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Beyond Borders

We envision a world where no border restricts access to an education that transforms lives through Christ’s love.

The problem:

With war, conflict, and persecution on the rise globally, the number of displaced people around the globe has doubled over the last decade. An estimated 79.5 million people have been forced to flee from their homes this year. Of that number, nearly 26 million are currently refugees who leave because of conflict and persecution. More than half of these refugees are under 18. Globally, 1% of our population is displaced. (unhcr.org)

The problem compounded:

Unfortunately, fleeing one dangerous location doesn’t always mean the new location, which is often a makeshift camp of tents or substandard shelters, is any better. Rapes, beatings, suicide, rampant gang problems, and limited resources make daily life in a refugee camp feel like prison or worse. Education and health services for children are either limited or non-existent; school – which could provide help for the future and offer stability – is not a possibility for nearly 4 million refugee children. The global pandemic has only exacerbated these problems. (unhcr.org)

Can these problems be addressed?

This is an overwhelming task, but it’s not too big for God. In fact, all throughout history God has been working through the movement of people who have experienced displacement and oppression. Like the Biblical story of Joseph demonstrates, God works in and through those who are displaced. God can use education to extend love, bring healing, transform individuals and communities, and provide opportunities and hope for the future.

Our mission is to extend Christ’s love beyond borders, providing transformational education to those who are displaced.

Where we work:

LESVOS, GREECE: We partner with non-government organizations (NGOs) to support the provision of educational activities to families, adults, and children awaiting asylum on the island of Lesvos. To date our programs have included school readiness and early intervention for community-based family educational activities. In partnership with EuroRelief and in cooperation with other NGOs, we design and deliver educational programs inside of the newly constructed camp on Lesvos to address the educational and recreational needs of children in the camp. (Find out how you can serve)

KORAH, ETHIOPIA: We partner with our TeachBeyond sister program, Open Schools Worldwide, and with Glimmer for Street Kids and Brook Hills Development Organization, to provide a safe learning space and a bilingual bridging education program to children who have previously never been to school and live and scavenge on the city trash dump. The program is offered five days a week during school hours, provides children with two nutritious meals, includes art and play, and facilitates healing through trauma-informed practices and loving relationships.  We seek to build local capacity through facilitating ongoing education opportunities, EFL classes, and workplace training with our local partners. Our focus is on supporting our Ethiopian partners in our shared vision for transformation. (Find out how you can serve)

BIRAYU, ETHIOPIA: We partner with a private Ethiopian School, Big Home Academy, to provide scholarships to local children who have experienced displacement due to extreme poverty and other factors. (Find out how you can support)

GERMANY: We partner with the Justice Project, an organization dedicated to supporting women rescued out of sexual trafficking and exploitation. This project helps women with life skills acquisition, literacy, numeracy, and job readiness. We help to recruit highly qualified and skilled candidates to help support our partner. (Find out how you can serve)

NIAMEY, NIGER: We partner with an NGO to provide English speaking teachers and run EFL classes for adult refugees awaiting resettlement in a third country. Most of our students come from Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan. Learning English is highly valued by our students. We are looking to expand our classes to include the preschool age children of our adult students.

PRILIPET, ROMANIA: We partner with a local organization, Casa Dorca, to support the educational needs of marginalized children at their orphanage. We provide Casa Dorca with an experienced English-speaking educator who designs and runs after school educational programs including tutoring, homework help, and EFL classes.

The Method:

Our method is to reach, teach, and transform with a goal to learn to heal and heal to learn.

Reach. We equip Christian Educators, administrators, and staff – with a heart for relationship and a call to live out the Good News – to those who are displaced with educational solutions that support learning and healing.

Teach. We partner with organizations to train, equip, and resource teachers and volunteers to impact their communities.

Transform. We believe that education is an effective catalyst bringing hope to individuals and positive transformation to societies. We believe lives are transformed when people encounter the love of Christ.

Learn to Heal, Heal to Learn. Our education services are designed to help those who have gone through trauma and displacement. We believe the process of learning is healing in and of itself, thus our learning programs and environments are designed to promote both healing and learning.

Learn to Heal, Heal to Learn

The concept behind Learn to Heal, Heal to Learn comes from the multi-disciplinary study of education, language acquisition, neuroscience, trauma-informed care and expressive arts therapy. The wholistic approach to education, involving music, visual art, theatre, play and general creativity, is a response to the cycle that trauma-sufferers often find themselves in. The brain’s response to trauma limits and at times prevents people from functioning and learning in precisely the ways that help them move on and live as whole-people. The parts of our brains that help us learn, make informed decisions and think critically are the same areas that “shut-down” in response to fight, flight, or freeze signals.

In contrast, the cycle of Learn to Heal, Heal to Learn seeks to use trauma-informed practices that simultaneously promote healing and learning, resulting in the education’s healing and learning components being integrated to the extent that they are indistinguishable.

How we partner:

How we partner. We seek to partner with local communities and churches whenever possible, supporting their educational goals by co-creating educational solutions. We provide people, programs, education and resources to better meet the needs of students and communities.

How our program is unique. We acknowledge trauma has an impact on learning and the importance of incorporating play, art, movement, beauty, community, and creativity extensively in our education programs to aid the body, spirit, and mind to heal. To this end, we hold to guiding principles that are a framework for our educational practice. Our guiding principles and methods support a student to begin the process of healing necessary to acquire new knowledge and skills to become all a person is intended to be.

To learn more about our perspective on Transformational Education, our TeachBeyond Distinctive, and TeachBeyond Values, click here.

Support the work of Beyond Borders by standing in the GAPS

Give: Support Beyond Borders projects globally by using the box to the right.

Advocate: Tell others about our work.

Pray: Pray for our students, our staff, and our work. Sign up for a regular prayer blast about ways you can pray for the work of Beyond Borders.

Serve: Find out about the ways you can work full- or part-time with Beyond Borders. Fill out the form below or contact us at: serve@teachbeyond.org.