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.
Global Village Project values and honors the guiding principles of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. We also agree and commit to model GVP core values in community and in classrooms: Respect, Responsibility, Lifelong Learning, Kindness, and Appreciation.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at GVP
GVP believes that embracing diversity, equity and inclusion as organizational values will intentionally make space for positive outcomes to flourish. For GVP, embarking upon this new phase is founded upon the powerful original principles of the GVP journey… the organization now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is committed to its next level of focused transformative growth.
The quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level. All the ways in which people differ and all the characteristics that make one individual or group distinct from another. While diversity is often spoken of in terms of race or ethnicity, it includes a spectrum as “diverse” as one can imagine, that which reflects each of us as individuals. Diversity can be more or less apparent, whether external or internal, it is valued in all its dimensions.
This can include age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language differences, nationality, parental status, physical, mental and developmental abilities, race, religion, sexual orientation, skin color, socio-economic status, work and behavior styles, the perspectives of each individual shaped by their nation, experiences and culture—and more.
Equity is an approach that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities. Improving equity is to promote justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. It is a process that acknowledges uneven starting places and seeks to correct the imbalance. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the underlying or root causes of outcome disparities within our society. Equity is distinct from equality in that equality is treating everyone “the same,” but it only works if everyone starts from the same place and all need the same help. Equity makes the necessary adjustments to ensure inclusive experiences and fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all.
Valuing the perspectives and contributions of all people and ensuring a safe, affirming, respectful and responsive environment. Diversity exists in social systems, while inclusion must be created. In order to leverage diversity, an environment must be created where people feel supported, listened to and able to do their personal best. Every person’s voice adds value. No one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.
GVP Core Values
We expect all of our community members to take up, teach, and model these core values: Respect, Responsibility, Lifelong Learning, Kindness, and Appreciation
We respect our school, classmates, teachers, helpers, and ourselves.
- We help each other and treat others with kindness.
- We listen and speak from our hearts.
- We look for what is good in others and ourselves.
- We use words to tell someone when we are angry or hurt.
- We keep our school neat and clean up after ourselves.
- We treat visitors as guests and are good hosts to those visiting our school.
- We are respectful outside of school when riding buses, going on field trips, and during lunch at Agnes Scott College.
- We are respectful of others and ourselves online.
We are all learners.
- We are responsible for our own learning and come prepared for class each day; we study, read, do homework, and bring notebooks, folders, pencils, etc.)
- We look, listen, and pay attention to classmates, teachers, and other school volunteers when they are speaking.
- We stay in our seats and ask before we leave the classroom or school.
- We help our classmates learn and do not distract them when they are working.
- We participate in classes and do our best work.
We keep our school and each other safe.
- We do not bring drugs or weapons to school.
- We do not push, hit, or fight with classmates or adults in the building.
- We do not bully others with words or with our bodies.
- We do not bully others online, post things that would make someone scared or hurt their feelings, or send unkind or hurtful messages or pictures.
- We work with others to resolve problems and take responsibility for our choices and actions.