The Lebawi Academy in Addis Ababa is hosting a Blue Heart Campaign event, supported by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on November 29, 2018.
The purpose of this event is to promote, support and raise awareness of the Blue Heart Campaign amongst secondary school students in Ethiopia and to bring to light the issues of trafficking in persons (TiPs) currently happening. Participants will be introduced to the organisations who are actively combating trafficking and to explain the role youth have in helping end it. Lebawi Academy will share with UNODC and related partners an art exhibition and presentations how the youth view TiPs and how awareness can be raised through art and media.
This event will also be in support of the UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative under the Doha Declaration which seeks to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and university students. These activities will help educators teach the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law and encourage of upholding lawfulness among youth to actively engage in their communities and future professions in this regard.
We interviewed one of the student organizer’s, Feven Deneke Mamo, about the importance of this campaign.
Why do you think running a Blue Heart awareness campaign is so important in Ethiopia? Is trafficking a problem in Ethiopia?
Human trafficking is one of the serious problems in Ethiopia. Yet, it is somehow overlooked by the community, institutions and government bodies. The lack of the awareness is the main reason to the worsening of the case. A blue heart campaign is an incredible way to address the problem of awareness and open communication on the matter. The particular fact that it focuses on youth of Ethiopia directs the information to the influential and educated mass, that can help change the circumstances.
What role do young people have in raising awareness about trafficking?
Knowledge is a key. The awareness that youth will develop out of this program will help alert their community and help them work to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary level students. These activities will help educators teach the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law such as human trafficking, and encourage of upholding lawfulness among youth to actively engage in their communities and future professions in this regard. The more youth involved in the change of mind, the larger community is saved from the lack of knowledge and its effects.
Briefly describe your event and who will be invited? How many people do you hope will attend?
There will be students from several different schools – public, private and international schools at this event, as well as teachers and the UNODC’s representatives. We hope to have over 20 schools involved, Schools which are passionate about human rights, global issues or active in Model United Nations.
Attendance of a teacher and students (5 – 10 students) from each school, who will submit at least 5 art pieces (painting, sculptures, drawings, models etc.) that represent what human trafficking looks like/means to them in Ethiopia.
What is the major goal of the Lebawi Blue Heart campaign?
The goal is to educate and raise awareness amongst youth regarding their rights, justice, drugs and crimes. By promoting and supporting the Blue Heart Campaign amongst youth (secondary school students) in Ethiopia. And Bringing light to the issues of trafficking in persons (TiPs) currently happening, in collaboration with organizations that actively combat in preventing it and the role of the youth in this regard.
How does this campaign tie into your MUN club’s work?
The Lebawi MUN club works hard to make impact on youth by raising subjects that are important. The base of leadership is responsibility, which is reflected through striving to know. The campaign doesn’t only inform the club members and our school but further broadens its hands to reach out to a larger community. The helps involve the youth in leadership activities regarding Ethiopia and the world as a whole. The campaign ties perfectly to our mission of being the Addis Ababa HUB for conferences, discussions and discourses that challenge and influence the current day procedures and systems.
This Lebawi Academy campaign is being run and hosted by the school’s MUN club. MUN Impact is excited to support their initiative and look forward to sharing their successes with the larger Model UN community.