MUNYP in D'Mun 2016
The individual experiences of our delegates:
The Junior d’MUN conference was held in Antalya, Turkey during the 18th to 20th March, 2016. Anastasia and I were invited by our friend, whom we previously met at a conference in Israel, to become chairs for a middle school MUN. It was my first chairing experience and I have definitely learnt a lot from it. I was assigned to chair around 40 delegates in the World Health Organisation (WHO) committee, on the topic of Zika virus. As a chair I was not only a mediator of the debate but also a teacher. Taking on the teacher’s role was the most difficult part as I haven’t expected the delegates to be actually this tiny and thought they knew English well. They are age between 9 to 13 years old and the level of English ranged between them as well. The first day I didn’t understand the intensity of the language barrier as the delegates as they were doing their opening speeches and presented their position. The second day was a full day, from 9am to 6pm of trying to find creative and enjoyable ways to learn the rule of procedure, go through the debate and actually produce something that looked like a resolution and not to completely bore the poor kids (some looked very enthusiastic all the time though!). My co-chair help me a lot with language and explaining rules and translating words into Turkish. I’ve created signs for them to inform me whether they understand or not and after everything that I’ve explained I tried to make they’ve understood me (and if not I always had my co-chair to rely on). I’ve made games and some speeches exercises, and by the end of the conference there was not a single delegate that hasn’t spoken. I understood that there was no need to rush through the process, but just let the delegates learn from the experience and practice both public speaking and verbal English. As the say patience is virtue. I was very excited to meet old and new fellow chairs and co-chairs and enjoy a little bit sunshine after cold and cloudy Prague. Handing out the delegate awards were fun as well! I felt the power! grin emoticon
D'MUN was definitely an outstanding experience. As a chair of UNICEF, I had to manage 40 Turkish kids (age between 8 and 12) who barely spoke English! First of all, I had to create different games and competition in order to keep them interested, encourage them to speak up, show how to do proper research, teach how to give short presentation and work in teams . In addition to this, I had to explain the rules of Model United Nations a long the way. The main difficulty was that not all of them spoke English, so I had to explain everything in the easiest way possible (a.k.a Simple English). Fortunately, I had a Turkish-speaking co-chair, who helped me a lot. Second of all, I should mention the location of the conference - beautiful Antalya! Palm trees, the sea, gorgeous hotel we stayed at and all inclusive…Yes, I would love to go there again. After the sessions Arina and I asked our co-chairs to show us around the city, so we had a chance to enjoy Antalya at night as well. Last but not least, it was amazing to spend time with "my" kids. They called us "teachers", not "chairs", actively participated in our games, took a lot of photos with us (I saw all the selfies with my co-chair and me on their Instagram profiles :D), wrote how much they love us. We even had a motion to hug the chairs. Nevertheless, the greatest achievement of mine was that several kids approached me saying that they cannot wait for the next MUN! All in all, I miss Antalya and if they will invite me to chair the kids again, I will surely do it.