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Education That Pays For Itself conference 2008

Education That Pays For Itself 2008  took place in mid November 2008 bringing together some of the world’s leading practitioners in financially sustainable education, along with educators, policymakers, business people, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and NGOs from around the world, in a unique forum for learning, networking, inspiration and action.

If you couldn't make it along, why not check out the conference diary below...

Day One: Connect!

Under the springtime sunshine 140 delegates from 25 countries around the world arrived at Eden CampusEden Campus, South Africa’s first Teach a Man to Fish School. People were already connecting and exchanging ideas before they’ve even walked up the conference hall steps and the atmosphere is buzzing.

A tribal style South African welcome kicks off the conference and Eden students perform their original & catchy ‘Teach A Man To Fish’ song. The crowd sings along and begins to embody the Zulu spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ (togetherness).

Its time to bring home the essence of ‘Teach A Man To Fish’ and Nik Kafka (Teach A Man To Fish), Martin Burt (Fundacion Paraguaya / Teach A Man To Fish) & Steve Carver (Eden Campus) break down the concept of the Self-Sufficient School and how it works in Paraguay, South Africa and all over the world. Arno Van Haght, Willow Point eveningfrom the conference sponsors Standard Bank, explains the synergies between Self-Sufficient Education and the Standard Bank philosophy.
With the theme of Day One being ‘Connect’, everyone gets busy with some ‘speed-dating’ activities and some group work focusing the different aspects of how to run a Self-Sufficient School, covering everything from school business management to developing educational materials!!

Day one closes with a traditional South African ‘Braai’ (BBQ) down by the lakeside, in a beautiful marquee and some dubious drumming skills from the delegates…

Day Two: Involve!

The theme of Day Two was ‘Involve’ and kicked off with a beautiful sunny day at the Ideas Marketplace!

Delegates set up tIdeas Marketplaceheir stalls at the brand new Karatara Community Market, to ‘sell’ ideas and exchange wisdom with fellow delegates. Rather than the usual PowerPoint presentations, this gave delegates a chance to interact on an individual level and discuss what works and doesn’t work based on local experience.

In the afternoon Skoll Awardee Taddy Blecher, founder of SouthEvening at Featherbed Africa’s first free University, CIDA City Campus, introduces his method for creating proactive, entrepreneurial and ‘Whole’ Students, a critical element of the Self Sufficient School model. Ashoka Fellow, Douglas McMeekin of the Yachana Foundation in the jungles of Ecuador demonstrates to delegates how to run a Self-Sufficient School using Eco-Tourism.

The day finishes up with some exciting round table workshops where ten groups break away to produce solutions for themes such as ‘Implementing Self-Sufficient School Models’, ‘Micro-Franchising & Self-Sufficient Schools’, ‘The ‘Learning by Doing & Earning Principle’ and ‘Assessing Self-Sufficient School Impact’, amongst others.

In the evening delegates enjoyed a Mississippi style paddleboat ride across beautiful Knysna Bay where they were treated to musical performances from some of South Africa’s rising stars.

Day Three: Unleash!

The theme of the last day is ‘UnleaConference attendeessh’ giving the delegates the chance to bring together all that has been discussed over the previous two days and form a vision for the future. The ever energetic MC David Germond facilitated a ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ session where delegates got the chance to voice their opinions on how the Teach A Man To Fish network could move forward in the future. This culminated in every delegate filling out a letter of commitment, clearly defining what actions they will take and the goals they are setting themselves to spread ‘Education That Pays For Itself’ across the globe.

With everyone looking forward to a bright future for the Teach A Man To Fish family, students from Eden Campus gave a fantastic goodbye performance with the chorus of the ‘Teach A Man To Fish’ song echoing in delegates ears…

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