“International Women’s Day – 03/08/2011 – Special”

By Monday, March 7, 2011 No tags 0

“You’re sitting on the dirt floor in your classroom and you hear a few heavy raindrops start to fall on the thatch roof above you. There are no desks in this room just a table for the teacher and an old blackboard on the wall. Slowly the rain gets heavier and louder. It becomes so loud now that it’s hard for you to hear what your teacher is saying. You notice that the rain water starts to seep under the walls of the classroom. Now there are pools of water all around you – mixing with red earth to become mud. It’s making your legs and clothes wet and cold. It’s hard to keep your attention and to focus on the lesson.”

Nikki Lovell has us all, the 14 participants in our recent CAS workshop, sitting on the floor of a comfortable air-conditioned classroom in Prince Alfred College. Our eyes are closed. She has us imagining that we’re sitting in class in the remote village of Namwanda in Uganda. She’s narrating a context for her experiences there as a volunteer health teacher.

It’s a clever simulation. She’s a ‘special‘ teacher.

There’s no fuss or pretence about Nikki. She will claim that she’s not any better, greater or different to what is usual for a young lady pursuing a degree in law and languages. She loves being outdoors. Riding her bike, climbing a rock face or a challenging wall are her favorite pastimes. However when she’s talking about her project “One Village” her face lights up. It’s a cause that she’s passionate about.

In the space of a few years this young lady has done some remarkable things – she’s built a pre-school, established a scholarship scheme, started a sustainable agriculture program, and initiated a curriculum for aids awareness.

Nikki was an invitee and contributor, a special guest, to a recent CAS workshop in Adelaide. She is not a CAS alumni – she pursued the D of E Award scheme when she was in high school. But when she heard more about CAS she confided to us, “I really wish I could have done that at school.”

Nikki denies this ‘special’ tag, but by definition this adjective does fit her – she’s good and precious, different to what is considered usual.

So on a special day for women, International Women’s Day 2011, a day dedicated to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide, I nominate Nikki for your special attention and I invite you to do 3 things : –

* Read this young woman’s story, and reflect on her achievements.

* Assign your students to do the same, and invite them to find ways to support Nikki’s work.

* Contact Nikki, or Tim Agnew @ PAC, and find out how to use “One Village” as a case study in connecting geography lessons and CAS in your own school.



  • Valery Paz C.
    March 8, 2011

    Hello! My name is Valery, and live in Cuenca, Ecuador, South America. I have been chosen to be the Coordinator of the CAS program at my school. The IB program is brand new in our school, so my job is to get this program going right from scratch. I´m inspired by this young woman who has accomplish so much and want to find out how we can connect and share her story with our students, and perhaps, somehow, be a part of “One Village”, in what way we can contribute or just know about her wonderful work. Thank you so much for any information you may be able to share.

    Valery Paz
    CAS Coordinator
    Unidad Educativa Santana
    Cuenca, Ecuador

  • Steve Money
    April 14, 2011

    Hi Valerie – Nikki’s address : nikki.lovell@onevillage.or.au
    Please contact her and good luck with your CAS activities.

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