We select our most outstanding mentors to deliver a condensed version of our unique debate programme in areas of high child poverty around the world. Visit our summer international blog to read about each of our projects in more detail.
Working in partnership with the Samata Shiksha Niketan Bamboo Schools – which work with some of the hardest-to-reach young people in the country – Debate Mate has delivered our programme to over 2,000 children in Kathmandu, Baktapur, Pokhara, Kawasoti, and Chitwan. In 2011, we trained and brought a team of Nepali debaters to the World Schools Debating Championships in Dundee. It was the first time any of the young debaters had left their villages in Nepal.
Debate Mate has worked in Rwanda since 2013 in partnership with the Rwandan charity Friends Effort to Support Youth (FESY). Every summer, we teach debating in 30 government-funded secondary schools in Kigali and Musanze, reaching over 400 students in three weeks. A majority of the students have never debated prior to the programme, but are able to speak confidently in a competition by the end of the week.
Debate Mate piloted its first summer programme in the rural county of Kilifi, Kenya in 2016. We delivered the programme in partnership with Akili Trust, an organisation that establishes and supports community libraries, provides educational resources, and funds bursaries for secondary education in East Africa. In addition to delivering our debating programme to over 300 students over the course of three weeks, we also conducted research on the barriers that girls face in education in order to help the Akili Trust better support their female bursary students.
Following the incredible success of the 2012 and 2013 summer programmes in Flanker and Trench Town, Debate Mate is now established full-time in Jamaica. In the 2013-14 academic year, we ran a 10-week pilot programme in 20 schools across the island, with Jamaican university students as mentors. Until 2018, our full 20-week programme ran every year in schools across the country, using top university students to run after-school debate clubs in areas of high child deprivation in Kingston, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and Negril.
Since 2018-19, Debate Mate Jamaica has piloted a new teacher-led model in 27 schools. This format results in teachers receiving Debate Mate CPD so they can use our methodology in their teaching practice, as well as set up and run their own after-school debating clubs. This programme not only benefits the students in the after-school clubs, but also those across the school through in-class teaching and learning. Our university mentors remain crucial to the delivery of our programme, and visit schools periodically to provide assistance and guidance to teachers.