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SIFE helps K-12 students be global citizens

by Joanne Tachibana, forwarded by Susan Kreifels


SIFE students from HPU helped almost 700 students from O‘ahu public and private schools learn how to become “Responsible Global Citizens,” on Oct. 24 at the kick-off event of the Third Hawai‘i International Education Week. The event was held at the Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center at the East-West Center.

In a colorful 9 a.m. opening ceremony, 250 students from grades K-5 entered the Imin Center waving international flags made from chopsticks and streamers. They greeted each other in different languages, and described important issues facing the different countries they represented.

Click on image for larger view

At 9:30, 200 middle-school students heard a personal account of the Bosnian War from Nadja Halilbegovich, a performing artist known as Sarajevo’s “Anne Frank” for the diary she kept during fighting there.

Halilbegovich belongs to the Canadian-based Free The Children, an international organization that helps empower young people. She was joined by two other facilitators of the tour, Embracing the Cultures: Ed Gillis and Anitra Sumbry.

The rest of the morning was filled with hands-on workshops led by elementary students international university students and professional educators. Students learned how to become responsible global citizens through water stewardship and recycling and developing skills to address social injustices. In the afternoon, 200 highschool students attended workshops on service learning and global civic action.

From 7-9 p.m. the whole community was invited to participate in a program celebrating the 57th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Halilbegovich, Gillis, and Sumbry were featured speakers, followed by questions from the audience.

Co-sponsors of the event included: the East-West Center, Hanahauoli School, Students in Free Enterprise at Hawai‘i Pacific University, Kuhio Elementary, Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, Punahou School, State Department of Education, UN Association-USA/Hawai‘i Division, UN Club at University of Hawai‘i-Manoa, UH Globalization Research Center, and Youth Service Hawai‘i.




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