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Supporting Saphara’s ‘Be The Change’ Programme

Taj Mahal

The Centre for Shared Education is teaming up with Saphara, an educational charity that focuses on projects which build capacity and empower young people. One such project is the charity’s ‘Be the Change’ programme, a transformational leadership programme offered to sixth-form students from separate schools in NI. In the programme, the students work across the community divide as well as with disadvantaged children in India, sharing stories about their lives and learning how they can be agents for social change. Normally, the programme culminates in the sixth-form students from NI traveling to India to work with young people there. However, because of the current COVID restrictions, the programme has had to pivot by engaging with young people over videoconferencing platforms, rather than in person.   

The Centre for Shared Education is undertaking a mixed methods study to explore attitudes and behaviours of programme participants, focusing on how participation in the programme may affect intergroup and interethnic responses. Additionally, there is scope for future collaboration with Saphara to examine student experiences once the ability to travel to India resumes and how face-to-face interaction compares to virtual. This study will conclude in Summer of 2021.