ORT Students Complete Global Citizenship Program and Manifesto

18.07.23

The first year of World ORT’s Global Citizenship curriculum has concluded with a celebratory event for students and their teachers, featuring the launch of a manifesto written by the students.

For the past five months, students have met online to discuss all aspects of Global Citizenship and the curriculum – which was initially introduced to teachers and schools across our network last October.

Training sessions, events and programs have been delivered in a number of countries during the first rollout of the curriculum. These have included teachers taking part in sessions to gain confidence in bringing emotional intelligence into their classrooms, and a series of online events featuring key aspects of Global Citizenship such as water sustainability and the experiences of refugees.

The Global Citizenship program is intended as a recognition of ORT students’ long-term commitment to learning new skills and implementing them to drive the future of Global Citizenship across our network.

They have connected online from their home countries to carry out research and discuss global issues together.

The first World ORT Global Citizenship Manifesto is the outcome – a published document providing a snapshot of ORT students’ concerns, thoughts and ideas around what Global Citizenship means to them.

Eric Schloss, the World ORT Education Project Manager who has overseen the first year of the program, said: “Through amplifying the voices of the global student body, ORT is now able to ensure that the Global Citizenship program will meet the needs and wants of our students in the coming years.

“The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4.7 was an international call to educators and educational organizations to provide learners with skills and knowledge that will help promote a culture of peace and non-violence, gender equality and appreciation of cultural diversity as well as learning about Sustainable Development and Human Rights. This program stood as a statement of ORT’s commitment to this just endeavor.”

Student ambassadors met online to complete six hours of training in governance and dialogue techniques to help build consensus. Three ambassadors from each school then conducted surveys among their peers, gathering insight on diverse social and environmental concerns as well as interpersonal issues such as mental health, identity and communicating with others.

Finally, by gathering completed surveys from more than 140 students globally, they were then able to bring their data and knowledge to a series of Youth Forums where they created responses which ultimately formed the manifesto document.

The celebration event on July 6 acknowledged their work and contribution to the future of the program and officially launched the manifesto.

Alex, a student at the ORT No. 134 ‘Dimcho Debelianov’ Jewish School in Sofia, Bulgaria, said: “As a teenager you don’t have a lot of power to do things, so attending a project and being an active part of this makes me feel really nice about myself. I’m doing something really useful.”

Samantha, a student from South Africa, added: “My experience on this project was very fruitful because I got to grow as an individual by socializing with people, which was previously very difficult for me. I’m going to take this as a life lesson.”

The manifesto itself states: “A Global Citizen is an individual who identifies as a member of a global community and who tries to take action to contribute to building the values and conduct of this community. Different people bring different ideas to the table, so we contribute by sharing our differences.

“A Global Citizen is a person who does what is in their power, to stop what is jeopardising our planet so we can live in a fairer world. All of us are Global Citizens, and each one of us can make the world better.”

You can read the Manifesto document here.