Beirut, 23 November 2016 (United Nations Information Centre)– World Youth Alliance-Middle East (WYAME) in collaboration with the UN Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut), UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States and Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO (LNCU) has launched an outreach activity in Lebanon on the work and priorities of the United Nations, entitled “UN Aware” certificate.
This initiative, which aims at educating high-school students on the work and priorities of the United Nations, will be implemented as a pilot project in the current academic year 2016-2017. It includes lectures, field activities and fundraising campaigns. The initiative entails a set of criteria that both schools and students have to abide by in order to acquire the certificates. A special ceremony will be held in due time to distribute these certificates.
In this context, UNIC Beirut Director Margo Helou said that one of the Centre’s main functions is to spread knowledge on the work of the UN, and conduct outreach activities targeting the widest possible audience. “Educating high-school students by raising their awareness on UN principles, Sustainable Development Goals, human rights and other UN priorities, is essential to steer them towards better choices in the future prior to joining the university or the labor market,” she added.
For his part, Director of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States, Hamed Al-Hammami, said that school students and youth are the leaders of the future. “Raising young students’ awareness of the global UN priorities and ensuring their active participation are essential for the success of the UN missions and the achievement of their goals. This initiative is a big step in this direction,” Al-Hammami added.
WYA Middle East Regional Director, Jessica Hallak, also commented on this initiative, saying, “this project aims to narrow the gap between students, civil society and their communities. It will direct them into becoming active agents of change.”
LNCU Secretary-General, Zahida Darwiche Jabbour, said for her part that “facing the increasing violence within communities, and the emergence of radicalism and racism, which feed on fear of the other and hatred among peoples, we emphasize the role of education in raising awareness about these issues.”
“In line with LNCU role in anchoring culture of peace and spreading educational and humanitarian values, we are pleased to cooperate with UNIC Beirut and WYA to implement this awareness activity within the affiliated schools to UNESCO Associated Schools Project network (ASPnet),” she added.
Thirteen schools affiliated to UNESCO ASPnet are participating in this initiative, namely: Afaq Development Institute- Imam Moussa Sadr Foundation- Tyr; North Lebanon College-Zgharta; Montana International College- Dik El Mehdi; Al-Hadi Institute for deaf, blind and learning disabilities-Beirut; Saint George School- Al Hadath; Institut Moderne du Liban- Al Fanar; Ecole des Soeurs de la Charité – Besançon- Baabdat; Rafic Hariri High School- Sidon; Hussein Massoud Public Secondary School- Bchamoun; Al Kawthar Secondary School-Beirut; Our lady of Annunciation School- Rmeich; Ahliah School- Beirut; and Rawdat Al Fayhaa Secondary School- Tripoli.