My Voice – My School

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Homs camp, Syria. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad


My Voice-My School is an education project which empowers youth by giving them a voice and the opportunity to communicate across borders on issues that matter to them. It puts children at the heart of the conversation about what the Sustainable Development, Goal 4 ‘Quality Education’, should look like and appeals to the international community to continue to prioritize education funding particularly in the context of the Gaza and Syria crises. My Voice-My School links schools globally to collaborate in a joint class project. Running over a twelve week period, students explore ‘Quality Education’ and develop a classroom project which they share with their peers via three online exchanges.

This autumn, Palestine refugee children in UNRWA schools in Syria, Gaza and Lebanon will be paired with peers in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Through the use of online video exchanges, digital media and specialized curriculum materials, children will benefit from solidarity across borders while they develop the skills to advocate for their education and future.

Running for a third year, the project was developed in collaboration with Digital Explorer. It has been made possible with the support of generous donors, including the European Union and contributors to the Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal. This innovative program combines teacher development, student-centered learning, ICT use in the classroom with communication and advocacy. The live exchanges and discussions between the students are recorded and shared for wide media coverage.


Meet our students

Amina
Rimal Intermediate School, Gaza City, oPt
Saleem
El Khairieh School, Latakia, Syria
Rama
Lebanon
Lebanon flag

In Gaza, Amina faces many challenges to her education, from overcrowded classrooms to regular electricity cuts, which prevent her from studying after school. Nonetheless, she stays strong. “I am striving to fulfil my ambitions in life. I hope to become a veterinarian one day”, Amina tells us.

Saleem is internally displaced by the conflict in Syria. He lives in Latakia with his mother, three brothers and pet parrot Neddo. He lost his father and home in the crisis. “My favorite part of school is the psychosocial support services”, Saleem says. It brings him respite. He loves the beach and his friends.

 
Roos
Berlage lyceum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Finn
Nelson Mandela School, Berlin, Germany
Millie
Sweden
Swedish flag

Roos lives in Amsterdam and, as a typical Dutch girl, she rides her bicycle everywhere. “School is important because it is where you meet your friends and new people and discover who you are”, says Roos. For her, school should be a place where children feel safe and free to be who they want to be.

Finn wants to be a film director. He lives in Berlin with his mother and two sisters. He studies at the Nelson Mandela School, where he is a member of the school parliament. Finn says, “Education is the key to success and it opens new doors.” Along with his friends, he believes that every child should have access to it.

 

2015/16 highlights

Solidarity
Alma-Yarmouk School, Rif Damascus, Syria
Advocacy
Palestine Girls School, Damascus, Syria
Quality education
Ramleh Al-Shajarah School, Homs, Syria
© 2015 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammed BBC story on #MyVoiceMySchool © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammed

Skyping with the Bow School in London to discuss ideas around quality education, like many Palestine refugee students, this is Doha’s first time to speak to teenagers from another country.

As a result of the exchanges with their peers in Syria, in March 2016, students from the Oakland School in London interviewed the Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, about the United Kingdom’s support for education in Syria. 

Students explore ‘Quality Education’, Goal 4 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as a right to every child. UNRWA upholds its principles and practices by training teachers to deliver student-centered education and the use technology in the classroom.


My Voice - My School in the news

The turmoil faced by people in Gaza, Syria and the region makes education all the more precious for the many refugee students enrolled in nearly 700 UNRWA schools. Education creates resilience and hope, especially during conflict and protracted crises.

In the 2015/16 school year, Palestine refugee students from Syria had the opportunity to express their passion for education during the #MyVoiceMySchool live exchanges, which are recorded by UNRWA.

Digital and media assets that were produced revealed compelling stories. #MyVoiceMySchool was featured by CNN, BBC World Services, BBC School Report, The Evening Standard, Mashable, Skype’s blog, and east London newspapers.

Mashable.com story on #MyVoiceMySchool London Live story on #MyVoiceMySchool

Resources for teachers

My Voice – My School Resource Booklet

UNRWA has co-developed a joint curriculum for use by schools engaged in the My Voice-My School project. Resources for educators include a Teacher’s Booklet that gives an overview of the project, as well as lesson-by-lesson teaching packs, each of which contains a lesson overview, detailed teacher guidance, student sheets and a supporting slideshow.

For implementation, teachers are provided with training on both the topic and methods of using technology in the classrooms. Any lesson that involves connecting via online exchange are exciting and provide new ways of learning and collaborating across borders. The booklet helps maximize the learning in the classroom and builds both the teachers and students confidence in using Skype as an educational tool.

DOWNLOAD THE TEACHERS’ BOOKLET
DOWNLOAD LESSON 1
DOWNLOAD LESSON 2
DOWNLOAD LESSON 3
DOWNLOAD LESSON 4
DOWNLOAD LESSON 5
DOWNLOAD LESSON 6
DOWNLOAD LESSON 7
DOWNLOAD LESSON 8
DOWNLOAD LESSON 9
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Developed in cooperation with

With thanks to our funding partners

EU flag

With EU support, close to 500,000 Palestine refugee students attend school every day in one of the nearly 700 UNRWA schools in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. In addition, EU support to other UNRWA educational interventions – including the Summer Learning Programme, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), the Engaging Youth project, and Education in Emergencies – helps ensure that all young Palestine refugees are able to benefit from a quality, equitable and inclusive education and pursue opportunities for the future, in spite of the difficult and challenging circumstances they face. Learn more about EU support to the UNRWA education programme.

British Counicl logo Qatar Foundation International logo UNICEF logo
Syria emergency appeal No Lost Generation logo UK Aid logo
Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education