Culture In A Quilt:  A Cultural Awareness Program at IMUN By the World Genesis Foundation

Goodyear, Arizona, USA - July 22, 2015
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"Leave no child without hope for the future"

The IMUN UNESCO Center for Peace Summer Camp program in the Washington, DC metro area, gathers together the best and the brightest young minds from around the globe. Over the course of two weeks, our student-delegates learn from their peers about other cultures, societies and perspectives, and also share their own unique views. They undertake workshops on global inequality, cultural diversity and conflict mediation, listen to diplomats and go on field trips to important landmarks in the DC metro area and New York City. They also give training sessions on how to apply to US schools, taking the SATs and placement exams, finding the right school and applying for the right scholarships, and discussions on how to be peace builders in their societies. This year the camp had over 100 students from over 21 countries.

Mrs. Heather Caton, brought a Cultural Awareness Program, on behalf of World Genesis Foundation. It was an opportunity in the beginning of the program to have everyone in one room and to talk about culture and what is it and it allowed the students to share about their own cultures and experience with culture. “It was a great way to set the stage. Many of these students are here in the US for the first time. Many have never been in a room with other students from 21 different countries. There was something for all of us to learn from each other and to learn that we also shared much in common,” said Heather.

The program began with a presentation about what is culture and how it is developed. It went into different aspects of culture and how sometimes one thing in one country does not mean the same thing in another country. A short film was shown that got the students laughing. We spoke about how we do not always see things how they are but how we are. We had a break out session where students were in groups according to their birthday month, which allowed youth to meet new friends and they already had something in common. A student from each group spoke about what they learned from others in the group, they had a chance to share an experience. At the end the students were given a paper square. They were asked to make a picture about the culture in their country. There were plenty of materials and space around the room. It was a social activity. We collected all the squares and they were put together in a cultural quilt that hung for the rest of the camp. It was a symbol of our not only our differences, which make us unique but what we have in common that hold us together.
The World Genesis Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization that was founded on November 30, 1999 and is dedicated to a vision and mission to "leave no child without hope for the future." Headquartered in Goodyear, Arizona in the USA, the foundation supports activities worldwide to create educational, scientific and cultural opportunities for youth with a special focus in areas of the world where these opportunities are limited or do not exist.

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