As the world shifted online, educators faced a new challenge: helping students to think deeply about the world at a time when they were most isolated from it. Despite the distance, with ongoing support from Eurasia Foundation, educators learned new ways to guide their students in civic engagement projects during the pandemic. Eurasia Foundation online courses help educators work with students to think critically about the social issues facing their communities and develop action plans to implement youth-led initiatives. Projects take on a diverse array of socioeconomic challenges, including social equality, mental health, education, accessibility for people with disabilities, and environmental harm. In 2020, teachers and students took these initiatives online, harnessing the power of digital media to amplify their message and extend their reach.

One such initiative, delivered by a group of eighth grade students, focused on supporting children in street situations. With businesses shut and movement restricted in usually bustling urban areas, students asked, what happens to children living or working on the streets? With support from Eurasia Foundation, their teacher, Rania, helped students find answers.

Recognizing the myriad challenges faced by children in street situations, many of which were compounded by the pandemic, students partnered with a local nonprofit to launch an awareness campaign. The campaign drew positive attention to this marginalized group in an especially challenging time.

With continued guidance from Eurasia Foundation, Rania worked with students to advocate for these children’s rights to education, to be protected from economic exploitation, and to an adequate standard of living. Expanding on these insights, students then began selling the children’s handmade goods online to provide them with a reliable source of income during the pandemic.


For more stories from Eurasia Foundation's 2020 Annual Report: A Year Like No Other, click here.