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For alumnus Stephen Winkler ’12, working for The Supply Education Group (The Supply) was the perfect combination of everything he had learned here at Emmanuel as well as his own beliefs. It was at EC where Winkler first experienced the participatory education model where discussion based learning is essential to improvement. He believed this was the key to instilling civic attitudes into the peoples of the world; he even wrote his senior thesis on the subject. It is no surprise that he soon found The Supply and became their regional field officer in Nairobi. It was Winkler’s job to collect data and analyze what it means. He has connected with The Supply’s ideals on education and their approaches to
international development with a focus systematic change rather than a proposal of a singular intervention. Their goal of impacting communities through education can be best explained by Winkler himself:
In June I was working with a group of high school teachers in a Nairobi slum. We started the workshop by asking everyone to think about education in the time of Kenya’s forefathers, going back to indigenous communities. Some of the methods of learning that teachers discussed included “sitting around the fire and telling stories” and “going out with elders in the village and learning by doing.” In summary, it was communal and hands on.
The Supply wanted to draw attention away from the world of education that we know; one of testing, competition, and rote learning. This way, the focus is drawn back to the community and how that can bring about education. In turn, these educated students who now have greater interest in their community, are more committed to wanting to help improve the living standards.
Eddo Kim, the founder of The Supply, formulated this philosophy. He believed in activating the youths of a nation to create the cities of tomorrow through a network of schools centered on the idea of service learning. So far they have created over 70 service projects to help better these communities. Kim hopes to have impacted 100 schools, that’s over 20,00 students, by 2020.
For any Emmanuel students interested in joining The Supply, they occasionally have opportunities for college students to do field work with them. To contact The Supply for these opportunities or if you have any questions on international development, Winkler says feel free to contact him. Finally, The Supply has college chapters already in place at BC, BU, and North Eastern University. If students are interested in starting one, contact Stephen as well.
The Supply Website: thesupply.org
Abigail is a staff writer for The Hub and can be reached at email@example.com. You can also find her on Twitter via @abbimathy.