Social activities

The Great debaters

Holy Cross Scout

From 9 To 11 May 2018

About this project

This project is the first of its kind in Syria, as well as in the city Aleppo, which aims to gather 21 initiatives in the city of Aleppo for the competition in a corresponding game. The debaters, is a game that consists of two teams negotiating a specific issue under a very precise rules. The debaters is a way to bring fun and entertainment. Participating in an organized debaters gives you an opportunity to meet new people, explore new ideas and information, and most importantly to stand up in front of 500 people and give your speech based on facts and resources in an exciting and organized debaters about real issues. The debaters is one of the most urgent needs in our society, as it seeks to spread the culture of dialogue and how to accept the opinion of the other. We find weakness in these skills among the majority of the youth in our society. This weakness has been manifested in the circumstances that went through this country. This type of projects is a basic need for young people to express their opinion in a civilized way and learn how they can accept the opinion of the other.

How the donation was used

The donation was used to cover the activities of the project, which basically are:
   1- Training for the debaters skills (training materials, coffee brakes, ...).
   2- The competition (theater rent, decoration, Invitation tickets, ...).
   3- Equipment (video projector, electronic timer, ...).
   4- Producing a short film and documentary.

The impact on the community

The debaters helps the young youth to become a systematic and structured person. Teaching young people such skills as analyzing what they hear and expressing their opinion in a deliberate manner is essential to building society. It helps young youths to present their ideas in a clear way and to accept the opinions of others, as well as to listen to each other, Time management, and the ability to express themselves in a polite manner.

The achieved goals are:

1- Encourage dialogue between young people and youths and to have respect for the cultural, linguistic, intellectual and social diversity of the other.
2- Spread the culture of debaters in the society and highlight some of its issues.
3- Skills Development in young people (Critical thinking, dialogue, discussion, debaters, active listening, communication skills, ability to build organized ideas, scientific research, analysis and teamwork).

Success stories

My name is Mark Bulbulian and I belong to Jesuit’s Scout in Aleppo. I’m really proud that my team had won in The Great debatersrs project that had been organized by Holy Cross Scout. In the beginning, when I knew about the idea of the project, it got my interest because it was a new idea to the scouts in Aleppo. Although I was very nervous about the idea of standing in a theatre in front of 600 people and give a very persuasive speech, that is not easy at all for people at our age. The Holy Cross Scout started it’s 4 days training program for the participants explaining the rules and the basic concepts of the debaters game. The training helped us a lot, we learnt how to stand in front of people on the stage, how to control the stress, body language and how to write a perfect speech. However, the event lasted for 3 days. Me and my team won in the first day and we had the chance to participate in the Final Game where I played as the first speaker in my team ‘negation team’. Before the Final Game had started I got very nervous then I heard the bell ring announcing that my turn is up, I walked on the stage in front of approximately 500 people, and I stood in the square that was drawn before and I had a look at the audience and inside my mind I was like “O My God”, the theatre was big and the crowd was sitting in silent waiting for my speech, I closed my eyes for a moment and I said in my mind “yes, I can do this” because I really wanted to win. I began my speech and thank god it was good, and I successfully was able to pass my ideas to the audience and to the judges. After that, my team and I joined our audience in waiting for the result moment, that moment meant a lot to me because I was aiming for the first place. I could not believe my eyes when the results came on the screen, and I saw that the Great debatersrs of Aleppo was my scout ‘Jesuits scout’. My team and I started cuddling and jumping on the stage, we did not know how to express our feelings. I give big thanks from the heart to the Holy Cross Scout for organizing this new event, that added a new and fresh way of thinking to the scouts in Aleppo. The culture of the debaters that makes the people learn how to negotiate and express their opinion in a good and civilized way. In the end, I want to wish a good luck to the Holy Cross Scout and I wish they continue to spread this idea in our society.

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