Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 5891

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Team O.R.P.H.A.N.
Category: 2. Promotion of Peace and Democracy: Social Issues

School: Willaims Intermediate School
    Bridgewater, Massachusetts, United States of America

4 students, ages all students were twelve worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 9, 2009. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2009

Classes and Teachers: Coach: Kathleen Lovell Team Members:Jess S., Sarah K., Justin F., Paul L.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our team contains 4 hard working students and 1 very smart and helpful teacher.We joined together because we had compassion for the children that became orphans as a result of civil wars in Sudan and had to live refugee camps in Chad and Kenya. We decided to act! Mrs. Lovell is our social studies teacher.She has raised our awareness of what life is like for some children in Africa that suffer because of wars, sickness, and famine. Along with learning about these social problems, we have learned that we can make a difference by lifting our voices to speak for those who do not have a voice. She has helped us to understand that living in a democracy enables us to speak up freely for children that are suffering around the world. She has taught us that we cannot turn our backs and simply live comfortable lives. We must help promote peace and democracy for other children. Her wonderful personality has been great. She has provided us with the tools and time that we needed to complete our project. She enjoys spending time with her students and helping them whenever they need it. Jessica S. (12) is a student at Bridgewater Intermediate School. She is very intelligent and athletic. Her commitment to her school work is great. She always does well. Jessica will succeed in whatever she tries to do. Sarah K.(12) is a student attending the Williams Intermediate School. She is very hardworking. She is on sport teams, which teaches her about the fair share of work. She takes school very seriously. She is very active inside and out of school. Sarah is a great person to have on our team. Paul L.(12) is also a student at Bridgewater Intermediate School. He is a very self-disciplined person and can take care of himself. He is very smart in academics. He has straight A+'s. Paul is very active which teaches him to trust his teamates in times of need, Paul has a great personality. Justin F. (12) is a student at Williams Intermediate School. He enjoys playing sports, so he is great with teamwork. He is very intelligent and maintains a high average in all classes. Taking care of his dogs shows that Justin is responsible. He takes pride in all of his work, and always tries his hardest. Justin has been a great influence …

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project mainly focuses on the hardships of children, particularly orphans, in Africa. We want to raise awarness about the troubles that these children deal with. After Mrs. L presented the facts, we began by researching what has gone on in Sudan, Rwanda, and Kenya. After realizing how sickness, famine, and civil wars have affected children, WE WERE DISTURBED! Next, our 6th grade students wrote letters the Secretary of State Clinton. We stated the facts, shared our concerns, and implored her to act on behalf of these chidren. We then contacted a woman who had worked at an orpanage in Kenya. We interviewed her, set up an assmbly at school, and designed a fund raiser for them. They have their own website for The Orphan's Dream Foundation. She will be bringing a girl from Kenya to share.Through this assembly, we hope to inspire people in our community to help and raise funds for these orphans. We have invited local TV and two local newspapers. We taped an interview another man who grew up in Kenya.His story was so interesting!! He also helps with an orphanage there and will be visiting in late March. We can't wait for him to share with us again!!!

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had a few minor problems during the journey of our project. The biggest problem was creating a web page and connecting our interview movie. Also, we discovered this project about four weeks before the due date.This focused us to work extra hard and really buckle down. Downloading Microsoft Power Point and Site Builder took a few tries and was a bit of a problem. We did have to deal with computer black outs from time to time, but we were determined to complete this project for the sake of the orphans!!!Other than these these few things our luck was quite high!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

TO KNOW IS TO CARE! TO CARE IS TO ACT! This project made each amd everyone of us feel like we could really make a difference in our world. We were so proud to be a part of Doors to Diplomacy!

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

The 3 main standards that we connected to this project were: 1. Describing the cause and effect relationship between a society's needs and their culture. 2. Identifying the characteristics of civilizations and the existance of social classes. 3. Understanding and demonstrating how a democracy works with regard to bringing about social change and justice.

Project Elements

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

We used Many tools and technologies to complete this project. We used the internet, computer softwares, books, magazines, newpapers, telephones, camcorders, digital cameras, in-focus,and TV contacts. These tools helped us reach a diverse population. We located the tools from teachers, technology people, reporters, parents, administrators, and people in the community. Our most valuable tools were being able to interview the people from Kenya and taping and presenting and publishing their personal stories on tape.We wrote a script about orphans needs, video taped it and plan on showing it to students. We not only wrote letters to inform Mrs. Clinton about our concern, but we were able to open the doors for actual people from Kenya to speak at our school through global internet use! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Our team has taken up the cry of children who have had to suffer under cruel circumstances. We have become aware to the severity of the situation in parts of Africa. The depth of need in other children has inspired us to DO something. We have spoken with classmates and adults. We are seeking to contact newspapers, agencies, and government leaders. A school assembly has been planned for April. At this assembly a woman that worked with orphans in Kenya, will be speaking. We have been shocked by the suffering that has gone on as a result of civil wars and other health problems in Africa. We have decided to not only raise awareness, but to act with compassion! Mrs. L is so proud of their efforts! Please see

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

This project will awaken the hearts of everyone of our contacts. We believe that our motto, 'TO KNOW IS TO CARE...TO CARE IS TO ACT', will stick in people's hearts. The people in our school, community, and all over the world will see and hear the cry of these poor children through our words, letters, articles, tv coverage, internet information, and interviews. We are building bridges with media with GOOD NEWS!!! Perhaps children who promote peace and human rights will set an example for the adults. All the feedback has been positive. Before this project, we didn't have a clue that such terrible things were going on. Now that we know, how can we remain SILENT??? We know that everyone who sees or project will feel the same.

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

We want to thank Secretary of State Clinton for the great job she is doing by making human rights around the world central to US foreign policy. We hope to get a response from our letters soon. Our new friend from Kenya, Julius, should know that our hearts are filled with gratitude for him sharing his story with us. Our eyes were really opened! We look forward to his return visit to share pictures and experiences from his visit to Kenya. It will be awesome to see real pictures of children. Our great thanks goes to Melissa, who works with an orphanage in Kenya. Thanks Melissa for speaking at our school and bringing a native of Kenya to share. We hope your orphanage gets the help it needs. Many thanks to all media people for caring enough to cover this story. There really is alot of GOOD NEWS in the world, especially with 6th graders! A special thanks to Mr. Tidwell, Ms. Bartolo, Mrs. Chuckran, and Melody. We could never have pushed through our tecknology issues without you! Thank you Mrs. Kirk, Mr. Swenson, and Mrs. Paolini for all your support and enthusiasm. You have kept the fire alive for keeping learning a life long passion with the purpose of impacting the world! We have received so much help from our parents and people in the community.We have realized that everyone cares. THANKS TO ALL!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We have discovered that it is possible to make a difference. It all started with learning about a horrible situation. Then, we felt sure that if we wrote letters to Secretary of State Clinton, that she could somehow help these poor children in Africa. We experienced our concerns and voices being heard through our wonderful democratic system. We were totally surprised that we could connect with the world to reach out and help other children! The doors of our hearts have opened and we will never be the same after particpating in Doors to Diplomacy. If we could all open the doors of our hearts to do what is right for all people, the world would be a better place.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 5891)

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