Global Learning Programme Wales

International Day of Happiness

UN International Day of Happiness

To mark the UN International Day of Happiness, we are sharing relevant resources as well as good news stories from some of our GLP-W approved providers.

What makes me happy

So often the media presents us with negative images of developing countries. Whilst not wishing to detract in any way from the difficulties being faced by so many, it is important to redress the balance. 

These new films from the Ragdoll Foundation for Foundation Phase and KS2 portray children from the Netherlands, Vietnam, Uganda, South Sudan, Columbia and Bangladesh. They are suitable for showing in Welsh or English–medium schools as they are not sub-titled and rely on images to convey their meaning.

Use the resource to encourage empathy rather than pity by showing that happiness is to be found all over the world and in what we might consider to be the most unlikely of circumstances.  

Gross National Happiness

Did you know that the tiny Himalayan state of Bhutan measures happiness instead of wealth?

The UN’s World Happiness Report lists countries according to their level of happiness. Discuss the results below with pupils and encourage them to investigate the possible reasons behind them. 

In 2015 the happiest countries were:

1. Denmark (7.526)

2. Switzerland (7.509)

3. Iceland (7.501)

4. Norway (7.498)

5. Finland (7.413)

The unhappiest were:

153. Benin (3.484)

154. Afghanistan (3.360)

155. Togo (3.303)

156. Syria (3.069)

157. Burundi (2.905)

The UK was 23rd with a score of 6.725.

The latest version of this report comes out on International Happiness Day, March 20th 2017, and can be found here

Are there any major changes from 2015? If so, why might this be?

Good News

Wales welcomes refugees

Oxfam Cymru write that Wales has welcomed at least 397 refugees from Syria as part of the Syrian Resettlement Scheme. Today, even more people are on the move than during the Second World War. Wales has a proud history of welcoming those in need and every local authority is welcoming Syrian refugees to their area.

Use Oxfam’s Schools of Sanctuary resource (available in Welsh and English) to learn about asylum-seekers and refugees and find out how to make your school a welcoming place.

Young people in Wales and Zanzibar share their stories

Sazani Associates tell us that over the past year, young people in Wales and Zanzibar have been finding out the impact of climate change on their locality and have been sharing their findings with one another. The young people who were part of the CASA media project then enjoyed using this knowledge to make short films around issues of their choice, highlighting local and global issues regarding climate change and sustainability.

The short films were shown in Zanzibar in February as part of the Sauti za Busara festival and will be shown in Wales at the Small World Theatre in Cardigan as part of the Wales One World Film Festival on March 25th. Find out more on the Sazani website.


Zanzibar Casa Media participants

 Promoting wellbeing and empathy

Working with pupils in the Ysgol Esgob Morgan network, we investigated journeys made by evacuees in Liverpool and mapped these using Digimap for Schools. Year 6 children used this activity to develop empathy and mindfulness, thought to be useful to promote happiness and well-being.

We discussed how it would feel to be sent away and how important family was to happiness. We thought that if kind people looked after you and treated you well then you could still be happy but that the best feeling of all would be finding those you loved again and returning to your own home.

This helped children think about the plight of refugees who had to leave their homes and who might be separated from their own families. Find the resources for this activity here

Paula Owens, independent geography and global learning consultant