Life-changing trip for Acharacle youngsters
ACHARACLE Primary School pupils have been on a life- changing trip to learn the power of negotiation.
Sean MacLennan, Jonathan Ewers and Fabienne Manasseh, all aged 11, travelled to Rome to debate in the Montesorri Model United Nations conference, a programme designed to teach youngsters the importance of accepting differences at a young age.
The pupils spent three days in the Italian capital representing Ghana, their chosen country, listening to their peers and putting forward their arguments
Lindsay Bradley, associated schools head teacher of Acharacle, Ardgour and Kilchoan primaries, explained: ‘As part of the programme, you cannot debate on behalf of your own country but studying Ghana was really interesting for them. They worked for weeks doing their research, finding out the main problems affecting Ghana such as forced labour, child labour, food waste – really hard hitting topics.
‘Then they devised plans on how these problems could be best tackled and put together their arguments.
‘At the conference there were children from Thailand, Oslo, Zurich, Canada and many more so it was multi- cultural in every sense. We were the only school from Scotland which made us very proud and during the cultural exchange evening the pupils dressed in kilts.
Through the programme the youngsters were given the opportunity to learn and respect other cultures, they learned about the rules of procedure and formalities when it comes to debating so these are real life lessons that they will carry with them.’
During their stay, the pupils stayed in the Vatican City and after keeping a tight schedule during the conference, they were able to soak up the sights before returning to Scotland.
Ms Bradley added: ‘The children worked relentlessly during the conference, waking up at 7.30am and only really had an hour here or there for breaks - but they loved it. They were really dedicated and the amount of effort they put in was tremendous. The final debate was in the United Nations building so they had to leave Italy essentially and go through security. I am sure none of the pupils will forget this experience in a hurry. Some of the parents stayed for the weekend after the conference and do the tourist things, so it was nice that everyone’s hard work was rewarded.’
The children wore kilts to the cultural exchange evening.
Pupils were taught the formalities and importance of negotiation and debate.
Pupils chose to represent Ghana at the conference.