"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
In the early 1970's a group of 8 teachers and a handful of students from Denmark set out to learn about the greater world through personal exploration which started a movement called The Traveling Folk High School for decades to come. They tried every mode of transportation - driving old busses across Europe, Asia and India; sailing around Europe, hiking across South America, riding motorbikes around the United States and even manoeuvring dog sleds across the ice-covered plains of Greenland.
Long before the days of the internet, this group of pioneers sent thousands of students to over 140 countries to learn about the condition of the world, experience other cultures and immerse themselves in learning through the kind of deep experiences that can not be found in textbooks.
The results were astounding. This unique school (officially started in 1970) understood that in a world of many different cultures, beliefs and societies, at the base level, all human beings sought the same things: peace, health, safety, family and opportunity. In short, that all human beings are the same although some were born into extreme poverty.
The global poverty condition, the fact that billions of people were starving, had little access to education, sanitation, health and economic opportunity quickly drove the students and staff to change from a school of understanding the world to one that tried to change the world.
They started small: packing warm coats for the cold in Turkey, sending vitamins to children in India and distributing seeds to the rural farmers in Bolivia. Eventually students and staff began to stay for one to two month periods in one place to offer assistance to the poor. Over the decades the school became one of understanding the conditions of the world that lead to global poverty and creating development and service work to help eradicate this condition worldwide.
Today, schools around the globe train development workers in 6, 9 and 18-month programs to serve the poor in partnership with global development leader Humana People to People. With over $80 million dollars each year, 360 development projects and scores of humanitarian, government and corporate partnerships, this small school has grown to become one of the most influential movements on the planet to eradicate poverty.