Students of Green Hills Academy organised a Model United Nations (MUN) conference on Saturday, July 8, that aimed at discussing problems faced by the world and finding solutions to them, while also training themselves to become future leaders.
The club is an assimilation of United Nations, and students take on different roles like secretariat, delegates, administrators, press, and security, among others.
The conference held under the theme, “The role of the youth in sustainable development,” took place after members of MUN club, were requested to participate in bringing about positive change in the generation to come.
A number of students from different schools participated, including Riviera High School, Gashora Girls School, White Doves Prep School, Excella School, Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, Fawe Girls School, Kigali International Christian School, Wellspring Academy, African Leadership University and Green Hills Academy.
In his speech, Jean-Michel Habineza, the International Coordinator for iDebate Rwanda and the key note speaker of the conference noted that by 2050 that there will be 2.5 billion people more, according to research, which poses a big challenge, if about 11 billion people will live on this planet. It is a sign that we have an urgent matter to solve problems.
“The African continent has the highest number of young people, this means that we need to increase the number of schools, hospitals, and resources for everyone as the population grows, this however might cause a challenge of security.
“There is likely to be an increase in interpersonal and intergroup violence, which would come up as people fail to access resources,” he said.
He added that due to the rise of the population, there will be need for more land, which is why we have to think of how we can make land productive. These challenges will drain opportunities, as there will be a raise in technology, and artificial intelligence, the robots in the next generation will be doing a lot of work that humans could have done.
He further expressed the need for a new education system that puts forward complex thinking, conflict solving, for instance; knowing how to think but not what to think, and learning how to deal with big data to avoid the possibility of being irrelevant in the 21 century.
He stated that there could also be an issue of climate change in the next generation, as some countries will be lost due to the change in climate, an issue that cannot be taken lightly.
Habineza emphasized that knowing how to deal with human nature will be important; elucidating that many people will be self-centered in the years to come.
He said that all these mentioned problems can only be solved by working together but keeping in mind how these solutions are in the interest of the government.
Habineza heartened students to use any opportunity possible to find solutions to the problems different countries face when they are still young, which will give them an advantage over the rest of the world.
The Guest of Honor, Happy Lila Iriburiro explained that she lacked self esteem because she thought her English was not good enough, however, through taking part in debates and believing that she can do better, doors to different opportunities have opened for her.
Lila urged students to use MUN platform to change the world, but to also learn the aspects and skills of public speaking, because to be a leader, you need to be a good speaker.
According to Lisa Biasillo, the Head of Green Hills Academy, MUN grants students with an opportunity to gain confidence, communicate what they think in different perspectives. They are also able work with others about real critical issues that are impacting the world today.
“MUN is open to any student and we are hoping it will be an annual event in Rwanda, and after gaining some experience, we shall make it regional or across Africa. It has exposed them to international trips that they are learning from and using the skills learnt back home,” she noted.
Racheal Turigye, the Director of Green Hills MUN club further said that the MUN club benefits learners to enhance their critical thinking, because they take on issues that affect the world, and discuss them from their own perspective while representing a certain country, which requires them do extensive research.