On Saturday, 3 February 2018, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights launched its annual “Pass the Word” training program for students for the seventeenth consecutive year. The program will continue for a full year as implemented by Al Mezan’s training and mass communication unit.
The Pass the Word program is comprised of theoretical and practical components—with participants actively engaged in two main activities: first, they will be trained on the principles of democracy, human rights, and international humanitarian law and second, they will take part in a series of workshops focused on developing their discussion moderation skills. The training sessions will also look at the principles behind the rule of the law and the independence of the judiciary.
Mrs. Shirin Al Shobaki, the Coordinator of the Training and Mass Communication Unit at Al Mezan, opened the program by welcoming the 37 participants—all college students from Gaza’s various higher education institutions: Al Azhar University, Islamic University of Gaza, Al Israa University, University College of Applied Sciences, and University of Palestine. Mrs. Al Shobaki explained Al Mezan’s human rights mandate and the specific objectives of “Pass the Word”, citing the program’s effectiveness in promoting principles of human rights and international humanitarian law.
Mrs. Al Shobaki stressed the need for commitment to the program, including active participation in the curriculum. Mrs. She shared success stories from past participants, pointing to the reported improvement in their confidence, public speaking skills, and involvement in peer education on human rights. The program has the additional goal of ultimately helping students enter the job market.
Mrs. Al Shobaki expressed her hope that the participants would commit to making the most of the program.