In this challenge, which might serve as a culminating activity to the inquiry, students learn about the role of international agencies in supporting communities by deciding which organization they would most want to support. Suggest to students that every country has problems, including Canada. Invite students to think of the problems they have learned about in this inquiry that face Canada and the four profiled counties (e.g., basic rights, environment). Compile a list of these problems. You may want students to supplement their own ideas by reading newspapers, searching the Internet or consulting materials published by nongovernmental groups. Explain to students that there are hundreds of organizations around the world dedicated to helping communities solve their own problems. Introduce students to several local and international aid groups (e.g., Free the Children, Stephen Lewis Fund for Africa, Doctors without Borders, UNICEF, Development Canada, a local food bank).
Provide students with a brief factual profile about each organizationthe kinds of projects it undertakes, where it operates and any other relevant facts about its approach to international aid. Alternatively, you might invite speakers to talk to students about these groups or provide materials that various groups have developed for children (e.g., Cyberbus, Change for Children, Kids for Saving the Earth). Assign groups of students to present information about one of the organizations to the rest of the class. Invite students to discuss the importance of the work carried out by these agencies.
As a class, brainstorm the criteria that students might consider in deciding which organization they would most want to support (e.g., meets needs that the student considers to be most important, involves local community people, will produce a long-term positive result). Invite students to consider each of the profiled organizations before making a choice of the one they would be most likely to support. You may want to adapt the chart and strategies in Justifying My Choice (Support Material) to structure and asses s this activity.
Encourage students to write a letter of support to the organization they have chosen.
Adapted from Caring for Young People's Rights, edited by Roland Case, Jan Nicol and Dan Kirk (Richmond, BC: The Critical Thinking Consortium, 2002), 4146.