“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela


Language and Communication Skills

During my time in the British Army, I spent over six years on operational duty. Languages and effective communication skills have been my key to a successful tour. (Mark Hill MBE)


In Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan I learned to speak the language of those countries. Wow, what a difference it made, I could now effectively communicate with local people which made a huge difference. 

It was a great honour to have Buddy Box feature in the NALDIC EAL Journal.  


“The most important thing in communication is to hear what is being said.”


The History of Buddy Box

Welcome to ‘Buddy Box’, as we know when a new student arrives at their new school they are paired/buddied up with another student, one which helps them to navigate the school and to have an initial friend. 

By way of an introduction, I am a Military Veteran and entrepreneur seeking to give something back, doing my bit to help.  My name is Mark Hill and I’m passionate in helping others through effective communication skills, education and learning. 

Previously in 2018, I created ‘Buddy Box’ which was a fun and interactive way in which to engage young Syrian and Iraqi children who attended our local school. 

Within ‘Buddy Box’ there were 60 Arabic / English flashcard’s which were designed and created as an icebreaker, an initial communication tool enabling buddies to communicate with each other.  Equally ‘Buddy Box’ supported young people whose first language wasn’t English, developing their new found language skills at the basic level.


2018: Flashcards were created so Syrian and Iraqi children who didn’t speak English could effectively communicate with their peers and teachers in a fun way.


2021: Cloud-based versions of the Flashcards were created so many schools across the UK could use the Buddy Box resources. Created in PowerPoint and MP4 Videos.  

AI Virtual Classrooms

2022: AI virtual teachers have been created to effectively communicate with young people in a fun and educational way keeping them engaged.   

Afghan Buddy Box

2021:  With the arrival of young people from Afghanistan entering our education system I wanted to create a similar ‘Buddy Box’ for Afghan young people.  With no funding, I couldn’t create Afghan Buddy Box in any volume, but wanted many young Afghan people to benefit from Buddy Box providing confidence, encouraging Afghan children to learn to speak English. 

With a little bit of creative thinking I decided to take my 2018 model moving it into the digital space using, Text to Speech Artificial Intelligence, PowerPoint, the Cloud and other software creating digital ‘Buddy Boxes’.  Although my resources are basic, I believe ‘Buddy Box’ helps to develop young people at school, and at home.   

‘Buddy Box’ is cloud based and can be used around the UK and the rest of the world.  Once schools have their downloadable link, they can download their own copy of ‘Buddy Box’ to their school computer(s), use ‘Buddy Box’ as a digital product and/or print slides off for teachers and students to use.

‘Buddy Box’ is created and designed in PowerPoint so teachers and students can use it as a starting point, be creative, innovative, developing their own slides, printing them off locally putting them up in classrooms and around the school to aid communication and learning, promote inclusion and a sense of belonging.


Education and Learning

Buddy Boxes

Buddy Boxes cover subjects such as the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, telling the time, days of the week, months of the year, classroom items, basic conversations, fruit and vegetables, zoo animals, vehicles and much more.  

Virtual AI Teachers

Virtual Artificial Intelligence (AI) teachers have been created in order to better engage young people

Virtual AI Teachers

Inspiring young people – Releasing their potential

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Afghan Buddy Box

Buddy Box was originally created as flashcards and has progressed into an online digital set of educational resources. With the regime change in Afghanistan, girls were not allowed to attend school and were not allowed an education. Through a collaborative engagement project with dedicated people in Afghanistan delivering schooling for girls in private tuition sessions, I got involved in creating resources using artificial intelligence with modern-day technology providing educational resources such as maths lessons which were delivered in Dari and Pashto. 

Classroom Lesson in Afghanistan

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