Every child has a voice. Some find it through art. For a few others, it might come alive on a vast and muddy playground. For some children, it shines through fiery debates.
For last 3 years, over 250 underprivileged students from at least 25 low-income schools across Pune have come together to debate, collaborate, and build consensus on social issues that impact our world at every edition of the Teach for India-Model United Nations (TFI-MUN).
These starry-eyed students discovered their love for debating in 2015 when Teach for India (TFI) (an NGO leading the movement to tackle the ed-crisis and bridge ed inequity in India) organised the first ever Model United Nations (MUN) in Pune.
TFI-MUN, as the name suggests, is a simulated version of the United Nations. Students form committees such as UNHRC; represent different nations as delegates, and debate on issues such as human trafficking, child labour, the Rohingya refugee crisis and Sustainable Development Goals.
TFI-MUN encourages students to present their stance and that of their countries’, fix accountability in global issues, ask crucial questions and resolve a pressing social problem as a committee.
Through the intensive training that students undergo for the TFI-MUN, many student delegates (who were earlier unable to even read or write fluently) have imbibed transferable skills such as persuasion, negotiation, critical thinking, researching, etc.
Every year, the TFI-MUN team and the student delegates are pulling out all stops to tackle a fateful financial crisis that is threatening to end the MUN legacy.
As our student delegates hail from low-income conservative families across the city, the TFI-MUN team is struggling to get the financial support required to purchase and provide training materials, food and transportation for the student delegates.
Dear reader, the TFI-MUN team has a request for you. If the greater purpose of this conference speaks to you, kindly contribute to this cause. Help our children sharpen the gift of gab. Enable them to become critical thinkers and powerful speakers. Help them move towards excellence. Help them truly believe that their birth will not dictate their destiny.
“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” - Colin Powell, American statesman