A Teacher from Minieh, Leading by Example

When asked about his students, Samer El Eter, a sports teacher from Nabi Kzeiber Intermediate Public school in Tripoli, answered: “My students are my little brothers; I treat them with respect and I trust them.”

The UNDP “Peace Building in Lebanon” project had launched its work earlier in 2017 in 15 schools in Tripoli, under the Violence Free Schools (VFS) initiative.

The VFS initiative aims at providing support to the schools that operate in  times of crises in host communities as well as at integrating peace building into formal and non-formal educational channels in Lebanon.

The VFS initiative was implemented previously in Mount Lebanon and theBekaa. It has launched  its activities in Tripoli in January 2017 and is continuing the implementation this academic year in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and in partnership with CAC – Center for Active Citizenship and For Development- with the funds of Germany.

“Nabi Kzeiber is one of the schools that have been working on countering violence in the school environment for years”, said principal Ahmad Alameddine. He added, “Working under the umbrella of the VFS initiative gives sense to our work and comforts us. We are happy to be working on nonviolence in a systematic approach now, along with other schools in Tripoli. We are aware of the impact of these initiatives on the overall wellbeing of our students, teachers and parents and we hope it will reduce violence in our community.”

Located in Minieh, Tripoli, North Lebanon, the school hosts 600 students from the area, aged between 12 and 16 years.

During July 2017 and as the academic year came to an end, the preparations for the upcoming year were already taking place.

Samer, supported by the school staff and management, initiated an awareness-raising visual campaign which was printed and draped in the school entrance.

The campaign was interpreted in forms of banners that expressed different ideas such as encouraging group work, belonging to the school community, the importance of education and the role of parents in following up on their children, among other messages…

“The idea behind these posters is to catch the attention of the parents that are visiting the school for the registration process. With the help of my students,we designed each poster to have a different message – all contributing to promoting a safer, cleaner and violence-free school”, said the coach. He added, “The parents were surprised to see these murals, and they were proud to see their children involved and explaining about the importance of conversation, respect and trust. It also reassured the parents that our school is aware of the issues facing our community and is addressing them.”

Principal Alameddine, who was very encouraging of this initiative, said: “They say children often learn from adults, but I believe that children set a better example and teach us through their smallest actions. So by building a conscious young generation, I know we will have a huge impact.”

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