Nowadays, it may seem that technology and media are driving us apart, but cases such as the Heart ELT School prove this sentiment wrong. Four students from Morocco, England, Iraq and Canada who met through a massive open online course, also known as a MOOC or GROOC, used technology to connect with their cause and build something incredible: a school for Syrian refugee children living in refugee camps in Iraq.
The main goal of the first massive open online course was to connect people from all countries and inspire them to make the world a better place. Leslie Breitner, co-creator of the GROOC stated that their participants “experience a new way of learning that takes their unique experiences, combined with conceptual material and frameworks, and turns them into initiatives with impact.” With this mission in mind, the four students set out to make a change.
And as it is known, nothing great is accomplished alone. Julie Pratten, an English teacher from Brighton, UK, was one of the students who started this initiative. She had said “if people feel that you’re coming from the heart, they’ll be happy to assist. The GROOC has made me realise that people are willing to contribute; but need to know what they can do and how.” The group started a crowdfunding.com campaign in September 2015 and with the money they have raised so far, they have created the Heart ELT mobile classroom in a refugee camp near Dohuk, Iraq, stocked with school supplies.
The crowdfunding.com page is still open and donations can still be made to further the success of the school. As for the four philanthropic students who created it, they plan on starting a second charity campaign to create more mobile classrooms in other refugee camps. In this time of perceived disconnect that is 2016, stories such as this verify that the global community is still an environment that encourages selflessness and generosity.