UNRWA holds its 5th student parliament workshop

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The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has held its fifth student parliament workshop in Amman, exploring topics such as human rights, democratic practices, leadership, communications, and advocacy.

The four-day event was attended by students from all of UNRWA’s operational areas, including the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. It allowed them to get to know each other, exchange experiences, and discuss future work plans.

Dr. Julia Dicum, UNRWA’s education director, welcomed participants and commended them for their important role in establishing a culture of human rights, democracy, respect, and tolerance, as well as articulating the students’ interests, successes, and concerns.

Leen Sharqawi, a student parliamentarian at UNRWA, spoke about her intervention at the organization’s pledging conference earlier in the month in New York.

Jessica Pfleiderer, program officer at the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, addressed participants online, expressing the bureau’s delight at the students’ successes.

The students spoke about life skills and well-being activities and agreed on action plans to guide the schedule over the coming year.

Leni Stenseth, UNRWA’s deputy commissioner-general, encouraged the students to campaign, represent others, and promote change.

She said: “Thank you for taking the role to represent your fellow students, improve your leadership skills and help the community. UNRWA is proud of you.”

UNRWA began implementing student parliaments in its schools in 2001 as part of its human rights education program. School parliaments serve an important role in schools and in the community by promoting a culture of respect and tolerance.

The Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, and Tolerance program in UNRWA schools is a gift of the US government.

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