KAF hon­ors ‘Do the Write Thing Chal­lenge’ anti-vi­o­lence pro­gram

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

The Kuwait Amer­ica Foun­da­tion (KAF) held Tues­day evening a cer­e­mony honor­ing the ‘Do the Write Thing Chal­lenge’ 2017 Na­tional Stu­dent Am­bas­sadors pro­gram. Over the 22 years, the chal­lenge has es­tab­lished it­self as a suc­cess­ful pro­gram aimed at re­duc­ing vi­o­lence in schools and com­mu­ni­ties across the US Over two mil­lion mid­dle school stu­dents have par­tic­i­pated in the chal­lenge since its in­cep­tion and which works with stu­dents in 30 com­mu­ni­ties. On this oc­ca­sion, the Mayor of Wash­ing­ton, DC Muriel Bowser said: “we are al­ways very happy when we can get pri­vate sup­port for public ed­u­ca­tion in Wash­ing­ton, DC.”

She added “we are very com­mit­ted on to mak­ing our schools bet­ter and mak­ing sure our young peo­ple have all the skills they need to live a great life,” say­ing “we are grate­ful for the Kuwait Foun­da­tion for sup­port­ing this event.” As for her mes­sage to the young stu­dents, Bowser said “I would just tell them that a lot of peo­ple come to­gether to sup­port them. We have high ex­pec­ta­tions for what they do and they make a lot of de­ci­sions in their youth that will de­ter­mine the op­por­tu­ni­ties as they be­come adults,” so the chal­lenge “puts the right fo­cus on them.”

Mean­while, KAF Chair­man Dr Has­san Al-Ibrahim said that al­most 50 stu­dents made it this year out of about 75,000 pa­pers sub­mit­ted of stu­dents who have ac­cepted the chal­lenge by mak­ing a writ­ten per­sonal com­mit­ment not to en­gage in vi­o­lence and by pre­par­ing writ­ings on the causes and so­lu­tions to vi­o­lence. He em­pha­sized the “tremen­dous” change this chal­lenge is mak­ing year af­ter year, say­ing “we could see how much the pro­gram is spread­ing all over the US.” He added “we see the im­pact the chal­lenge is mak­ing, which is able to reach al­most two mil­lion stu­dents so we are very proud and we are at it.” “To see the young kids ex­press­ing them­selves about vi­o­lence and what they can do about it is re­ally an amaz­ing thing,” he re­marked.

He in­di­cated that stu­dents would also visit the Li­brary of Congress to sub­mit the book of their es­says. This year’s edi­tion is ded­i­cated to “Refugees and Dis­placed Per­sons Across the World ... who have shown re­silience and courage in fac­ing vi­o­lence and events be­yond their con­trol and have taught us that wher­ever there is a hu­man be­ing, there is an op­por­tu­nity for kind­ness.” The book will be placed in the Li­brary of Congress to rec­og­nize the stu­dent am­bas­sadors and all other stu­dents they rep­re­sent who have ac­cepted the chal­lenge to do some­thing to help cre­ate safer, more peace­ful so­ci­ety.

Dr Ibrahim con­cluded say­ing “I give them (the stu­dents) the mes­sage of friend­ship, co­op­er­a­tion, tol­er­ance and kind­ness.” The KAF was founded in 1991 with its core mis­sion, in­spired by Kuwait’s lib­er­a­tion by al­lied coali­tion forces in the Gulf war, to ex­press grat­i­tude for Amer­i­can sac­ri­fice and to strengthen ties be­tween the peo­ple of the US and Kuwait. KAF has suc­cess­fully, since its in­cep­tion, fo­cused its re­sources on ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural ex­change pro­grams for youth and dis­ad­van­taged per­sons, found­ing and spon­sor­ing the ‘Do the Write Thing Chal­lenge.’

—KUNA

WASH­ING­TON: The Mayor of Wash­ing­ton, DC Muriel Bowser (right) is seen with KAF Chair­man Dr Has­san Al-Ibrahim dur­ing the event.

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