Novopecherska School team takes part in Model United Nations
Model United Nations is a kind of an educational activity simulating a real meeting of UN committees. In Ukraine, it has been going on for 20 years, and this time a team from Novopecherska School, which “represented” Serbia, has taken part for the first time. We met with members of the School team and their leader, a teacher of Geography and Economics, Maria Rastvorova, and asked about their impressions of the project.
And the impressions were very positive: students talked about their new experience enthusiastically and energetically. They shared that they had thought at first that it was not going to be so interesting, but in the end, they were pleasantly surprised by the organization and content of the event.
The most difficult part, of course, was preparing: at the beginning, the children knew quite a little about Serbia, so there was a real fact-finding study ahead, as a result of which they learned a lot about the lives of the Serbs and raised a lot of questions from unemployment to drug trafficking. They had only a week to study different sources, read news in Ukrainian, English and even in Serbian with the help of Google Translate. In general, they spent about three hours on preparations after school, and sometimes they even had to miss classes to have time to draw up a resolution or write a speech. One of the most interesting parts of the training was a visit of the team to the Embassy of Serbia and a meeting with First Counsellor of the Embassy of Serbia Svetlana Košutić. Mrs. Svetlana spent enough time on communication with the students, as they tried to find out as much information as possible during the two hours, asking questions, including how to better talk about sensitive topics for Serbia. The children boasted that Mrs. Svetlana was present during the Model UN event and noted how the team managed to convey the position of Serbia in the opening 30-second speech.
The event lasted for two very busy and packed days. On the first day, the participants attended the Diplomatic Academy, where they listened to the diplomats. The students shared that some of the lectures made them think over entirely new ideas, for example, whether the world still needs the United Nations Organization, which cannot solve important issues and whether it is time to create something new.
In the end, the children described how the participation in the Model UN simulation became useful for them personally: “Sometimes you find yourself among the minority of people who vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ and you have to resist the majority, and this is a challenge. And this is natural for such events, not only in the model, but also in the real UN. Therefore, it is important to learn to respect the opinions of others and defend your own.”
Model UN is a simulation activity that can be organized anywhere, just use the instructions and tips posted on the official website. The students shared that it would be interesting to have a local game at Novopecherska School, and they would not mind becoming supervisors of such a project.
“This is an extraordinary experience. I have long wanted to try something like that. When I learned that I could take part in Model United Nations for the youth, I immediately agreed,” Yehor Marchenko, a member of Model UN, the Economic and Financial Committee, Chairman
“The experience gained from working on this project is priceless for use in a variety of future projects. It’s also a good opportunity to try for something completely new,” Nika Chelnokova, a member of Model UN, the Environment Committee
“This project opens up a variety of opportunities: from developing diplomatic skills to familiarizing with international problems in various spheres of public life,” Sofia Lisovyk, a member of Model UN, the Human Rights Commission
“Participating in Model UN while in the 9th grade helps me to understand what path I want to choose in future,” Mykyta Voropayev, a member of Model UN
“Model UN is the best opportunity to interact and share experience with the same active teenagers as myself,” Anastasia Lukoshyna, a member of Model UN, the International Security Committee
“Model UN is a new experience, discovery and skills that I will surely need when I become an adult,” Polina Peyeva, a member of Model UN, the Social and Humanitarian Affairs Committee
“In the context of exacerbating global problems, understanding of the processes that have been taking place in the world, the ability to use the tools of modern diplomacy and listening to each other are key to success and a condition for the survival of our planet,” Maria Rastvorova, Team Leader