilization, as internationally agreed, are shared fairly and equally.
8. Formulate resilient agricultural practices and sustainable food production systems that increase food production and productivity, help maintain ecosystems, boost adaptation to adverse weather conditions, climate change, flooding, droughts and diseases, and progressively boost soil and land quality.


Barge Program participants: May - June 2016

International School Bangkok
Grade 1, in-school event
Regent's International School, Pattaya
Year 5, Barge
Regent's International School, Pattaya
Year 6, Kanchanaburi
Ayutthaya District Office, Barge
Hua Hin International School
Years 5-7, Kanchanaburi
St Andrew's Samakee
Years 6-8, in-school event
Early Learning Centre
Year 6, Bangkok
Samsen Wittayalai English Program
Mattayom 2, Barge

Traidhos Camp

Teacher Introduction Day
01 October 2016
THB 350 per person
for more information and booking

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Charansanitwong Road, 
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