Sophia, Team Leader:
The recruitment process of our team members was exciting; we sent out applications and personally asked a few of our peers if they were interested. Qiwei and I had never agreed on that many decisions—we picked debate members, art students, effective writers, and academic champs. Abstract and visionary ideas were flying in the air around meeting tables. We wrote numerous IHL Action Campaign plans and made countless phone calls with our Houston Red Cross leaders.
Qiwei, Team Leader:
You know those adventure books that let you make decisions and flip to the pages to find out where you end up? We decided to use that model to introduce International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to our students. Beloved comrade Katherine suggested that we put up large posters around the room and let the students create their own pathways. Different decisions would lead them to the other side of the room and to a different poster. The posters were all in the point of view of a soldier in battle.
Katherine, Team Member
I was amazed by how the students learned about IHL and international justice as they progressed throughout the game, story activity, and presentation. I have learned a lot over these past months about the importance of knowing and understanding IHL, its impact, and our role in spreading and preserving humanitarianism.
Sophia, Team Leader
We conducted our international justice campaign in many different ways, such as individual classroom presentations, online quiz, flash game, and an after school presentation that involved an interactive activity. This year, our school had a few STAAR testing days for underclassmen. While they took the four-hour test, our IHL team broke up into three groups and moved around to different rooms where juniors and seniors stayed. Before the presentation, we had made a little online quiz on Socrative.com about International Humanitarian Law that would serve as a pre-survey for the audience. During the presentations, we asked many questions and started discussions, and realized that most teenagers today feel rather apathetic toward the issue of IHL and international justice. Our physics teacher who had served in the marines asked: “How many of you guys are 18 and have voted? You know that this will probably be one of the issues that you’ll have to vote on, right?”
He made a good point. We were the decision makers, and IHL became much more personal and important to us, even the Team Members.
Qiwei, Team Leader:
In addition, we planned a larger group event for afterschool to reach many students whom we didn’t reach through homeroom. There we truly used our “choose-your-story” idea. Some of the members of the team and I painted posters with their own story on them.
On the day of the big presentation, we hung the posters up in the large group meeting room. After school, students started pouring in and were at first confused about the posters, but our Team Members did a good job of facilitating and answering questions the students had.
Our main goal was to make IHL personal and appealing to the students. I believe we accomplished it that day!