Movement Spotlight: Kush Bhatia

and White Station High School Model UN

Posted by Audrey Tetzeli on October 14th, 2019

Operation Broken Silence may be a small organization, but with the help of our awesome movement, we’re able to make big waves to empower the people of Sudan. Some of the most involved and enthusiastic members of our movement can be found across the country!

Kush Bhatia is a student at White Station High School here in Memphis and serves as a Model UN representative in his junior year. We first met him in 2019 when he was participating in Tennessee Governor's School For International Studies. He says:

My role in White Station’s Model UN club is one of the 11th Grade Representatives. With this role, I communicate with incoming freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who are new to Model UN and debate in general. Working alongside the other grade-level representatives, we teach new delegates the procedure of Model UN and provide tips and tricks for them to succeed in the committee while also having a fun time. 

WSHMUN has been a tradition at our school for the past five years and we want it to become bigger and better every year. Our goal is to invite schools from the Memphis area to compete in a one day conference where they can gain some experience before competing at rigorous three-day conferences across the nation. This year turned out as a success, it was not our biggest turnout but we were still able to have a fun time and teach new delegates how Model UN works. We hope that next year we are able to have more schools and delegates show up.  

I think it is important to discuss global issues in high school especially because we are the future. Understanding political, social, and economic issues at an early age allows for high schoolers to be experienced once they go to college or begin working as well. Knowing what is currently happening in your local community or city is important, but understanding global issues, especially in today's world, is what is truly important. Also, through Model UN, individuals are able to research and understand the issues that they may have never heard about or were not as educated about in the first place. 

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Photo: Model UN student leader Krishna Dasari (left) and Jonathan Zhang (right) with our Executive Director Mark Hackett (center) at the conference. 

Kush and his Model UN peers asked us for some help to introduce our cause and Sudan to students from across the city. He says: 

"I contacted Operation Broken Silence a couple of months before our conference because I had worked with them earlier in the summer with the Governor’s School for International Studies. What I was able to learn from the one day I spent with the OBS team in the summer, I immediately knew that I had to have Mark or anyone else from the team come talk to the delegates about the pressing issues in Sudan. Also, what OBS does is perfect for a Model UN setting as it deals with issues in foreign nations and gives insight into places not discussed as much. 

I think hearing about Sudan was a major wake up call for some students as they were able to see issues in a nation that isn’t discussed at all basically in high school. Hearing the personal experiences Mark shared with everyone was really able to connect to the students, and they were able to place themselves in the shoes of the people in Sudan with the descriptions Mark gave. Also, seeing what OBS has already accomplished gave students new ways of thinking about how to help make a difference. Whether it be small or big, students were able to see that differences can be made in places you think issues may never change, such as Sudan."

Kush's conference had an incredible turnout and raised $185 for the Endure Primary and Renewal High Schools in Yida! Thank you to Kush and your peers for using your talents and community to empower Sudanese students and teachers!

Whether your are part of a campus group or just want to get some friends together to host an event, you can email me at atetzeli [at] operationbrokensilence [dot] org and I can help you get started!

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The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is accelerating their ability to generate lasting change by funding storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency response, and grassroots advocacy programs. Here are a few ways you can join us:

1. Give Monthly To The Education In Yida. The Renewal is our unstoppable family of monthly givers who never stop fighting for change. They give automatically each and every month to the two schools we sponsor in Yida Refugee Camp, providing consistent support to 24 teachers and nearly 1,100 students from the Nuba Mountains. Right now, the schools are short about $2,500 in monthly funding. LEARN MORE »

2. Become A Fundraiser. If you can’t give monthly right now, you can start an online fundraising page for the schools in Yida or Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains warzone. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »

3. Give Once. Not ready to commit with a monthly gift or fundraising yet? That’s okay, making a one-time gift is the best next step to get your feet wet! GIVE HERE »

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