‘We are the United Nations’ rejoice students at UN Teach-In Sessions

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21 March 2019
‘We are the United Nations’ rejoice students at UN Teach-In Sessions
“Why is the UN so important and crucial to us?” This is how a Grade 11 student initiated a vigorous debate around the UN.  “We are the United Nations,” happily shouted another amidst a flurry of questions addressed to the UN staff.
In February 2019, UNIC Beirut launched a series of teach-in sessions reaching over 1000 students from high schools across different regions of Lebanon.  
This series of awareness-raising sessions comes in response to Lebanon’s Ministry of Education adoption of “UN Aware” educational initiative co-led by UNIC Beirut and UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut, which aims to raise awareness of public and private schools’ students, of the UN priorities and activities, including the SDGs. The initiative also engages youth on UN issues, and incite them to organize activities around the SDGs. For example, one local high school in Beirut established an SDG library, while others are organizing the commemoration of UN International Days, such as the International Day of Forest (21 March) and World Water Day (22 March) among others.  
During the sessions, UN staff from various agencies operating in Lebanon briefed the students on the work of the United Nations, including the operations of UN agencies in Lebanon, the SDGs and their relevance in the context of Lebanon. The sessions were also an interactive dialogue with the youth on their perceptions of the SDGs and the resulting actions they were taking to implement the goals, such as advancing gender equality and conserving the sea and water in Lebanon. 
The learning sessions featured a video on the UN in general, an animated video on the SDGs, and a TV spot on the recently launched the #TakeAStep media campaign that spurs the public to take simple actions to enact positive change in the society.
The sessions will continue throughout the year and will seek to engage students in social and environmental activities in their local communities.