EARCOS Executive Director Dick Krajczar and his team pulled together an incredible group of keynote speakers this year at the Teachers Conference in Kota Kinabalu.
We were left speechless at the Thursday morning opening of the conference with Kim Phuc’s presentation on her heart wrenching and ultimately transformative life experience.
The world learned of Kim Phuc after she became the victim of a horrendous napalm strafing of a South Vietnamese village in 1972. A Vietnamese reporter, Nick Ut, captured the image and helped get Kim medical attention as she fled the attack. Terribly burned but miraculously surviving this bombing, she recuperated for years going in and out of hospitals for reconstructive surgery. After Vietnamese unification, she led a strictly monitored life as a national icon and living memorial of the war before she defected to Canada in the mid 1980s.
Today, Kim Phuc has established a nongovernmental organisation, the Kim Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of children from war zones around the world through projects that create schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation programs.
On Friday, Dr. Christophe Galfard left us all gobstruck again with his frank and down-to-Earth discussion of astrophysics. Galfard gave educators a quick tour of his book, The Universe in Your Hand, simultaneously inspiring all of us to cultivate a love of mathematics and science in our students young and younger!
Not to let us down gradually, the EARCOS team had saved the dynamic duo, Aaron and Kaitlin Tate for Saturday’s last morning meeting in the Pacific Sutera Grand Ballroom. These two educators, entrepreneurs, entrepreneur enablers, superhuman humanists (can I say – SUPERHEROES?) wove an enthralling, horrifying, redeeming, and simply awesome tale with a message of how to save the world through finding and empowering local leaders.
(PS: Note to self…NEVER complain about a “rough” day at school again…)
If you have the means, get to next year’s EARCOS Teacher’s Conference, if only to be inspired for the rest of your professional life by the stories of people like these!
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