'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
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The Global Footprints Bus

bus

Trisha Matthews a teacher in Rogart School in the Highlands of Scotland came up with the idea of converting a bus into a mobile Global Footprints workshop to help extend the project to as many schools as possible.

flute

Others then brought on board (excuse the pun) included Janis Keast from the Highland One World Group who secured funding from the Department for International Development and Pat Kieran of North Highland College section who is responsible for the bus.


The job of converting the bus landed with Nature Workshop, the educational resources firm Trisha runs with her husband, Dave Matthews. They gave the children —including those at Belen Primary —the opportunity to design the interactive exhibits with which the bus is equipped.

listening

The result is certainly an eye-catcher. Painted a vivid orange with huge coloured footprints marching across its side, the bus has paper cut-outs of the Peruvian youngsters waving cheerfully from the upper windows and of the Sutherland children from the lower deck.

pan pipes

Visitors can take part in a wide range of activities designed to educate, at the same time as having fun. A dressing up box of clothing helps children celebrate diversity and raises sensitivity to other cultures, while a talking bar of chocolate enlightens the listener about the benefits for Peru of fairer trade! There are musical instruments to play, sent from Peru and made from re-cycled materials.

Comments made by children after a trip to the bus have encouraged Trisha that its message is being heard. One primary seven pupil said: “I have learned a lot of things about life in Peru. It showed how lucky we are to have fresh water and electricity. It’s not fair that some others don’t. Now I will not take things for granted.”

girls

Another youngster commented:
“I have learned that we should all look after our planet because we only have one,” and another said:
“The bus was great, with cool stuff. We found out new things and had a great time.”

in the bus

But a visit to the bus is not just about having a cool time. The children have also to put in some hard work, as Trisha explained: “We have left challenges with the schools the bus has visited and we plan to go back in the autumn term and see how they have managed to bring Global Footprints into their lives.


“The challenges are anything from cutting back on energy consumption, to fundraising for charities such as Water Aid, putting on an environmental play or getting a re-cycling initiative going.

We want children to realise that they can make a difference.”