Writing Our Own Futures

Writing Our Own Futures

Apr 22, 2021

Exploring and prioritising emotional health and wellbeing in our schools has never been more urgent. CDEC’s director Laura Goad digs deep to explain how acknowledging the past gives us, and our young people the power to write our own future and attain healthy emotions and better wellbeing – and how key it is to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘Sankofa’ - a word, and concept, from the Twi language that roughly translates to ‘go back and get it’ - has taken on a new meaning for us over the past year. The concept inspires us to learn from the past to make a new story, a new future. It inspires us with the confidence that we can take something positive, regenerative from our year of disrupted schooling, working and living and move forward. 

This ability to write and tell new stories, based on our experiences and those of our families and friends, is an important part in building compassionate and restorative school communities. And to do this, we need a focus on good emotional health and wellbeing, which
has never been more relevant or important.

September 2020 marked five years since the adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and is 10 years to the date when we will assess our global success in achieving them. The SDGs are a set of guidelines that are intended to allow us all to fix the systems of inequality and injustice; they are goals for all of us, designed to make our lived experiences, those of our communities and those of humans around the world fairer, equitable and sustainable. Core to enabling us - children, young people, teachers, people working in charities, businesses, local and national government - to be able to take action is good health and wellbeing. SDG 3.

Without resilience, compassion, empathy, hope - personally and collectively - we cannot achieve the goals for ourselves and our communities, local and global. Here at CDEC we have focused on weaving the golden thread of global learning together with a focus on projects and resources that support good health and wellbeing.

Caring for people, place and planet are mutually supporting and health-invigorating. To that end, we have new resources developed over the past nine months (explore our Compassionate and Restorative Education (CARE) approach and the opportunities for your school to receive training and resources) that are designed to specifically support you, your colleagues, pupils and parents to rebuild your school communities in a way that is stronger and more connected. Read about (and get involved with) our new PLACE project, which also has emotional health and wellbeing at its core.

Our experiences of the past 12 months have been a storm that we have navigated in our own boats. The process of looking back, processing our individual and collective experiences, is a vital part in building our new future and creating school communities that are stronger, more connected to their place and to the world outside it.