Year 1 Students Awarded Diplomatic Commendation at Harvard Model United Nations Conference

Over the past month, ten Year-1 students participated in the Harvard Model United Nations conference and impressed their moderators coming away with two awards of Diplomatic Commendation.

Participating in sessions overnight because of the time difference, the ALA students; Fareedah Imam ’20 of Nigeria , Adaye Sosthene Yvan N’guettia ’20 of Cote D’Ivoire, Qasana Okuhle ’20 of South Africa, Barakaeli Richard Lawuo ’20 of Tanzania, Michelle Abiero ’20 of Kenya, Abdulrasaq Amolegbe ’20 of Nigeria, Yassmine Boualam ’20 of Morocco and Mike Amon Masamvu ’20 of Zimbabwe shined and took away numerous learnings in order to execute and moderate their upcoming ALA Model African Union with excellence.

ALA participants in the Harvard MUN conference

In a forum of over 2,500 delegates from more than 40 countries, ALA students discussed the world’s most pressing issues and created balanced and integrated solutions to complicated problems of wide-world importance. For many of them it was their first-ever Model UN conference. That being said, they felt well prepared to represent The Gambia due to their extensive and thorough training. They were expertly guided by Year 2 students who had participated in the event last year and by faculty members Ms. Pelumi Botti, Mr. David Ouma, and Ms. Maya Schkolne in their International Relations Council course.

Through the experience, the students learned many valuable lessons that highlighted and reaffirmed the significance of our ALA values and traits.

Michelle Abiero shared, “The beauty in MUN is that it allows us to practice diplomacy, teamwork and of course network with new people. Navigating MUN during Covid-19 has definitely been difficult. HMUN allowed for us to experience the new normal, to navigate what we truly love and enjoy in an unconventional ways.”

Barakaeli Richard Lawuo took away the importance of teamwork (significance of collaboration), “Two heads are better than one. HMUN has opened my mind to think out of the box and also working with others in making decisions.”

Qasana Okuhle recognized why failure is essential for success (the importance of humility), “HMUN was a life-changing experience. It was tough but the growth that you experience is so rewarding. I was able to confront my weaknesses and I was able to fail gracefully. I was also able to emerge victorious at the end.”

The result of their learnings will culminate in these students applying their learnings to their ALA experience. This year, this will come in the form of how they will execute and run the flagship ALA Model African Union conference which will take place virtually between March 18th and March 21st.


Do you know an excellent leader interested in international relations? Sign them up for ALA’s Model African Union.