~ progress by learning ~

Just Cause Education Outreach is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2011 and based in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Our Board of Directors is made up of certified Ontario High School teachers who also serve the organization as Volunteer Team Leaders. Sara Hansen teaches in Kitchener, Ontario and Michelle Massaro teaches in London, Ontario. This is where Just Cause gets its enthusiasm for education! 

"We love learning and strongly believe in the power of education to foster change. As teachers, we witness this every day in our classrooms. Providing educational opportunities dramatically improves the lives of young people. This is true regardless of where they live and is what we strive to do through Just Cause. Education is the best long term solution to poverty in developing nations. Through our volunteer teams, we are able to provide unique, relevant and meaningful experiences to people who want to make a direct difference in the world. We take great pride in the lasting, positive impact that Just Cause makes in both the lives of our volunteers and in communities overseas - learning all around!"

Knowing the people and communities with whom we are working is of the utmost importance to us as it is this relationship that directs our efforts. Different groups of students and communities are at different points in their educational needs:

1) accessing education and "buying into it" to improve quality of life.

2) sustaining and applying education in a meaningful way so progress is clear and learning becomes valuable.

3) experiencing relevant and modern educational opportunities to propel growth and create change.

Our approach allows us to provide experiences to students in ways that are effective, applicable and encourage excitement about learning! In developing nations there is very limited access to hands-on learning and most schools exclusively utilize rote-style teaching in all subject areas. Access to technology is even more restricted for students, although young people are very aware of its existence and are very interested in embracing it. People know these shortcomings exist in their educational system; they know that their nations are behind much of the world in technology, equipment, access, expertise and application.

Why we believe in a STEAM focused (Science Technology Engineering Arts & Mathematics) education:

"While you can say there are bigger problems and issues to address in developing nations, education is key to progress. Technology can be a great catalyst for education leading to significant change and improvement in society. It can push ahead at a rate that is not possible with traditional learning environments, one that has remained largely unchanged, often for decades, in developing nations. Technology also provides the opportunity for building skills that are needed and are difficult to teach in the traditional classrooms in so many countries - skills like problem solving, critical thinking, innovation and creative thought. Technology is a great motivator for kids because it gets them excited about learning and also for what is possible for their own futures."

Technology is lagging behind in very relevant areas in developing nations and can serve to improve and advance potential for people in everything from farming to small businesses, manufacturing, health care and environmental protection.  Bringing technology through STEAM education allows people to work towards bridging this significant development gap. Unfortunately, there is minimal teaching expertise, and access to technology equipment is scarce - yet these areas provide great future opportunity for young people and the greatest opportunity to promote innovation in developing nations. This is why Just Cause chosen to work on building and improving educational opportunities through both facility development and programming with a special focus on STEAM disciplines.