Day 4 – Human Rights and the Media; Trainings

Day 4 – Human Rights and the Media; Trainings

Today’s theme was centred on the use of presentation skills and tools in order to think critically about how the media portrays human rights violations. We were split into small working groups and were given local newspapers, and were then asked to find an article pertaining to the common theme of human rights violations. We were then asked to work on a presentation for the rest of the standing committee. During the preparation, I had a very interesting conversation with Petra from Lebanon. We spoke about Lebanese history as well as how the media portrays human rights issues in Lebanon. I especially liked a particular presentation that expressed how extremist groups were portrayed in the media, and about how this creates many stigmas, as the media tends to place a focus on what sells rather than an accurate representation of reality. Here, we learned about the importance of transparent media sources, and the essential responsibility we have towards grassroots media outlets, as well as assuring that human rights violations are represented adequately.

We then split up to attend inter-committee workshops. It was great to finally catch a glimpse of what other standing committees were up to, and I was able to find many connections between their work and what we were trying to achieve in our SCORP sessions. My workshop was on Holistic Medicine.

I then attended training on facilitation skills. It was given by the wonderful Laurence and Ranya, and what a great training it was! We were encouraged to determine the roles, obligations, and “dos and don’ts” of a facilitator. We were also encouraged to discuss the roles of a co-facilitator, and learned about the difference between leading a group and facilitating one. We learned about the conflicts and challenges of guiding group discussions, and discussed what to do if we were faced with situations of unequal participation among members. We also got some practice on presenting our ideas and got feedback from the other group members. My favourite part of the training was the Skill/Will activity, where we learned how to manage different skill and will levels in order to help the individual achieve his or her maximal potential using specific techniques that we developed as a team. The training inspired me to become a trainer. Now, I cannot wait until next February to take part in the Training New Trainer’s session.

Tonight’s social program was such a great time. We went to a local club and danced until the wee hours of the morning. It nice teaching Paxton how to salsa. After being crammed like sardines into the bus, we finally made it home for a short 2.5 hour sleep.