Wednesday, 2 August 2017

MUN@Neev: Preparing for HMUN 2

The preparation for HMUN continues! We have had many webinars so far and the second and third have been extremely helpful in our journey. In these webinars we were introduced to structuring an argument and giving effective speeches.

In the second webinar, which was about structuring an argument, we discussed how to create an effective argument which will encourage other delegates to side with your position and work in favour of you. One of the main points highlighted through the webinar were that we as delegates have to understand what other nations want and have to critically understand how we can portray and make amendments to our solutions in order to gain more allies. This connects to the learner profile of open mindedness as delegates have to understand how to implement their ideas while taking others positions into consideration as well.

In webinar 3, we discussed how to make effective speeches. We talked about vocal intonation and physical actions that would help us keep our audience and not lose them. We learnt that we have to be clear and comprehensible. We have to use language that is easy for the audience to understand. We have to cut down our arguments to 1 minute or less.

We are looking forward to attending the webinars and expanding our knowledge while developing lifelong skills at the same time.
Sarah and Kriti

MUN@Neev Team

Thursday, 20 July 2017

MUN@Neev: Preparing for HMUN

This year a few MUN students from Grades 8 and 9 will be participating in the Havard Model United Nations in August. The HMUN is a forum for high school delegates to debate and discuss international issues such as the Status of Women, Child Abduction and Rights, Cybersecurity, among several others. 
    We have been attending extra classes after school to complete research on the committees and the topic. These classes are a platform for us to have our queries answered, decide on deadlines for our work, research, and discuss procedures. 
    On the 5th of July, the Neev Munners had their first after-school session for the Harvard Model United Nations. We worked together in our respective committees. In this session, we focused on reading the background guides. A background guide is an extremely factual document compiled by the directors of HMUN to help us get familiar with the committee and its related topic .  
    This first session in preparation for the HMUN has energised us. We are excited to work hard and want to do well!

Mehr Sohal, Grade 8
Aarushi Mutreja, Grade 9

MUN@Neev Team

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Makalidurga Trek Report

Date: 7 July, 2017, Friday
Grade: 4 (A and B)

Students of Grade 4 (A & B) went on an exploration trek to the area around Makalidurga on Friday, 7th July, 2017. It is just a two and a half hour drive from Bangalore near Doddaballapur, offering various options to visitors like Bird watching, Trekking, Bouldering, and Rappelling. The place stands on top a huge granite hillock, huddled up amidst the chains of mountains, formed like a valley closer to Ghati Subramanya, a well-known pilgrimage center. It has a fort on top, at the height of 1,350 mts and a huge lake at the base of the hillock. You will get the glimpse of the mountain train; passing through the valley at the foothills of these Mountains.

We started from school at 6am and reached the foothills at around 8 am. Ms Kavitha Reddy and her group of mountaineers were with us to guide us and help us through the trek. From the moment we got close to Makalidurga we were stunned by how quiet and serene the location was. We saw a chain of hillocks and a lake at the foothills playing hide and seek with the fields all around. The trek was to take us to the well known Makalidurga fort, which is located right on the top of a granite hillock. Students were excited and worried that they had to trek up to the top of fort which was about 1700 meters (about 3 kms). The track had abundant overgrown grass and plantation. We managed to see a few locals who had got their cattle to graze. Ms Kavitha told us that this mountain also boasted of leopards that usually came out in the night. The twist and turns along the trail are guided through by red and white arrow marks throughout. As we reached halfway up, we stopped for a break. The view from there was breathtaking. At the base of the foothills, we saw a beautiful lake in the shape of the South American continent. Ms Kavitha told us that the rain that flows down the hillocks has formed the lake.

We continued the trek and reached the top by mid noon. We were amazed to see the fort premises surrounded by walls and gates which depict the history behind it. We were told that the fort was used by the Vijaynagar Empire to train their army. This was later captured by the Shivajis, which was again captured by Kempegowda. We stopped there to marvel at the genius of our ancient rulers who used these land forms to build their forts. We also saw a temple which is still used by the locals.

The lake and the horizon of the endless sky from the top of the hillock were spectacular to capture. The trek up was more or less a standard one with the only tricky part being the climb getting steep abruptly at regular intervals which took a considerable effort to pull through.

We had a session with Mr Kunal, where he spoke about the importance of regular exercise on our health. He also spoke about breathing rate and how it changes with exercise. He spoke about the importance of a healthy lifestyle on overall well being. Students also reflected on how they felt hot as they started climbing up and were sweating. When they reached uphill and rested they started feeling cool as the sweat started evaporating. We pointed out that this is a way the body maintains a balance in terms of body temperature. We also told them that this is called homeostasis which they will inquire more about. Students also reflected on the challenges they faced uphill and how they developed strategies to overcome it.

We rested for a bit, had lunch and took the same path down. Getting down was a bit more challenging as the force of gravity was with us and hence we needed more control. Ms Kavitha shared a good strategy with our students in which she asked them to walk sideways and put the ankle before the toes. With perseverance and grit, we managed to come down. We were exhausted but satisfied that we all had challenged our inner weakness and reached to the top. For the children, it wasn't easy but they showed a lot of courage, independence and cooperation. The PSPE outcomes of this trek were definitely worth it.

Friday, 5 May 2017

MUN@Neev: WIMUN Diaries - Day 4

Tuesday – 2 May 2017

Today we finished the final resolution as a committee. We finished the review using the Vienna Formula and we moved on to the line-by-line review. In this stage, we learnt how to apply preambular and operative terms (further, recommends, suggests, ... ).

Committee I
Our Vienna formula session took very long but we managed to finish it and moved on to the review where we went through each line and proposed amendments. If the sponsors agreed to the amendments, the paragraph was marked 'agreed as ref ', if not, we opened the floor to informal consultations with other delegates.
Throughout this process, I reflected on the importance of time management and communication skills.

Committee III
After we had finished the first line by line review, we realised the need to shorten the resolution (ours was 24 pages long!). I came up with the idea that we could segregate the operative paragraphs under their topics and make one paragraph for each. Soon, everything was organized and we managed to finish in time. 
My greatest learning was when I had stood up and took charge at the time when I felt my committee had come to a halt. I applied and developed my leadership, time management and organisational skills.

- Naviya and Sarah

Sarah and Aarushi, two of the sponsors of the resolution, take charge of the discussions


MUN@Neev: WIMUN Diaries - Day 3

Monday – 1 May 2017

Today, it was the second day of our committee sessions. Some of us had finished our opening speeches yesterday, and rest of us finished them today. After the speeches, the committee reorganised itself in blocks, political or regional, such as the European Union, G77, etc. We interacted with other delegates to draft a resolution by discussing common issues and building consensus. While writing our resolution we kept in mind the requirements of preambular and operative paragraphs, as taught by Mr Eric Leiden.

We were all very disciplined and formal, and in some time we were able to create a draft resolution within our own groups. We then began informal consultations leading up to the review. 

- Naviya and Sarah 

Review Session - General Assembly I
Informal Consultations - General Assembly III

All set for Prom Night

[ Photos: MUN@Neev]

Thursday, 4 May 2017

MUN@Neev: WIMUN Diaries - Day 2

Sunday 30 April 2017

The morning started with a training by Mr Erik Leiden, in which he gave us an introduction to the UN and its procedures. He discussed the skills and the knowledge we needed to make the most of the committee sessions. 

Soon after, in the Opening Plenary, we were briefed about what we would be doing in the MUN. We then dispersed to our respective committees (General Assemblies and Security Councils) for the delegates' opening speeches. 

The topic, that all the committees were working on this year, was the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. There are 17 SDGs -- ICT, Youth Development, Gender Equality among others.

What we liked best was Mr Erik’s outstanding presentation. It was filled with activities and taught us all we needed to participate in our very first MUN

- Ved and Aaryan
Breakfast before work
Ready to take on important issues

Sustainable Development Goals [Photo:, September 2015]

Cultural and Karaoke Night
[Photos: MUN@Neev]

MUN@Neev: WIMUN Diaries - Day 1

Saturday – 29 April 2017

We embarked on our journey our spirits soaring. The perfect start to our trip was stopping at the Delhi Haat, where we browsed the stalls -- clothes, jewellery, food and so much more. We discovered the unique diversity of India. 

At the conference venue, our spirits only lifted higher as the opening ceremony was interesting and thought-provoking. The training session, the first of many to come, was very informative and taught us about the difference between the UN and MUN.

From the Delhi Haat to the lectures of inspiring speakers, the day was an incredible start to the MUN experience.

- Navya Sahay