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Development Education

Development Education is vital in raising awareness and increasing understanding of how global issues affect our everyday lives.

We make no apologies at SCIAF for the time, effort and resources that go into educating not only our young people in schools, but the wider Catholic community too. SCIAF’s programme reflects a lifelong learning approach to ensure that adults as well as school-aged children have the opportunity to learn, pray for and act on global injustices. 


We think it is imperative that, as individuals and as a community, we are informed about global issues such as poverty, injustice, gender equality, climate change, human rights and more. The world we live in is rapidly changing and unjust. We don’t have all the answers, but we strive to provide a transformative and self-reflective approach, facilitating critical thinking. Development Education should challenge global perceptions and lead us to act for a fairer world. 

Kris Thomas Headteacher St John Paul II Primary
The work of SCIAF helps to teach children that we are part of a Universal Church reaching the farthest parts of the world. It helps children learn that, with a little support, communities can become stronger and self-sufficient. They learn about putting their faith into action.

Kris Thomas Head Teacher of St John Paul II Primary School in Viewpark, Uddingston

Development Education can take different forms, from school workshops and lessons (sometimes led by our amazing volunteers) to the provision of resources linked to the Curriculum for Excellence and the Catholic RE curriculum, ‘This is our Faith’.

Within our Parishes we lead workshops and provide resources that promote prayer and reflection.

SCIAF Development Education resources are written with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching at the forefront of our minds.

The beauty of development education and its promotion of justice is that it complements Catholic Social Teaching so well. We believe that development education can help us achieve, in part, what the “Lord requires” when in Micah 6:8 it says: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. A personal faith in God only enhances the actions one may take when more globally aware through development education.  

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We look to Jesus as our guide. Behind His encounters with those we read about (the Samaritan woman, the man with leprosy, the woman who had been bleeding for years) was love, compassion and justice. People often on the edges of society or looked down upon, Jesus made welcome and gave them belonging. Those ‘given up on’, He restored.  

You may think that the Bible has nothing to say about development education as it might be considered a more modern concept but the Bible does talk about educating and training, and of wisdom’s worth being far more important than gold. In the book of Proverbs 22:6 it says: “Train up a child in the way they should go; even when they are old they will not depart from it”.  

While this verse is not specifically about development education, it is certainly our hope that the work we do to empower people, and to raise awareness of global issues, will be long-lasting.