Date: 23-10-2023

Meet new ISSA Member, Think Equal — a global initiative focused on Social and Emotional Learning

Meet new ISSA Member, Think Equal — a global initiative focused on Social and Emotional Learning 

ISSA is pleased to welcome a new Member, Think Equal — a global non-profit charity whose work revolves around teaching all children that all humans are equal and should therefore be equally valued. Think Equal's mission is to achieve a global system change in education by introducing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as a compulsory new subject within national curricula around the world. In doing so, Think Equal aims to eliminate discrimination, mental ill-health, and anti-social behaviours from the next generation; replacing these with empathy, wellbeing, inclusion, loving relationships, and pro-social behaviour in their place.  

As a global initiative, Think Equal conducts activities in Europe, Africa, South Asia, Australia, the United States of America, and Canada. They are also active in Ukraine, where they have designed a 30-week program to support refugee and internally displaced persons. The program includes weekly lessons, narrative picture books and resources. 

Working with world-leading experts, Think Equal has designed a program to teach social and emotional learning to children in their early years (aged three to six years). The program embodies Think Equal’s core values of emotional regulation, global citizenship, environmental stewardship, and peaceful conflict resolution. They also have tools designed to help parents engage with their children at home, based on the classroom program. In order to equip teachers impactfully, Think Equal have developed several training modules to provide instruction and professional development for teachers. The modules cover topics such as personal development, wellbeing, and resilience. 

The ISSA Secretariat asked Think Equal a few questions about the organizations work and what they hope to gain and bring as a Member of the ISSA Network.

What does your organization wish to change in people’s lives and how? 

We wish to put an end to discriminatory mindsets, antisocial behaviours and unhealthy habitual coping mechanisms and responses through preventative education. To achieve this mission, we strive to transform global education systems, by working intersectorially with Ministries of Education, Health, Gender, the Violence Reduction Units of the police, and other NGOs. 

Our work focuses on bringing the missing third dimension of Social and Emotional Learning for wellbeing, mental health, social justice, inclusion, and equality to early years education settings. The Think Equal program has been designed by global experts in neuroscience, psychology, education, and human rights to provide every child with a solid foundation in their brain-building years. The program is currently active in 29 countries and reaches over 320,000 children globally.  

Please share a positive anecdote about a family or child your organization has supported. 

I see a lot of changes in the children for the better. Children who rejected other children for their color or their capabilities, children who had attitude problems, they think equal now…” 

“I have a little girl in a Think Equal pilot class who is very fair-skinned and pretty, always neat with bows in her hair and she will only play with one child, also a fair‐skinned little girl. Her mother came to me to ask what we were teaching the children which is new, because, she said, her daughter was changing in front of her eyes. Apparently, she didn’t used to like the maid to come near her, and wouldn’t even let her feed her, because the maid was very dark-skinned. But that morning the mother had found her caressing the maid’s arm and saying: ‘you are dark brown and that is a very beautiful color, and I am light brown and that is a very beautiful color also.’”  - Mohara, Principal, Guiding Steps International School, Sri Lanka

What specific knowledge or expertise does your organization offer to other organizations? 

We have in depth expertise in: 

  • Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program design and curriculum development 
  • SEL support for parents 
  • Training and equipping teachers and early years practitioners to be agents of change 
  • Leveraging partnerships to achieve scale 
  • Systems change work 

What challenges do you hope to get assistance with because of your participation in the network? 

We hope to expand our network of global Implementing Partners, to continue growing the reach of our program towards our goal — to reach every child in every classroom in every country in the world. By joining ISSA, we hope to unite forces to maximize impact in tackling emerging societal needs. 

Potential partners - please reach out to to explore partnership opportunities in your location.