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Teachers Without Borders

A network for sharing pedagogical know-how with developing countries

Teachers without Borders is a project in which Finnish teachers plan and implement teacher training and support improving pedagogical know-how in the development cooperation country.

Finland 100


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100

Web presence






Target group
March 2017
We’re sharing our knowledge and, at the same time, learning as well. We’re building a better future for children around the world by pedagogical means.

About the innovation

What is it all about?

The importance of developing education has been recognized internationally. High-quality education supports local communities and creates opportunities for a sustainable future. Well-trained and motivated teachers are a prerequisite for creating a quality education system.

Teachers without Borders is a Finnish volunteer network, coordinated by Finn Church Aid. It aims to develop the quality of education in the most fragile states of the world by supporting the pedagogical competencies of the teachers and developing a quality education system.

In practice, the Teachers without Borders network sends teachers and educational professionals on voluntary periods of 3 to 12 months to countries where support for the quality of education is needed.

In addition to increasing educational competencies of developing countries, the network aims to support global education in Finnish schools through the development and sharing of global education methods and learning material.

Joining is easy. The following steps provide you with three different ways to participate in the Teachers without Borders network.

Teachers without Borders has been active since 2014. Finnish teachers have been developing education in 11 countries: Eritrea, South Sudan, Haiti, Cambodia, Kenya, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


The model extends traditional development cooperation into the field of education, bringing grass-root actors together.


Teachers' pedagogical competence in the country of origin is directly applied to the day-to-day school life of the partner country.


The model requires commitment, but if the school has the resources at its disposal, the Finn Church Aid will help with practical arrangements.


Implementation steps

Joining the Teachers without Borders network
An individual teacher may volunteer in the activities of local groups.

The network invites teachers and educational professionals to consider how to locally influence and to act in the network for the common good. There is no one way to participate, but the form of participation is tailored according to the volunteer.

In addition, a newsletter, published five times a year, will provide information on the progress of the network and local activities.

Join the network >>

Joining in with the whole school
The whole school can be involved in contributing to the development of education.

However, a prerequisite for involvement is long-standing commitment, since long-term cooperation is fruitful for both parties - both the Finnish as well as the cooperating school. The long-term approach enables a deepening dialogue with the local participants, which is considered important in development work. For example, Lauttasaari Coeducational School has been working with a Cambodian school for the third year running.

If you want to join in with the whole school, proceed as follows:

1. Discuss the project in the school, make the decision to join and select the person in charge within the school.

2. Contact Finn Church Aid and inform them of the school’s interest for cooperation. Together with Finn Church Aid, an appropriate partnering country is sought out, so that the project supports a wider and long-term impact on achieving development goals. Finn Church Aid confirms the involvement of local organizations and supports the continuation of the project.

3. Together with Finn Church Aid, plan the duration and outline, as well as goals of the project, which can all be tailored to each school.

4. Begin fundraising at the school with your partners. Organize events such as Walk for Cambodia.

Cooperative partners can be found by contacting locals in the school's neighbourhood, such as churches, entrepreneurs, resident associations, other schools, and by requesting them to cooperate and participate in fundraising.

For example, in the Lauttasaari project, the following actors have participated in travel arrangements, funding and communication:

  • Lauttasaari Elementary School

  • Lauttasaari High School

  • Finn Church Aid

  • Lauttasaari Parish

  • Federation of Finnish Enterprises (Lauttasaari branch)

  • Lauttasaari Association

5. Choose the first volunteers to go abroad and plan the pedagogical goals for the trip together with Finn Church Aid and the schools of the partner country. Volunteers should prepare for the journey carefully, get acquainted with the country's culture and education system, make practical arrangements, organize travel documents, vaccinations, visas, etc., and participate in volunteer training.

6. Plan a return visit for the teachers and other local actors of the partner school. The intention is for the teachers in the destination country to also see the operational culture and pedagogical solutions of the Finnish school in practice.

Lauttasaari School is involved for the third year running

Teachers without Borders Lauttasaari is a community-funded development project involving participants from Lauttasaari: schools, the parish, entrepreneurs, and Finn Church Aid. The partner country of the project is Cambodia.

Finnish teachers travel to Cambodian schools and bring Finnish pedagogical expertise to local teachers. Cambodian pedagogues make an annual study visit to schools in Lauttasaari where they learn about the Finnish education system by observing teaching and discussing it with the school staff.

Addressing global education
An important part of the innovation is the inclusion of global education in your own teaching.

You can find a vast amount of material online designed for global education, which can be utilized as part of teaching.

You can get started with this material.

Spread of the innovation

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