Examples of organizations using Story-Centered Learning in their work


GlobalGiving has got a new crop of partner organizations trying out our storytelling method and adopting it to their local context. In every case, they try to get two stories from each person, and one of these stories can be on a narrower subject. The second story is very opened ended, about some community effort they know about. Here are examples of how each organization is adopting the storytelling method to their needs.

  • Center for Peacebuilding (Bosnia): We develop peacebuilding programs to foster peace and reconciliation among different ethnic and religious groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our activities are designed to bring about comprehensive social change focusing on youth.

Their story prompt: Talk about a time when a person or organization tried to help someone of change something in your community. What happened?

Reflections from the organization’s peace ambassador (copied from her blog):

“I thought that many community organisations would not have the capacity to do so much work… particularly since we already have our own internal evaluation system. On the other hand…  this made me even more committed to find local capacity for CIM to fundraise on globalgiving… In this way, we can ensure that feedback collection will happen on the ground, and I can still handle the communications and analysis from anywhere in the world.

I see globalgiving raising the bar by raising the standards for local organisations in terms of programming. So indirectly and slowly, globalgiving could create a network of grassroots organisations that have a professional level in fundraising, evaluation, and programme development. The tools they need are easy to use. The points based system is somewhat competitive. The rewards they get are too good to move away from. Those who will be serious about development work, will have adapt, improve and sustain an impact on the ground in order to keep getting the benefits.”

  • Encompass – the Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust (UK): Encompass works to bring together young people from different cultures and backgrounds, supporting them to become more understanding and tolerant of each other while giving them the skills and confidence to promote intercultural understanding in their communities. This storytelling project is carried forth by youth in the UK, US, and Gaza (Palestine).

Their story prompt: Please tell a story about a time when a conflict arose because you had to work with someone from a different background (religious, cultural, ethnic etc.) to yourself.

Their revised story prompt: Please tell a story about a time when a person changed someone else’s perception of them or challenged a prejudice or misunderstanding.

  • Guitars in the Classroom (USA): Since 1998, Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) has been inspiring, training and equipping classroom teachers to integrate music making across the academic curriculum through “song-based instruction” so students of all ages have educational, musical access & opportunity at school every day. Our work prepares educators to lead music, employing it as a dynamic tool for reaching all learners, teaching all subjects, and building character, creativity and community.Programs & materials are free.

Their story prompt:  We are excited to learn about how your experience with Guitars in the Classroom has affected you personally and, if you are an educator, professionally. We also hope to learn about other experiences you have had as a volunteer or participant with another charity. Thanks for participating!

  • La Reserva Forrest Foundation (Costa Rica): La Reserva Forest Foundation is a Costa Rican non-profit working to restore and preserve native tropical forests, dedicated to creating “tree bridges” linking isolated forest islands using volunteers and the local school communities, and fighting global warming through various carbon neutral projects.

Their story prompt: Please tell a story about a time when you had to choose between protecting the environment and maintaining a livelihood. Include if/how individuals or organizations were involved in the conflict.

  • Partnership for Every Child (Ukraine): Our vision is the world where every child grows up in a lovely and secure family. Mission. We professionally assist families, communities and governments in their work to ensure the rights of every child to live and develop in safe and secure family environments. Our main focus until 2015 is to prevent separation of children from families and placement in institutional care; support and strengthening parental capacities of vulnerable families; support to children leaving care.

Their story prompt: (They plan to use the standard story question to learn about youth needs in their program)

  • Tanzania Development Trust (Tanzania): The Trust Deed of 1975 says “The objects of the Trust shall be to relieve poverty and sickness among the people of Tanzania by means of the development of education, health and other social services, the improvement of water supplies and other communal facilities and the promotion of self- help activities.” Interpreting the Trust Deed for the needs of the 21st Century we add: “In making grants, the Trust tries to promote equal opportunities and projects which improve the environment”.

Their story prompt: Standard story prompt

  • Vacha Charitable Trust (India): Our mission is to focus on issues of women and girls through educational programmes, resource creation, research, training, campaigns, networking and advocacy. Our vision is of a world without exploitation, oppression, discrimination and injustice against women or any other section of society.

Their story prompt: Standard story prompt

  • Vijana Amani Pamoja (Kenya): VAP’s mission is to integrate social and economic values through football/soccer by creating a proactive health environment.

Their story prompt: Standard story prompt

  • London Youth organization helps thousands of teens in the city. They measure impact as improved self-confidence, educational attainment, and long-term community involvement. Their programs help young people get “back on track” and help them find fulfilling careers.
Their story prompt: Please tell a story about a time when a young person tried to change something in their area
  • An NGO in Botswana works in many communities to curb gender-based violence. Instead of asking about the issue directly, they are trying an indirect way to learn about underlying issues through storytelling.

Their story prompt: Please tell a story about a time when a person or an organization had a conflict or disagreement or problem with money.

  • In Japan, IsraAid is running a storytelling project to gather stories about the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and how areas are recovering.

Their story prompt: Standard story prompt

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