P.E.P.Y. is a mini NGO we created project as part of the wider Mini-NGOs in schools: the Global Citizens Network Project organised by Schools Across Borders in the 2013.
The Transition Year students began by looking at various social justice issues and they voted on one that they felt they could lend their voice to. The class wanted to speak up for the young people of Palestine and let people in their area along with the Irish government know about the injustices the young people in Palestine face.
The class Skyped a Palestinian refugee camp near Nablus, spoke to a Palestinian partner group in Ireland, watched Schools Across Borders video documentaries and researched on the Internet.
The issues they looked at included:
- Settlements in the West Bank
- The Gaza Strip
- The Separation Barrier
- The cutting down of olive trees
The students went about then organising an awareness day in school for the other students and members of the community.
- They set up a blog
- They wrote a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
- They set up a petition asking for action be taken on the settlements and Gaza issues.
At all times human rights were they bases for all of the classes work and action.
21 TY Students set up their own mini NGO to Promote equality for the young people of Palestine
- It started in September of 2013 and finished in May of 2014
- The school has been part of the programme for 6 years with schools across borders.
- It is recommended 1-2 classes a week.
- Access to the internet is very important. The students need to be able to research
- Data projector
- Access to the Schools Across borders website www.schoolsacrossborders.org
- Art supplies
- Access to documentaries
- Schools across borders came in to launch the project
- General research on social justice issues
- Class vote on the issue they want to cover
- Set up, name, mission statement, aims of objectives of the mini NGO
- Research stage
- Action stage – blog, petition, posters, letters, awareness day
Case Study: Awareness day
We began with the students breaking into groups to divide up the topics they would like to cover. Each group then went and researched their topics and made a presentation to the class teacher about their topic which was then used as a formal assessment.
The group then had to come up with a way of presenting their topic at an awareness they. Some groups made displays, made art posters or videos. They also had to pick people to present from their group and how much information they wanted to tell at the awareness day.
The students then invited people from the local area and other organisations to come to the presentation. By this stage the online petition was up and running to encourage people on the day to sign.
The materials the students made were put up around the school and they went around the school on the awareness day telling people about the issues.
The afternoon saw formal presentation to the 1st and 2nd years followed by a q and a. Students signed a message wall for the young people of Palestine telling them how they felt about their situation and any message they wanted to give. This was then sent on to the camp in Nablus.
- Get the students working independently
- A series of general lesson on human rights and social justice issues is good to do at the start
- A problem I faced was over doing the work and the students get sick of doing it. When this happened I slowed down what we were doing waited a little and got someone in to talk to the girls about the issues and this got them back on track
The students had formal assessment around the project through presentations and activities. If the students met their goals they got the grade.
There was baseline data taken to start. Data was then taken in the middle and surveys carried out at the end on the programme and learning objectives.
Link to the blog and our page on the SAB website: schoolsacrossborders.org/st-dominics-secondary-school