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Conferences

July 2007
UNEP Regional Children Conference

July 2007
Child Soldiers Initiative, Ghana

April 21-23 2007
Youth CaN: "When Violence Causes Silence"

March 29, 2007
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, USA
"Children of the Crossfire" Lecture
February 23-March 2, 2007
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Education Without Borders Conference
August 15-21, 2006
Gloucester, Great Britain
Voices for Change 2006 International Summer School
Irmas Intl Youth Media Summit - July 2006
Oxford, UK - April 2006
Dakar, Senegal - July 2005
Ottawa, Canada - Nov 2004
The Hague, Netherlands 2004
Geneva, Switzerland - 2003
Nova Scotia, Canada-2003
iEARN Conference 2004 in in Kosice, Slovakia
Moscow, Russia - 2002
Capetown, South Africa - 2001
Beijing, China - 2000

Contact
iEARN Program For
Education And Technology
Flat 1, National Stadium Hostel
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Phone: 00232-76-654282
Fax: 00232-22-224439
info@iearnsierraleone.org

July 30, 2007
Regional Children Conference - Yaoundé, Cameroon

iEARN SL was represented by 14-year-old youth Joseph Jas Kamara at the United Nations Environment Programme's 2007 Regional Children Conference, held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in July/August. Youth participants at this conference discussed major environmental challenges facing Africa such as climate change, forest and biodiversity, land degradation and desertification, water resources, waste management and recycling. They also shared their experiences on environmental-friendly practices in daily life and engaged in practical exercises, interaction, presentations, and field trips. One of the highlights of the conference was the planting of 5000 trees in the capital city of Cameroon, a country with a rich biodiversity.

The theme of this conference, "Practice what you preach" calls upon youth participants to act. Children attending the Yaoundé Conference are expected to draft a letter to the leaders of Africa and the world and to the Secretary General of the United Nations, expressing their concerns about their right to a clean environment, education, health and sanitation, security and peace as the world is getting close to the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.

Joseph Jas Kamara had the privilege of discussing with other children from different parts of the world the issues that are affecting the environment. He emphasized the problems caused by pollution and deforestation. As a gifted young man, he was able to showcase the problems of the environment through arts and drawings, and a collection of his work and other young participants will be published on the web by UNICEF workers.

 

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July 16-20, 2007
Child Soldiers Initiative, Ghana

Andrew Benson Greene, Executive Director of iEARN Sierra Leone and expert on the issue of Child Soldiers, is a key player at 'The Child Soldiers Simulation Exercise,' named "Exercise Prodigal Child." The program is led by (Ret) Lieutenant-General The Honourable Romeo Dallaire together with UNICEF Canada President and CEO Nigel Fisher. A tight and seasoned group of 55 participants from around the world from a variety of disciplines, two of whom are themselves former child soldiers, will explore this critical issue at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Ghana.

Participants of the Child Soldiers Simulation Exercise are given scenarios for which they will develop realistic and plausible solutions to many of the issues related to the use of children as soldiers. The exercise takes place in a hypothetical African conflict zone.

The Child Soldier Initiative (CSI) was founded in August 2006 brining together representatives from civil society, international humanitarian organizations, the legal community, the military and academia. Partners in the Child Soldier Initiative include Search for Common Ground, UNICEF Canada, USAID's Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Canada and the Office of Canadian Senator Romeo Dallaire.

 

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April 21-23 2007
Museum of Natural History, New York City, NY, USA
Youth CaN Conference: "When Violence Causes Silence"

Franklyn Koroma, Youth Representative of iEARN Sierra Leone had the honour of representing youths at the recently concluded Youth CaN conference organized in New York. YouthCaN, which began in 1993, is a youth-run organization that gives kids who are concerned about the environment an opportunity to think and work on a national and international level. The organization's Web site invites "teachers, students, schools, environmental clubs—all youth and educators—to join with us in facing the challenge of becoming better stewards of our environment."

The Conference took place in April the 21-23 2007, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the theme was ‘When Violence Causes Silence’. Activities include educational workshops and presentations designed by the youths. Youths also exchanged ideas about environmental issues.

After the Conference, Franklyn had the honour to be invited at the iEARN U.S.A Head Office as an intern for two weeks. His task was to work on the Sierra Leone country iEARN database and confirm the participation of youth, test the site, and observe new technologies in the office that are meant to be used for a new iEARN 2007 collaboration project involving director Andrew B. Greene.

During Franklyn’s visit, he had the privilege of making several educational visits to such places as Washington, D.C., (World Bank), Richmond, VA, and Atlanta, GA, where he explored various connections for Sierra Leonean and American youths.

 

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March 29, 2007
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, USA
"Children of the Crossfire" Lecture

Mohamed Sidibay, a 14-year-old student of iEARN Sierra Leone was a Guest Spaker at the Kenyon College in Gaier, Ohio USA. He spoke on the theme 'Children of the Crossfire'.

Mohamed Sidibay was 10 years old when he was forced to fight in Sierra Leone's decade-long war. Since his involvement with iEARN SL, he has been the hero of the iEARN Sierra Leone movie entitled "We Don't Want No War" which won the organization a production award from Listen Up in New York, USA. In addition, he was involved in a series of short stories from around the world called Beyond Borders 'Personal Stories from a small Planet'. At Kenyon College, Mohamed Sidibay presented several of his personal poems which also reflect first hand experiences about a child caught up in war. He and Andrew Greene spoke on the issue of child soldiers at nearby Nazarene University in Mount Vermon, Ohio.

 

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February 23rd to March 2nd 2007
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Education Without Borders Conference

iEARN SL was represented at the Education Without Borders Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to talk to a gathering of students about inititiative global student initiatives. Present also were Nobel Laureates Muhammed Yunus and Rita Levi-Montalcini as well as notables such as tenor Placido Domingo and innovator Nicholas Negroponte (“One Laptop, One Child”), among others.

 

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August 15-21, 2006
Gloucester, Great Britain
Voices for Change 2006 International Summer School

Franklyn Koroma, iEARN Sierra Leone Youth Representative had the honour of attending the Voices of Change 2006 International Summer School from 15-21 August, 2006 in Gloucester, Great Britain. Following the success of the 2005 Voices for Change event in Pune, India, Voices for Change returned to the United Kingdom from the 15 to 21st of August. Located in an outdoor environmentally sustainable conference center called Green and Away near Gloucester, the event was home to 150 young activists from around the world between 16 and 25.

Franklyn Koroma was able to attend due to securing a competitive full registration scholarship as well as financial support from iEARN Sierra Leone and Cafe Society in England. The conference aimed at supporting, inspiring, motivating and increasing skills of young people involved in running community projects, social enterprises, campaigns and youth organisations and to create an international support network of young activists. The week-long summer event combined skills and culture sharing events and workshops run by a mixture of participants and professionals from all over the world. The 2006 themes were Environment, Peace and Conflict, Trade Justice, Minorities, Refugees and Asylum and Health.

Franklyn also had the privelege to meet with and live in the homes of partners at Cafe Society in Hull, England. The film-makers Jon Robson and Murray Clark, together with writer Matt Stephenson, welcomed Franklin to their homes and taught him digitial video media. The trio visited Freetown on May 5th to work with young people in iEARN Sierra Leone on a major digital media project: developing children's skills and helping them to tell their stories.

Franklyn returned to iEARN Sierra Leone feeling more inspired more engaged in social change and looking for more roles to play in making the change and ultimately wanting to 'Change the World! Supporters of Franklyn's participation include Rachel Laurence, summer conference host, and Andrew Benson Greene, Director of iEARN Sierra Leone.

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July 20-31st, 2006
Grover Cleveland High School, Los Angeles, CA
Irmas International Youth Media Summit

iEARN SL participated in the Irmas Int'l Youth Media Summit in Reseda, CA, just north of Los Angeles. During the summit, teenagers from 26 countries worked together to do something about the seven issues that they believe most impact their future: Racism, Poverty, Violence, Health, Environment, Women's Rights and Youth Empowerment.

They discussed and found ways to inspire others in their generation to shape the future through media and action. During the 10 day summit, the teen delegates:

  • Worked with dynamic leaders who are making a difference in non-profits and organizations around the world
  • Developed resolutions of action to present to the United Nations and their own governments
  • Created powerful public service announcements with the help of Hollywood filmmakers and celebrities
  • Learned how to organize international teen media exchange projects and find partners from other countries
  • Were part of the IIYMS one hour television special.
  • Celebrated a united world with art, music, film, dance and food from other cultures

Click here for photos. Click here to read a report of this event.

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Oxford, UK - April 2006
Oxford University World Ethics Forum

In April 2006, iEARN SL participated in the first-ever World Ethics Forum Joint Conference, “Leadership, Ethics, and Integrity in Public Life.” This joint conference hosted The International Institute for Public Ethics (IIPE), The Global Integrity Alliance, and the World Bank at Keble College, University of Oxford, UK. The purpose of this conference was to convene officials and advisors to national, sub-national and international governments, business professionals, scholars, ethics practitioners, civil society activists, academics, and public officials to reflect, facilitate and support critical thinking about the praxis of public ethics, to expose applied lessons about democratic governance processes and to help rebuild a sustainable future for an ethics culture.

View photos

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Dakar, Senegal- July 17-23, 2005
The 12th International iEARN Conference: "Connecting people for better education"

For the 12th annual International iEARN Conference, iEARN was honoured to have the patronage of president of Senegal, His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, his wife, Mrs Viviane Wade, and the Minister of Education, Moustapha Sourang.

The government of Senegal attached great importance to this conference, held in Dakar from 17 – 23 July 2005, which mobilized many ministries and NGOs. The advantages of participation in a global forum became obvious during conference week when people from around the world come together face-to-face to exchange ideas and share their experiences on projects they had worked on during the previous year. Such interaction at the annual IEARN conference encourages the sharing of experience among learners all over the world and leads to greater understanding.

Participation in the conference helped promote the project-based learning program initiated in iEARN Senegal, which has proved very successful so far. The hosting of this conference by iEARN Senegal helped develop capacity, sensitise, and promote national awareness. The objectives of this project were to encourage African participation in a global forum and involve as many African teachers as possible.

The conference was an opportunity to conduct research on the variety of online professional development courses used by teachers, African teachers in particular. The choice of the conference theme urged stakeholders to provide African teachers with online development courses and thus implement project-based learning nationwide.

The conference was attended by iEARN Sierra Leone youth Memunatu Barrie, Franklyn Koroma, Emile Toby, and their Director, Andrew Greene, Jr.

 

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Ottawa, Canada - Nov 2004
International Cooperation Days (ICD)

International Cooperation Days (ICD) is hosted by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) This conference takes place annually to "discuss the prospects for the world's future in the context of the global roadmap for change." The group focuses on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and hosts participants from organizations around the world.

View photos

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The Theme & Vision of the conference was "Content and Collaboration in an Expanding Europe and a Shrinking World". It demonstrates how ICT and technology in Education can play a
pivotal role in bridging the many divides that exist between present EU between it and the rest of the world. Please go to http://iearn2004.srobarka.sk for more conference information.

The use and development of online collaborative educational programs for ICT still needs to be prevalent in many societies and accepted as a major technology tool in the classroom, and the challenges of this conference is to help create this awareness and need.

There is every need to expand the use of ICT in a way that can close this gap between those who have access and those who do not. This is the true spirit of the conference and at the end opf the day, iEARN can help to promote sustainable education.

Rashid Peters, an iEARN youth from Sierra Leone was a part of the Youth Summit and was opportune represent his colleagues from Sierra Leone, and participated inm workshop and presentation of his song 'We Don't want no War'. He witnessed video-conference sessions, panel discussions, and a variety of youth oriented activities.

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The Hague, Netherlands 2004
The Hague International Model UN Conference

THIMUN exists "to uphold the ideals of the United Nations Among The Young," involves youth in making the United Nations "effective and responsive to the needs of the people worldwide." - KOFI ANAN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE U.N.

On January 28th, 2004, Andrew Benson Greene, Jr. had the honor to be summoned as a Guest Speaker to the 36th session of The Hague International Model UN by the THIMUN Foundation. The overall theme of the THIMUN conference this year was ‘Information, A Power for Change.'

Greene spoke amongst several renowned speakers including Lucie de Lophem of UNHCR, The Hague. His speech was entitled ‘The Question of the Promotion and Protection of The Rights of Children’, with particular focus on children in areas of armed conflicts. Like previous speeches and workshops delivered in Beijing, Capetown, Moscow, UK, Geneva, etc., he shared his native country Sierra Leone’s tragedy of its children being torn and tattered apart from family and friends through recurrent acts of violence emanating from the civil war.

Greene made mention of the far-reaching effects of physical and emotional scars left on the more than 300,000 children due to warfare. He emphasized the extent of human barbarism of children’s hands being hacked by the sheer brutality of a rebel group in Sierra Leone. Greene also suggested that to assure human rights, the global community must constantly express support and solidarity to the children of the world who are caught up in wars, and that they must be prepared to help the children in any possible way. In turn, the children and youth will be inclined to raise awareness of the need to protect children’s rights on a global level, thereby building a solid foundation for peace and human rights.

Andrew Greene on the importance of THIMUN:
"When I first heard several years ago about The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN), I was not quite convinced of the impact such a simulation could make to the UN and humanity as a whole. My thoughts were that merely having young people brainstorm issues of the UN at such a conference, when decisions at the UN are made by their seniors, rendered the exercise ludicrous. But my perceptions have since changed as I realized that THIMUN delegates were youth who could do more than merely brainstorm, but who also have the verve to put their thoughts into concrete action upon returning to their respective countries. More often than not, the resolutions taken at THIMUN are constructive and presented in the form of an action paper that can be unitized by UN organizations."

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Geneva, Switzerland - 2003

On 10 December, i*EARN Coordinator Andrew Greene and other non-profit leaders throughout the world joined such notables as the wife of U.N. President Kofi Annan and Swiss president Pascal Couchepin to present and discuss issues related to IT accessing and the bridging of the digital divide. This very prestigious event helped i*EARN to convey its message of peace through global interconnectivity while offering a world of new ideas and contacts.

Pascal Couchepin, President of the Swiss Confederation, noted that "many people around the world have no access to communication networks. Information and communication are the most important pre-conditions for the economic and cultural development of any society. It is therefore our duty to bridge the digital divide."

Greene summoned to attend the WSIS event after being accredited by the organization Taking IT Global and as part of the 'Youth Creating Digital Opportunities' (YCDO). His presentation was scheduled for the 10th of December, which is also World Youth Day.

His presentation took place amongst a series of workshops, forums and panel discussions also scheduled for that youth day. The themes varied from education to media, employment and human rights etc. Many of the day's events portrayed what was important to young people in an information society, and seeking answers to how ICT's can be harnessed by young people for development goals.

Greene's colleague from Sierra Leone, Sylvanus Murray, who is the current Coordinator of Taking IT Global in Sierra Leone, had the singular honour to showcase through a Powerpoint presentation the whole gamut of pre-conference interactive forum activities that were locally held in Freetown, as a runner-up to the WSIS events. Through out Sylvanus' presentation, he was able to throw light on the need for better access to Information Communication Technology in a country like Sierra Leone recovering from the ashes of war. Also, highlights of the Youth Caucus activities included national WSIS youth campaigns, the launching of new projects and partnership, and WSIS Youth Award Winners.

Greene was allotted the task of speaking at a panel on the topic of Human Rights and the role of ICT to strengthen Human Rights with Post-conflict and peace Building Process. Greene dwelled on the urgent need for the appropriate use of ICT to contribute towards dialogue and peace building. Through first hand experience, he was able to show how his involvement in www.childsoldiers.org and the current http://peacereconcile.virtualactivism.net has helped in the on-going human rights campaign and peace process amongst many Sierra Leoneans and those across the vast cultural divide.

The experiences shared by the co-panellist and the feedback from the audience helped a great deal to further create a forum where the ideas can be developed into concrete action. With poor access to ICT, a prerequisite for an inclusive information society, if Sierra Leone is to share in this digital revolution and the information age, its capacity in terms of ICT and usage must be boosted.

As Kofi Annan, Secretary General Of The United Nations puts it, "these technologies are a tremendous force for creating opportunities, and for integrating people and nations into the global economy. But too many of the world's people remain untouched by the information revolution. A digital divide threatens to exacerbate already wide gaps between rich and poor, within and amongst countries."

 

view photos from the summit

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Nova Scotia, Canada - 2003
Africa-Canada Youth Symposium for Leadership in Development hosted at St. Francis Xavier University

Read an excerpt by Ken Wiwa from The Globe and Mail, Canada's National Newspaper

The Coady International Institute hosted the Africa-Canada Youth Symposium for Leadership in Development from July 22-27, 2003. The Youth Symposium, an integral part of St. FX's 150th anniversary celebrations, provided the opportunity for young men and women from Canada and Africa to develop their capacities through skill building and leadership, exchange ideas on youth strategies for community development, and create an international network of young leaders committed to creating a just society.

The Symposium brought 70 African and Canadian youth leaders to the StFX campus to discuss and develop effective, youth-friendly strategies for some of the critical issues facing youth throughout the world - issues like HIV/AIDS, the environment, peacebuilding, and economic development.

view photos from the symposium

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Moscow, Russia - 2002

9th Annual iEARN International Conference, July 8-13

In July of 2002, during the 9th Annual iEARN Conference that took place in Moscow, Andrew pursued his peace, human rights and conflict resolution drive that have been the centre of concern amongst his iEARN Sierra Leone colleagues. His ideas on these thorny global issues were felt by all participants in the walls of the prestigious Cosmos hotel where the conference took place and literally around the walls of the Kremlin.

As well as hosting his own workshop ‘May Peace Prevail On Earth’ Andrew was able to share his thoughts in several other iEARN workshops including this one by Yoshie Naya, entitled: ‘Hello From Japan’. The interactions involved in these workshop, shows how apt the overall theme of the conference was: “Humanity In The Internet Age, Putting ‘Humanware’ before Hardware and Software.”

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Capetown, South Africa - 2001
8th Annual iEARN International Conference

IEARN Sierra Leone youth Rashid Peters and coordinator Andrew Greene participated in the 8th Annual iEARN International Conference also known as the "Africa Connects Conference. Together they held a trio workshop with their long time partner and friend in iEARN Bill Belsey. The presentation was entitled ‘Using Tele-communications technology to illustrate the predicaments faced by child soldiers.

  This conference marked the climax of online interactions of youth/ students and their teachers/coordinators or on-line facilitators over the last 12 months. It also attracted professionals in On-line education and E-learning from a broad spectrum of institutions and organizations all over the world connected under the theme ‘Education In The Internet Age’.

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Beijing, China - 2000
7th Annual IEARN International Conference, July 7-14

The overall theme of this conference was "Sharing and Understanding Tele-education in the Twenty-first Century."

 

More about the China IEARN conference

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