3 April 2020
Dear Friends and Colleagues
The warmest of greetings.
On behalf of the EREBB Leadership Forum, I write to offer our communal solidarity, prayers and best wishes during these challenging times. At this moment, most of our schools around the world are closed and people are living in varying forms of lockdown.
Our vision for Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders has never had such significance as it does in these times. In a world where almost all borders are shut, this vision can bring hope, unity and solidarity. Despite being in varying states of lockdown at the moment, our hearts are warmed by knowledge of the richness we share as a global community.
Particularly during these times we remember the most vulnerable, who, as is always the case, will suffer the most through this crisis. We know of course that there are young people and families within our EREBB community who are living this vulnerability as their reality. They and all those in their situation call upon us to respond as a global family.
At this challenging time, we find ourselves at the front line of delivering education in the most complex of environments. And yet, as a global education community, we have both the experience to know what is best for our young people and the need for support to continue to educate in the best ways possible.
To support you in doing this we are establishing an EREBB Covid-19 Global Education Taskforce.
The main purpose of this taskforce will be to explore and initiate the most appropriate ways that this support can occur. The extensive educational expertise from all our educators will be drawn upon and every school will be able to access this initiative. There will also be a particular focus on supporting vulnerable young people and those in the developing world.
This taskforce will consist of representatives from each region and draw on the resources and expertise of organisations such as UNESCO and the Global Partnership for Education. It will be Co-chaired by Ray Paxton (EREA – Australia) and Sharon Van Vuren (Head of College – St John’s Cape Town – South Africa).
Further information about this initiative will be shared over the coming weeks.
When we emerge from our global crisis, how valuable will it will be to gather, to enjoy one another’s company in an unrestricted way and enjoy the gift of diversity. Anticipating this joy, we should pray that our opportunities to experience our shared humanity ‘beyond borders’ will be more intentional and valued. Nothing taken for granted, all a precious gift.
With best wishes
On behalf of the EREBB Leadership Forum