When Alex and Jonathan met in 2014 despite very different life experiences, they immediately discovered shared values and aims in life. They worked together to set up an education service for the UK’s biggest charity serving migrants and established a schools and university programme based on accurate information and the shared human and humanising values of caring, compassion, justice, hope and respect.
These values Alex recognised as being central to the African concept of Ubuntu which highlights the inter dependence of all human beings past and present and our common responsibility for each other’s well-being. Since then they have founded E4D a charity designed to help schools celebrate and develop the potential of our richly diverse society through curriculum and school ethos.
All about us.
Alex Ntung was born into a family of cattle herders, semi-nomadic, pastoralist people in South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Growing up, he survived extreme poverty and violence on a terrifying scale (11 family members were killed).
His hunger for education took Alex to a school where he encountered countless incidents of xenophobia and violence against him as a member of the minority Banyamulenge ethnic group. He was later forcibly deported to Rwanda where he witnessed the 1994 genocide and subsequent violence fuelled by Tutsi and Hutu ethnicity. Later, he became involved in humanitarian work for UN-related NGOs, in an orphanage for children who survived genocide and worked to stop child soldiering. Due to continuing threats to his life, Alex travelled to the UK to seek asylum. Overcoming major cultural and language barriers, he went to college and university and gained an MA in Anthropology of Conflict, Violence and Conciliation at the University of Sussex. He has written a book Not My Worst Day, about his experiences in Rwanda and the DRC.
His experience inspired Alex to work in education, careers guidance, inclusion, community cohesion and international development including work to limit the arms trade. He has been guest speaker at many universities, schools, and international policy organisations, including the UN, offering honest insights into issues of migration, community cohesion, war and security, cultural insensitivity and conflict resolution.
At the time Alex was born Jonathan Barnes was teaching 700 miles away in the highlands of Kenya where he lived for three years. On his return to the UK, Jonathan worked in secondary schools before going with his family to teach English in rural Malaysia. When he returned to Britain his wide personal interests in Art, Music, History, Geography, Design Technology, Religious Education and Citizenship led him towards primary school teaching and curriculum design. In 1992, Jonathan became head teacher of a popular and successful primary school in Canterbury. In 2000, he joined the staff of Canterbury Christ Church University as a lecturer and researcher. As part of his job, he co-led 10 study tours for teacher trainees to communities in south India, Sarawak and Tanzania. This work in non-western cultures led him to recognize shared experience of kindness, hope, compassion, friendship and many other human and humanising values.
Jonathan has written several widely-used books on cross-curricular approaches, but the values within which the school curriculum and ethos is conceived is his overriding concern. Inclusive values and a concern for improved social and psychological well-being have framed his research studies. Jonathan was elected a university Teaching Fellow in 2014 and chosen by the UK’s Higher Education Academy as a National Teaching Fellow in 2015. He is now Visiting Senior Research Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University.
Dr Stephen Scoffham
Dr Stephen Scoffham has worked in teacher education for many years and is currently a Visiting Reader in Sustainability and Education at Canterbury Christ Church University. In addition to specialising in environmental education, his interests include primary geography, intercultural understanding, creativity and learning. He was Honorary Publications’ Officer for the Geographical Association (2003-2015) and is an elected member of its governing body. An established author / consultant of school atlases and texts, Stephen won the Geographical Association’s book of the year gold award in 2014 for Teaching Geography Creatively.
Dr Emmanuel Osoteye
Emmanuel is an environmental, social and legal researcher with a personal and professional passion for sustainable development in the developing world, and Africa in particular. He has a multi-disciplinary background in both the natural and social sciences, and works within the context of environmental law, quality, regulation, resource management and related social issues.
Usifu Jalloh is a highly experienced, talented award winning performer and educator who has been working in arts education for over 20 years. His roots in multicultural Sierra Leone, and his long standing and close association with artists and audiences from a wide range of cultures, have lead him to develop a storytelling style which encompasses international languages, music, dance and story themes. He was born in Kamakwie in the Bombali District of northern Sierra Leone.
Usifu has a passion for motivating young people to educate themselves within the context of their culture. Along with Storytelling and music, he has established Maambena Fest through the Aruna Jalloh Foundation as one of the vehicles he uses to accomplish this laudable goal.
Cherry has loved living in several Asian and African countries and has always been treated with hospitality, kindness and generosity. Naturally she wants to extend this feeling of warmth to newcomers to England so working with Education for Diversity is a good way of doing this.
Dr Helene Cohen
Helene is an experienced teacher, senior leader and champion of those with special educational needs and disabilities. Teaching experiences ranges from Primary to Masters, and she is currently finalising her doctoral thesis, which has included looking at the importance of shared values. She runs training for teachers, using the name of 'Please Miss', focusing of special educational needs. She has produced international learning resources for the Sounds-Write phonics programme and has a chapter published on teaching a child with Selective Mutism. Her journey towards Black Belt 2nd Dan (TaeKwon-Do) enabled her to train alongside three of her four sons. She is also a dab hand at baking brownies!
Rabbi Cliff Cohen
Cliff is an experienced Rabbi, educator and prison chaplain. As Pastoral Care Coordinator for Migrant Help he recruited multi-faith teams to provide pastoral care to asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. He founded the Thanet Interfaith Council and was its chair for four years. Currently he is Rabbi of the Thanet and District Reform Synagogue, and half of the satirical Jewish cabaret Mazel and Tov.
Tan Yoke Eng
Tan Yoke Eng, a Senior Lecture of the Business School at Canterbury Christ Church University where she has worked for many years. She has a special interest in Business and Sustainability, Business Ethics, Economics and Intercultural Management. She enjoys travel and finding out about other people and cultures. Originally, from Singapore of Chinese origin, she moved to England in the 1970s.