“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”
― Malala Yousafzai
For all aspects of society, the rule of law is fundamental for forging relationships of mutual accountability, reliability and building trust in public actors and institutions. Acknowledging the importance of strengthening the rule of law around the world, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative was created to come up with novel, creative and sustainable ways to make teaching on the rule of law and on Sustainable Development Goals’ 16-related topics a priority for many educators with the aim to empower the next generation to become the leaders, decision-makers and citizens that are needed to address the challenges the world is facing.
E4J partnered with We Love Reading to empower children, youth and educators in order to build bridges between youth, educators, academics and policymakers.
Reading to children for pleasure is beneficial for a child’s personality, imagination, and intellect. The lack of this opportunity in the lives of millions of young people, particularly those in impoverished communities perpetuates poverty, injustice, and inequality. We Love Reading aims to close that divide by promoting a love of reading in the everyday lives of children.
We Love Reading hosted a panel on Changing mindsets through reading to create changemakers.
This session will bring research experts and practionaires as well as people on the ground to share and discuss how We Love Reading, a grassroots program and 2020 UNHCR Nansen refugee awardee, has been able to change mindsets through reading to create changemakers. The program adopts a holistic approach including children, youth and adults especially females as well as the wider community to ensure sustainability and scalability. The session will also highlight how We Love Reading adapted technology during COVID19 to reach vulnerable communities in a collaborative manner in order to serve as a placeholder for education, improve mental health and boost social justice.
Title: Changing Mindsets through Reading to Create Changemakers
Date and time (incl. time zone): 2/12/2020 , 14:00 – 15:30 , Vienna Time
Host: We Love Reading
Agenda for E4J conference panel
Dec 2, 2020
8 -9:30 AM EST
- E4J/WLR movie (3 min)
- Welcome and introduction to We Love Reading (10 min)
- Scientific evidence
- Dima Amso (7 min)
- Antje Von Suchodoletz (7 min)
- Isabelle Mareschal (7 min)
- Asma Rashed We Love Reading Ambasssador sharing her story (10 min)
- Ghufran We Love Reading International (7 min)
- UNICEF (Neven Knezevic): We Love Reading and early childhood (7 min)
- UNHCR (Irina Isomova): We Love Reading and the secret sauce (7 min)
- We Love Reading and COVID19 (5 min)
- Q and A (10 min)
- Conclusion (5 min)
Background to the conference
For all aspects of society, the rule of law is fundamental for forging relationships of mutual accountability, reliability and building trust in public actors and institutions. Acknowledging the importance of strengthening the rule of law around the world, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was launched in 2016 as part of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. The initiative promotes an innovative and creative approach to foster teaching topics related to the rule of law at schools (primary and secondary levels) and higher education institutions worldwide.
However, efforts to promote education on the rule of law do not happen in isolation and have only been possible through E4J’s partners and its strong multi-stakeholder approach. By working with thousands of educators, academics and students, E4J and its partners have come up with novel, creative and sustainable ways to make teaching on the rule of law and on SDG 16-related topics a priority for many educators with the aim to empower the next generation to become the leaders, decision-makers and citizens that are needed to address the challenges the world is facing. In particular, UNODC has been working closely with UNESCO to engage with policymakers, teachers and educators in implementing strategies that support transformative Global Citizenship Education (GCED) to empower students to promote fairer societies.
Promoting the rule of law with a multi-stakeholder approach is crucial to protect people’s safety, dignity and fundamental human rights, but also strengthening public engagement to ensure sustainability and a long-lasting impact for generations to come. With this in mind, E4J seeks to empower children, youth and educators in order to promote the rule of law, a cornerstone of the Doha Declaration and an anchor of the Sustainable Development Agenda, and build bridges between youth, educators, academics and policymakers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history. However, educators around the world have demonstrated unprecedented eagerness and creativity to minimize the consequences for their students, motivate them, and identify new and innovative ways of teaching. Shifting a portion of the traditional classroom teaching to the digital world has revealed that a significant part of the population has limited or no access at all to communication technologies and/or the Internet. The pandemic has, therefore, confirmed the need to consider and reduce the digital gap and rethink education for the future.
Objective of the Event
The E4J Global Dialogue Series will be dedicated to the exchange of views and best practices on how to:
- Invest in education for the rule of law at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels;
- Accelerate the implementation and mutual reinforcement of SDG 4 and SDG 16;
- Leverage the advancements of information technologies for education for the rule of law;
- Foster creativity and innovation to deliver education for the rule of law;
- Discuss how educational resources can be used and adapted to different contexts and realities;
- Reach vulnerable and different language communities to widely promote education for the rule of law;
- Empower children, women and youth as agents of positive change in their communities;
- Create partnerships to promote the rule of law through education, including with governments, the private sector and civil society organizations;
- Strengthen collaboration with Higher Education Institutions and academics as essential partners in advancing the implementation of the SDGs.
The online interactive discussions will also provide an avenue to discuss the future of education on issues related to justice, the rule of law and social cohesion, from the perspective of the many international and distinguished partners that cooperate with E4J, as well as youth representatives and other beneficiaries.
Dr. Dima Amso:
“We Love Reading is child-focused, it’s sustainable but it is also culturally appropriate, and for me it seemed to be consistent with the ordinary magic of childhood. What that means is that, what we’re looking at in this program is something that is already a part of the infrastructure of any kind of parent-child interaction or caregiving or community child interaction. So there is nothing here that is so extreme, it’s about enriching the caregiving environment, it is about enriching cognitive development through books and new ideas and motivation and love, it is about fostering imagination.”
“A very interesting sort of model for something that looks like the kind of experience that children are going to have to support healthy brain development.”
“We found change in reading practices and attitudes in children who attended WLR sessions” “The WLR program can indeed change WLR attitudes and reading practices, so participation in such a community based program that rely the empowerment in the community can actually promote the development of reading culture.”
“If it is the case that the location of delivery of the program is very important, then of course this is important to know especially given that we’ve all have moved to into the sort of online world where we do things from home. So it could be that We Love Reading delivered in this kind of online format might actually provide a platform for these socializations, they are so important”
“apart from the effects on literacy and executive functions that we might expect from a program like We Love Reading, we are also finding that it can affect these more secondary or subtle factors”
“I am a We Love Reading Ambassador and I must say that my life has begun when I’ve started this program, I am not exaggerating because back in Syria we used to live in a community where all what a female can do is to get married and have children, but when I came to Zaatari and took the training with Dr. Rana and I felt that I have something more to do in the community.”
Global chief of education UNICEF, Robert Jenkins
“Pushing forward in this Critical area of work, UNICEF has been supporting We Love Reading in implementing this learning program in the most challenging contexts in the world who have massive needs.”
Irina Isomova (UNHCR)
“We love reading won the 2020 Nansen refugee award. We Love Reading is an ally and supporter for refugees Backed by Dr Dajani’s incredible drive passion and energy. Rana Dajani is our hero. We Love Reading has a positive impact on children, adults and community. Refugee have experiences of trauma not only from war but from displacement and today from covid19. The WLR Program was developed in a unique and simple powerful way, building of human ability to transform the situation and develop resilience moving forward with little at our disposable. Small steps that include: identify a time, gather children and read to them out loud. Reading aloud to children awakens a positive imagination, makes them enjoy the magic of books is a simple way to transform their reality to change their mindsets and discover their inner potential. WLR provides something important for adults as well as WLR ambassador doing something positive to your community motivates you do more and builds on confidence to heal and move forward. For refugee adults it changes the whole meaning of life and instills hope. Confidence of good deeds is contagious bringing change into the community. The secret sauce of the WLR Program becomes more prominent and visible when people take responsibly and ownership taking it with them where ever they are.”