At Global Village Project, our mission is to develop a strong educational foundation for each student within a caring community using a strengths-based approach and intensive instruction in English language and literacy, academic subjects, and the arts.
Our vision is to ensure that all refugee girls with interrupted schooling have access to the education necessary to pursue their dreams.
We dream a world, one girl at a time.
In 2004, a group of social activists and educators volunteering with refugee families in Clarkston noticed that recently-resettled young women were struggling to succeed in metro-Atlanta secondary schools. It was clear that many of them had experienced significant gaps in their education before arriving in the U.S.
Our founders initially took action by launching a Saturday School to meet the needs of 5 teenage refugees from Afghanistan. When the Taliban closed their schools, none of the five girls had completed first grade. The young women invited their mothers, grandmothers and younger siblings to join them in Saturday School, and it soon grew into a learning community of 60 students supported by dozens of volunteers.
By 2007, the founding volunteers realized that by expanding and focusing Saturday School, they could do even more to help these young women catch up to their peers and achieve high school graduation. In consultation with early partners - Horizons, the International Community School, and Agnes Scott College - Saturday School applied for and was awarded a start up grant from the Atlanta Women’s Foundation to open a full day school for 30 refugee teenage girls.
The volunteers next went door-to-door in Decatur, seeking a space to house their school. Decatur Presbyterian Church (DPC) generously offered to provide space free of charge to establish Global Village Project. Since 2009, DPC has remained GVP’s partner, supporting our mission and vision by providing us a low-cost facility.
GVP formally opened its doors on August 10th, 2009 with 30 refugee students from countries including Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Burma, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and Liberia. In 2012, the school received accreditation as a special purpose middle school in DeKalb County. Since its inception, GVP has remained a tuition-free school operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.