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 Meeting - ASCP Students' Field Trip to UNICEF Office in Baku (PH)

 Meeting date: 12.12.2003


Beginning in November and continuing through January and February Baku schools #189 and #16 and Jackson Creek Middle School in Bloomington, Indiana joined the "Comparative Civics" project that Project Harmony is implementing collaboratively with Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) and American Studies Center (ASC), Indiana University's initiative at Baku State University. The online and offline initiative, consisting of three modules aimed at giving the students a better understanding of civic education, civil society and critical thinking and providing them with the opportunity to learn and compare civic education knowledge in the United States and Azerbaijan.

The project involves the participants from Baku schools in trainings and lectures by ASC students and online discussions with their peers in the US. Within the initiative's framework the students joined the "Law and Governance" training on law, human rights and children's rights; and on December 12 eight students took a field trip to the UNICEF office in Baku. The excursion began by the students' meeting Akif Saatchioghlu, Head of the Office, Dilara Babayeva, Child Protection Officer and Leyla Hasanova, Educational Project Assistant, who provided the students with a brief introduction to the programs that UNICEF implements in Azerbaijan, the organization's history and future plans. As Ms. Hasanova explained supporting educational projects is the organization's priority. UNICEF works closely with parents, and kids of all ages, and pays special attention to teaching children's rights to high school students. Ms. Babayeva informed the students about the Resource Centers for Youth established in Baku for homeless children and challenges UNICEF staff faces while working with them. The visiting ASCP students expressed their desire to join activities conducted by the centers and also conduct computer literacy trainings for children attending the Resource Centers. Project Harmony hopes to create a connection with these Resource Centers and offer some trainings for the homeless children in their Internet Computer Centers. With the enthusiasm shown by the ASCP students in assisting in this program it should be a great success.

The educational excursion to UNICEF office was a part of the "Comparative Civics" project that consists of "Ten Things That Best Represent Our Last 100 Years," "Powers of President" and "Media" modules. ASCP schools are currently participating in the "Powers of President" project.

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