Reaching Out to Schools in the Middle East

On February 5th, 2014 The World Youth Alliance Middle East office presented the organization to the seniors at City International School in Beirut. The session aimed at introducing the World Youth Alliance and its programs as well as triggering the curiosity of students on fundamental questions about freedom, human rights, and dignity.

The introductory session was the outreach project of Khalil Dagher, WYA’s regional intern who also happens to be a graduate of the City International School. After coordinating with the school principal, the fifty minute session was offered to 76 eager twelve graders.

Pre-tests were distributed to the students to assess the extent of their knowledge on human rights and freedom. WYAME’s regional director, Mr. Cedric Choukeir, began with an introductory session in which he introduced The World Youth Alliance and what the organization does. He interacted with the students by asking them questions about human rights and what they felt a right was, and finally gave a brief history of the organization with Khalil and Marie-Line, the two regional interns, handing each of the students the WYA Charter.

In the next part of the presentation, the students received a hypothetical scenario in which they had to choose to go to prison for a crime they didn’t commit or walk a free man/woman by falsely confessing to committing the crime. The students had to make their choice by raising an orange paper for the first option, or a blue paper for the second. Afterwards, Khalil presented the real life situation that  Nelson Mandela was faced with during his trial at Rivonia. Marie-Line presented the difference between natural freedom and legal freedom.

The session was wrapped up with the students completing a post-test with the same questions as the pre-test to assess whether the session was able to positively impact the depth through which the students comprehend both the notion of freedom and human rights.

The World Youth Alliance Middle East looks to offer more school sessions as part of its educational and outreach programs.