The Center for Applied Research in Education (CARE) at NDU, in partnership with the Ninawa Daher Foundation, provided students and teachers with a platform to present projects they have designed to promote their visions for active citizenship, which they showcased during “Open Doors 2017.” Open Doors is an annual event at NDU where students from more than 100 schools across Lebanon are invited to tour the various stands around campus and learn more about the academic opportunities and social life at the University.
These projects’ mission and vision is based on the words written by Dr. Ninawa Daher, "We have to use our freedom of speech to make our realities public and avoid contamination with mistakes from the past. This message is especially for young people like me, who should use their freshness and vigor to fight for a better quality of life.”
Ninawa Daher was born in 1979 into a Lebanese family in Argentina. She quickly became a prominent journalist and advocate for empowering youths, as leaders of social justice. She passed away in January 2011 in a car accident. To commemorate her legacy, October 3 (her birthday) was selected in Argentina to celebrate Lebanese-Argentinian Youth Day. The Ninawa Daher Foundation organizes activities that celebrate young people's dreams and initiatives for promoting equal opportunities and inclusive participation in diverse communities.
For the two-day event, the CARE invited representatives of the project titled, “Educating for Peace: Conflict Resolution and Civic Education in Lebanese Schools.” The project is jointly developed by Paradis d’Enfants, Minila, and Sawiian, and funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
This project aims at promoting civic education in Lebanon by working in schools on conflict resolution with students, teachers, and parents. Working with the citizens of tomorrow sets the foundations in Lebanon for a society that is more cohesive. The project targets public and private schools with students from different socio-economic backgrounds (privileged and underprivileged), different religions (Christians and Muslims), different nationalities and legal statuses (Lebanese and refugees), and different geographical distributions.
Fellows from Teach for Lebanon, which aims to eliminate educational inequality while fostering youth leadership and promoting civic engagement, also participated in this event. By providing support and training on a regular basis, Teach For Lebanon empowers its ‘fellows’ to become leaders in their schools and communities.
Director of CARE Dr. Bassel Akar believes, "Publicly recognizing teachers' and young people's expressions of social justice is how we begin building an education that immediately empowers children as active citizens."