The Open House in Ramle - a peace education center in Ramle, Israel

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Day of the Child 2011

November 20 is the Day of the Child, marking the anniversary of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Children. On Friday, November 18, Open House young adults led sessions on children’s rights at the Terra Santa school in Ramle. Here are the words of Bissan Salman, 19, who led the sessions together with Muhammad Kabua, 18, and Vivian Rabia:

“First we brainstormed about the concept of “rights,” and then the children gave examples of violations of children’s rights. For example, the right of the child to spend time with both parents if they are divorced.  One child said, “it is not fair if the teacher punishes the whole class when just one of the children makes trouble.”  Then we had a board game, which we played on the floor–“the chocolate game.” The class was divided into seven small groups. The apparent purpose was to get to the chocolate first. A fierce competition ensued. But at the end of the game, they could sense that something was wrong. A powerful discussion followed.”

It emerged that the winning group’s joy was brief. They realized that sharing the chocolate is what would give them real joy; and finally, the students came to discuss  the difference between selfish competition and co operation.