Friday, June 19, 2009

The next Big IDEA

You can find great stories like these in the next issue of the Big IDEA!

YDLU takes its first step with training its future leaders

IDEA has partnered with the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA) and OSI Youth Action Fund to develop the Youth Debate League in Uganda. The main mission of the YDLU is to promote debate and discussion among young people in Uganda. It will build upon existing debate structures, as well as develop new debate chapters across the country. YDLU will also serve as an umbrella for various debate initiatives in Uganda and will facilitate the organization of a number of activities such as debate tournaments, competitions, public debates, youth campaigns, trainings, and curriculum development. Because debate is considered to be part of Uganda’s rich tradition, the YDLU is working to quickly develop its capacity in the country.

On June 16th – 19th, YDLU facilitated a seminar near Kampala for twenty-three teachers and youth leaders who were interested in becoming certified trainers so that they could help promote the program in their districts. These participants completed their first stage of training through IDEA’S certification process. The program focused on an introduction to the Karl Popper debate format, which will now be the uniform debate format for competitions in Uganda. It also included sessions on argumentation, judging, debate out-reach, and public debates. Future stages of the certification process will include prospective trainers' engagement in on-line instruction and exchange of experiences, follow-up face-to-face sessions and observation of classes/trainings conducted by trainers. IDEA is looking forward to continuing its work in Uganda and building on the success of its previous Ugandan programs (CTAC and DTD).

British School of Amsterdam hosts another wonderful workshop and debate

On June 19th, the British School of Amsterdam held its second annual workshop and public debate. The British parliamentary debate workshop was hosted by Arielle Dundess, and was co-hosted by Deborah Scroggins- coach of the British School of Amsterdam debate club, and Veronika Vlckova- IDEA representative. This year’s debate focused on a very hot topic in the Netherlands- “state funding should be banned from religious schools.” The winners were Casper and Tyjmen from Christelijk Lyceum Zeist, which is a school very active in public speaking activities and would be very excited to attend the national and international debate tournaments.

Oxfam-Novib employees taught new skills at IDEA workshop

On June 18th, IDEA was invited to hold a workshop for the employees of Oxfam-Novib about debate and how it could be used in the development of employee work and aid. IDEA representatives, Doutsen Langhout and Veronika Vlckova, organized different workshops that focused on counseling, dealing with emergency situations, and using a rights-based approach. The group of thirteen employees wanted to improve their debating skills, and learn how to make convincing arguments and presentations. At first, the participants thought debate and argumentation was easy. After trying it out themselves, they discovered that becoming a good debater requires much practice and preparation. IDEA and Oxfam-Novib will explore possibilities to work together on future projects as well.

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