The Story Goes On
The story of UW movement started 3 years ago in Tunisia when 4 Yes alumni gathered in one place and wondered: Can we Unite the World?
August 2018: UW Summer Camp, YES WE DID!
Unite the World’s summer camp took place in Kasserine, Tunisia, away from the centralized means of information and entertainment in Tunis.
Five days of various seminars, workshops, and discussion circles that tackled multiple issues that the world is facing today were discussed among 25 participants that came from different regions, different backgrounds and different age range (from 16-23) and 4 international leaders that came from Albania, Gaza, Lebanon and Tunisia and guest speakers
Through these days, participants were offered a deep immersion into the principles of peacemaking and the fight against terrorism, violence, and extremism in all its shapes and forms.
After the camp, the movement that started with 4 wondering young Yes alumni, got bigger to include 25 more followers of the movement who represent Unite the World culture of peace, tolerance, and acceptance in more than 10 regions in Tunisia.
6 months later: The story goes on!
A significant moment in Unite the World’s movement took place in Bizerte in March 2019. Participants from all the corners of Tunisia gathered at UW spring Camp as we officially had two separate camps with two different themes:
1- Climate Change Camp:
Young People are one of the main stakeholders of decisions that can change the world. Future economies and societies that our children will inherit, depends on our knowledge and the way we influence others surrounding us. But if we don’t know much about the issue how can we solve it?
That is why in the UW climate change camp, we worked on fully integrating and actively involving the participants in knowing more and making the world ecologically better by :
A) Educating informally: Our camp made the learning process a spontaneous one! UW campers were involved in interactive CC seminars, debates, discussions and real-world experiences provided by our environmentalists, climate activists and specialists on Climate Change issues.
B) Developing a Solution Orientation: problem-solving and pitching training provided by Mehdi Belhaj, our climate camp Group Leader were undertaken in order for our participants to acquire a solution-oriented mindset. By the end of the camp, young campers were able to leverage their creativity, brainstorm solutions and push their thinking beyond their limits.
C) Capacity building: The spring camp worked on empowering participants through skills development training, enabling them to communicate more effectively while working on their projects.
Here is a recap of some of the sessions we had at our climate camp:
Learning and practicing debates is one of the most important activities in UW camps so our debates were climate change-themed in order to help our participants think about topics and issues in an objective and critical way.
Should we start tackling Climate Change locally or globally?
Should we prioritize economic prosperity over Climate Change?
How green is renewable energy?
The rise of renewable energy initiatives from Anaerobic digestion energy, biomass, geothermal, ocean energy, wave energy, solar thermal to tower power technologies
might appeal to some as the greenest way to eliminate our fossil fuel dependence.
Yet, are Renewables really green?
Why haven’t we solved climate change yet?
The reasons why we haven’t solved climate change are they a society’s negligence toward the planet’s most serious problem? Is it the Government's fault for putting first the economic profits over climate change ? Or is it big companies blocking action on climate change?
The science behind Climate Change:
Run by Insaf Abdelmoula, climate change activist who defined and explained climate change answering the question: ”what it is happening and why? “
Participants learned about recent developments in the international climate change regime, gained a better understanding of the phenomena and the best ways to combat climate change.
Sustainable Development Goals as a solution:
The seminar presented by our group leader Wafa Hmadi, Environment and climate program coordinator at Raj Tunisie, allowed participant to learn about the importance of the SDGs as a possible solution, the effects of climate change in different sectors (agriculture, infrastructure, tourism, health..) and the magnitude of climate change to human societies and natural ecosystems around the world.
Non-environmental impact of Climate Change:
Climate change is not about the sky looking bluer than it should be, it’s about our wellbeing” declares our first speaker Arwa Guesmi, Active Expert on Trilemma and Resilience at World Energy Council, who presented the nonenvironmental impact of climate change which touches every aspect of our lives. Starting by, health problems which are caused by the poor infrastructure and the polluted water coming from floods which our animals and plants feed on. On another hand, the flow of immigrants is increasing because of Climate change impact on poor countries which is a phenomenon that harms not only their economy but also the economy of the host country due to overpopulation.
We are grateful for the time and effort our guests took to share their thoughts and experiences with the Unite the World and we would like to thank them for the outstanding work, approaches and guidance they have provided to our participants.
Mrs. Radhia Louhichi:
A representative of Réseau Enfants De La Terre, who passed on her knowledge about the changes in our ecosystems, its causes, and its solutions. Participants also had the opportunity to share their national experiences and international challenges related to embedding climate change action at a national level.
Greenpeace USA activist, who brainstormed interactively with our participants the possible solutions that we can implement in our daily life and teach to our communities in order to make sure we’re on the right path towards a better life, a healthier life, a life that we’re not afraid to live.
Some of these solutions are trying to live plastic free for a few days in order to realize how easy it is to cut off the unnecessary plastic that we use daily, organizing cleanups and recycling.
2- Media & Journalism Camp :
Journalism was created to focus on issues that were important to society based on truth and dignity. A lot has changed since its beginning with the introduction of the internet, social media has emerged as a powerful medium of information which makes us ask these questions: Are we as aware of the differences between the real news and fake news as we believe to be? How influencing is today’s reformed journalism?
In the media & journalism camp, we focused more on developing in our participants a critical thinking mindset that helps them make objective, effective choices, and arguments that combat fake news and the unhealthy use of media.
Here are some of the seminars, workshops and open discussions we had in our camp:
Journalism & media’s role in the Arab Spring:
Run by Khawla Bouaziz, our media camp Project Manager who addressed the pivotal role of media, its consequent impact in the socio-political global shift and its evolution today with the introduction of social media and internet.
Journalistic ethics :
In this seminar, Sahar Mechmech, our Media Camp Group leader highlighted the grave importance of journalistic ethics and introduced the SPJ Code of Ethics which is the journalist’s professional "code of ethics", here is a recap of what we have discussed during this session in order to provide truthful, honest and authentic news:
- Seek the Truth and Report It
- Be Accountable and Transparent
- Minimize Harm
- Act Independently
- What defines real news? Fake news?
The seminar was devoted to differentiating between real news and fake news where our guest speaker: Mr. Houssem Jouini, Amideast Tunisia’s Media Manager presented the ways to deliver authentic reporting, receiving and communicating.
- It is time for social media neutrality:
This discussion session was run by Rayen Bouajaja, the founder and CEO of "Lycéena", a media platform that delivers news and information concerning education and school life.
The session was informative and interactive where Rayen talked about his personal experience and gave us some tips about the best way to get instant yet honest and credible news on social media.
Media's influence on the social global atmosphere made us debate:
Is Media the primary influencer on people's lives?
Result: More ideas to Unite the World!
Through leveraging Youth, knowledge and the genuine desire to make a change altogether, we managed to get everyone working on one shared goal: Unite the World!
We are proud of the enthusiasm, spirit and dynamic energy we have seen from our participants, leaders and guest speakers which bred these solutions for some of the biggest problems our world is facing today.
Our project aims to reduce co2 emissions by reducing the number of circulating cars through an application that encourage people to use carpooling. This app will create a network between clients and drivers in order to facilitate their transports and to minimize the percentage of the use of cars in Tunisia.
Open your eyes
To spread the message across youth, Open your eyes uses art get people to act.
"ECOnscious", is a tour around schools all over Tunisia and Algeria to educate and raise awareness about climate change.
A device that captures CO2 molecules from cars emissions and makes a business out of it.
The project stops the CO2 from getting out in the atmosphere when included in cars, collected will be then sold to companies that use CO2 as their raw material.
A whole new different way to rediscover what's like to be discovered. The project aims the promotion of underground artists in one platform that unites creativity, art, and talent to record companies!
An online platform that provides users with a rating of news websites based on the truthfulness and credibility of the articles they publish.
Team Tunigional: a project that recruits civil journalists in Tunisian regions to deliver instant and authentic news.
A platform that aims to connect Tunisians from different regions through the news. It's based on a network of citizen journalists who provide information and articles and readers to whom we facilitate access to local news.
We would like to express our sincere thanks and acknowlege your contributions for without your efforts and support our Spring Camp would not have been so successful.
The Exchange Department in Amideast Tunisia:
We truly appreciate your continuous support, your contribution helped us develop and succeed in all our events and camps.
We are grateful for the continued support of Rachel Markowitz, Jeni St John, and Sahar Kamkoum.
Thank you for sharing your time, your knowledge and your expertise with Unite the World team. We are very thankful and honored to work with great people who brought tremendous knowledge, creative energy, a passion for discovery and a collaborative spirit to our movement.
Arwa Guesmi (Blogger at MENAC, Active Expert on Trilemma and Resilience at World Energy Council )
Mehdi Belhaj (Alumni Instructor at American Council for International Education, KL-YES Tunisia ‘16)
Wafa Hmadi (Environmental defender, Climate activist)
Sahar Mechmech (Student in Masters Management of non-governmental organizations, Former cultural ambassador at Thomas Jefferson Undergraduate Program)
Walid Zarrad (Aspiring artist, KL-YES Tunisia ‘17)
Yassine Kerkeni (Works at Young Mediterranean Voices, KL-YES Tunisia ‘15)
Our Interns: Maleek Bouallegui and Aseel Aidani
Your hard work, commitment, and dedication during the 7 days of the camp without any compensation was an inspiration for all of us! We are grateful for your outstanding job; You have been helpful, professional and that really inspires confidence in our Movement.