Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 5833

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Category: 7. Health and the Environment

School: Hwa Chong Institution
    Singapore, NA, Singapore

4 students, ages 14 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 1, 2009. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2008

Classes and Teachers: Mr Samuel Lim, Alcander, Wen Kang, Jia Hui, Tian Wen

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Wen Kang (14): The leader of the team. Wen Kang is a committed leader, striving for perfection in whatever he does and constantly seeks to improve the quality of the project. He sets a good direction for the team to work. Has great resilience to ride against all odds especially during the course of processing the research information. Alcander (14): The co researcher and website designer. Alcander is a hardworking and essential member of the group, keeping track of the progress of the project and providing invaluable pointers and perspectives to boost the project to greater heights. Tian Wen (14): The website designer. Tian Wen is the pillar of the group, coming up with the basic foundation of the website and adds countless modifications to it, making it look more appealing to the audience. Jia Hui (14): The researcher. Jia Hui researches methodically on the topics needed for the project, doing all the necessary modifications and compilation to near perfection. Right from the start, we were all very passionate towards the topic on poverty, filled with boundless inquisitively towards this topic. Doors to diplomacy thus provided the right platform for us to merge together as one team and voice our passion we had contained so long, making it a reality. All of us each had our different areas of distinction and thus the distribution of work was a clear cut from the start. Tian Wen and Alcander were tasked to work on the website design. Jia Hui and Alcander focused on the research and brainstorming of the ideas. Wen Kang, as the group leader, headed and set the direction for the team, touching up on our inadequacies and provide invaluable feedback. Our adult mentor for this project is Mr Samuel Lim, a History teacher in Hwa Chong Institution. He provided us with invaluable ideas and steered us towards perfection in this project. Being an experienced teacher, he told us how we should handle certain issues and make us improve on our project. Meeting him weekly, we are always kept on our toes and thus maintain our project in top notch.

2. Summary of Our Project

One person every three and a half seconds departs this world. The harsh fact of hunger is that it takes away 25,000 people daily, according to the United Nations. And this is hunger, alone. There are a lot of people less fortunate than us. People suffering from hunger are chained by severe poverty, which means that they lack money to buy food that is important for survival. This causes malnourishment which makes them weaker and sick. Eventually, they were increasingly less able to work, and this makes them even poorer and hungrier. Just what causes this cruel fact?

Our purpose of this project is to foster awareness, to help everyone around the world to understand the aspects of poverty through education, such as what it is, how widespread it is and what we can do to prevent it from devastating others. Also, we would like to change mindsets, to have an open mind and change the initial perception of poverty. Finally, we strive to promote advocacy to inspire others to take a more active role in shaping, helping and changing the lives of children and youths affected by poverty.

With our project, we would share with you the causes, the consequences, and what can be done about poverty. Poverty is not to be mocked at. It's a shared problem that everyone should strive to eliminate. Access our project to find out the ghastly truth- why thousands of children, infants in Africa are dying of starvation every year, why children in rural parts of the world cannot go to school, and why some parents are forced to sell their precious sons and daughters away.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Wireless in most classrooms.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We have faced a lot of problems. As we have a hectic and busy school life, we found it hard to find time to discuss the project. We are from different classes, and therefore they have not much chance to discuss with each other. There is a heavy workload academically-wise for us and we had to overcome the difficulty of striking a balance between both schoolwork and project. Nevertheless, we had managed to do so. We faced technical problems. As we are not really IT experts, we found it hard to produce a professional website with animations and media components. We also faced the issue of copyright infringement as pictures could not be copy-pasted directly from copyright owners, and so we found it hard to include a variety of pictures in the website.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

The students have learnt valuable lessons on teamwork and the importance of cooperation. Although there were misunderstandings and quarrels occasionally, however they were still able to distinguish their priority and keep on task, which is an essential skill they must learn when working on a project. z This Doors to Diplomacy project has enhanced the students' understanding of diplomacy and international issues while the students were working on the project, for example, during research, interviews, website design etc. The students have discovered that education is not only about studying, but is is about learning creatively in a day-by-day basis. The students have also learnt how important values are in today's society, and they cannot be learnt by studying. This Doors to Diplomacy project addressed content standards in our school and fit into the required guidelines provided by the sch ool. For example, from this project we have learnt about History (e.g. The impact of colonialism and new imperialism on Africa and other countries), Geography (World Geography), Biology (Diseases) and much more. This project has definitely enriched our lives and has taught us to be better citizens of the world.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

This list can include things like: Information tools and technologies used in the course of our project include : - academic texts - news articles Many of these academic journals and articles are avilable online via e-resources such as Jstor. Being written by either professionals in their own field or renowned journalists , such articles or journals are often seen to have greater accuracy & reliability than information taken off the websites. These are the most helpful resources – they enhanced the image of the website as trustworthy with the correct information and provided a sense a professionalism in the website.

- web design template - HTML editor To make up with the team’s lack of HTML/PHP/C++ programming skills . Considered the most valuable, for without these, our website could never be done. - Mac Laptop (iBook G4) Platform used to do the website (No reasons for preference over Mac) - online article archives - web reports

Serve as the basis of information – can be easily taken off local and foreign archives to achieve a global insight on the research topic.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

Firstly, we would start by promoting our website to our contacts online, inviting them to visit our website and spreading the word around. Also, there are plenty of web directories out there which will be happy to list websites for free for non-commercial sites, the two most important ones being dmoz and yahoo directories. We would look out for specialist directories in the region we are covering, poverty, since these will bring in the most targeted traffic to our site. Also, we would try to create a simple video about the cause and effect of poverty and posting it on popular video hosting sites such as YouTube, where millions visit it everyday. From there, the link to our website would be further publicised. Giant search engines such as Google and Yahoo are very good promoting places. We would try to look out for industry specific search engines to submit our website to. Email Signatures is very effective too, and with every email we send to others, there would be a brief description and link to our website. Forum signatures are the basically the same as email signatures, and every time our members participate in any forums, the link to our website would be spread around. We would try to look out for informational websites on poverty which are covering on the same region and try to contact the author for the exchanging of links. This would create a win-win situation where both of us benefit from it. There are a lot of newsgroups out there, and we would try to find groups that are targeted at our region and introducing websites. Blogs are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, and they contain chatting spaces such as cbox. Whenever our members comment, there would be a link followed by our names.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

We think that our project had made a difference by providing an alternative informative source to people, especially to happy children all around the world. Our easy-to-understand website would attract them as compared to critical websites written by professionals out there. People in our community and people around the world had learned new things about poverty by surfing our website.

We have not established any new working relationships with people in the community, but we would try our best to do so using the methods mentioned in question 3. Beside us, our web pages had been viewed by people around the world, although the amount of people who looked at is not impressive at the moment. However, we will try our best to publicise our website with the methods mentioned in question 3. At the school level, our group is intending to participate in the annual projects competition of our school held in a few months time. We believe we would be able to bring more information to fellow school-mates and teacher-judges of our school, and to raise their awareness in the process. Our parents are fully supportive of our project and would render their help whenever we need them.

Through the research we had done, besides us, our website viewers, parents, had learned more about poverty, the international topic we should know about and became aware of many others who are not as fortunate as us at the other end of Earth. We had also developed sympathy for them and would try to participate actively in rendering help to them, however minute it seems to be.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We would like to thank our mentor Mr Samuel Lim for his care and concern for our project. He provided us with invaluable ideas and steered us towards perfection in this project. Mr Lim was very dedicated to the project from the start, and this project will never be completed without his guidance and support. We would also like to thank our classmates, friends, and family members for all the support and encouragement they have showered on us during these past few months. Their encouragement had inspired us to complete this project and spur us on to new heights. Finally, we would like to thank the ever-so helpful librarians in our school library for rendering assistance to us whenever necessary, and to anyone who has helped us in one way or another. This project can never be completed without all of your help. Thank you!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We have learnt much from this project. For example, we have learnt the value of teamwork. In our team, we have many different personalities. Some of us are very vocal, while some of us prefer to keep silent. Despite this, we came up with a solution to this and learnt how to work together cohesively. Although we experienced some difficulties at first, we managed to work as a team and overcame these obstacles. We have also learnt how to support each other in times of need. In terms of this project, we have learnt not to take anything for granted. While researching for this project, we have saw the horrors that poverty caused. We hope that our website will be meaningful and useful to everyone, and let them understand how fortunate we are in the world.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 5833)

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