Locked down but Looking Out..

There’s no doubt that the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has thrown education around the world into chaos. According to UNESCO, 85% of the world’s learners are not going to school right now. This means more than one and a half billion children are stuck at home!

But as we know, out of chaos there can sometimes arise incredible creativity, especially where Palestine is concerned. After all, Palestinian teachers have been providing quality education and dealing with the chaos imposed on them by external forces for many years now. They have consistently been finding creative ways to help children learn despite all the challenges – and to enable young people’s art to be noticed and their voices heard.

As a response to the current crisis, HUP has already reinvented ourselves and changed pretty much everything that we do. By immediately moving our sessions from #Zoom to #FacebookLive we’re coping with the school closures and enabling kids to access our team of volunteers in their own homes.

And next week we’re going to introduce three new creative ideas into the mix and hope that these will be ways not only to support the educational needs of young people in Palestine, but also to support other young people around the world under lockdown who want to practice and develop their English.

Mighty Pens – Saturdays, 12pm Palestine time.

As you may know we have been doing lots of storytelling sessions and grade specific English for Palestine sessions on Facebook live. This weekly session will also take place on facebook Live on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/handsupproject/videos/ but it will be an opportunity for young people to get some support creating poems, chants, stories and plays. It’s suitable for young people under 16, and everyone is welcome wherever you are.

Intercultural Show and tell – Mondays, 2pm Palestine  

This weekly session will take place by #zoom (downloadable here https://zoom.us/download ) and will be limited to a maximum of 15 students aged 16 or under from anywhere in the world. The idea is that everyone brings along a personal possession which means something to them. It could be a favourite book, something which represents their hobby, a picture of someone they admire etc. They’ll then have a chance to talk about it to the others and one of our volunteers will provide supportive feedback. See this blog post I wrote about it a while back, and here’s an example of yours truly doing it as a beginner learner of Arabic as a second language (If I can do it anybody can! 🙂 ) Please send us an email at info@handsupproject.org to reserve a place.


Students versus Teachers – Wednesdays 2pm Palestine time

This will be a chance for students everywhere to get revenge on teachers for asking them questions all the time! 🙂 The idea is that students from around the world come up with some difficult general knowledge questions in English for the remote volunteer to answer. It’s a chance to practice language related to other areas of their curriculum in English. The students will score a point for each question that the remote volunteer fails to answer correctly. There’ll be a different theme each week and to kick us off on Tuesday we’ll focus on the theme of Science. (Please see the examples below from our classroom based versions in Palestine) The session is suitable for young people under 16, and limited to 15 students maximum. Please send us an email at info@handsupproject.org to reserve a place.



6 thoughts on “Locked down but Looking Out..

  1. Great work Nick I’ve been talking to a couple of musician friends in England and the UK who are keen

    Michael x


  2. Hi Nick,
    I am speechless ! This is brilliant.
    1) Mighty pens : it is going to be a miracle in terms of learning a foreign language . The students here can practice the language according to who they are and what experiences they have ! yes , because writing is the reflection of their real selves . It would be great to refine those pieces of writings and keep them as a resource for teaching and learning – love it.
    2) show and tell: it happens every day ! because when we love people or things , we would love to share this with the whole world , right?🙂 It’s a great chance for cultural exchange ad well as moving forward in terms of fluency.
    3) students and teachers : one point has come.to my.mind while doing.this : it’s great for the students to have the value that teachers are humans and they can be right or wrong! it’s good to raise the competitive soul in the template of learning the language extensively .
    keep up all the great work , Nick and all..


    1. Thanks very much Haneen. I can’t wait to get started on these and I love your idea of using the students’ pieces of writing as a resource for others to learn from.


  3. What do you mean “12 pm”? Sometimes it’s midday, sometimes midnight.
    Wikipedia elaborates:

    It is not always clear what times “12:00 a.m.” and “12:00 p.m.” denote. From the Latin words meridies (midday), ante (before) and post (after), the term ante meridiem (a.m.) means before midday and post meridiem (p.m.) means after midday. Since “noon” (midday, meridies (m.)) is neither before nor after itself, the terms a.m. and p.m. do not apply.[2]


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