The “Ana wa Nahnoo” (Me and Us) Program is a life skills, manners, ethics, and citizenship program that aims at giving children (10-15 year-old) the skills that would enable them to progress and their society to economically develop.
The Program is unique in that:
- It is tailored specifically for our country and addresses many of its concerns, such as tribal ties,
- It communicates with children through the character of their friend “the Book” whom they love, trust and listen to.
- It presents its concepts in more than one way, repeats them, asks the children to narrate pertaining personal or real life stories until they conceptualize the concepts and so, own them, and as they continue applying them, they internalize them,
- Besides instilling manners and ethics in children, it presents them with more than 80% of the cultural concepts scientifically proven to help the economic development of societies.
The Program is composed of four parts that are applied over a period of two years. Its concepts are presented by means of many questions, interactive, colored, entertaining and food-for-thought cartoons, activities, and many real stories.
The main goal of the Program is to help develop a healthy society. In this society, the individual knows himself and takes pride in himself, and at the same time values his relationship with those around him, accepts their differences and benefits from them.
The first part: “Me” or Ana: This part instills in children a sense of self-value by: asking them many personal questions that signify interest, by teaching them to be organized, organizing their consciousness and teaching them to use lists and schedules, by teaching them to always have goals and to persevere in reaching them, by introducing them to the three facets of their self, past, present and future direction, and by developing their emotional intelligence and imagination….etc.
After the program has developed the individual within the “Me” or Ana it turns to developing the relationship between the Ana and the Nahnoo (The Me and Us), and so in its second part, “Ana wa Nahnoo, the Basics and the Skills”, the Program defines the basics of the relationship between the Ana and the Nahnoo (like respect, one does not own one’s body or one’s time, one is entrusted with them, valuing privacy, the importance of saving, of developing work skills, of unconditional love) and it shows how to develop these basics.
In its third part, “Ana wa Nahnoo our Differences and our Connectedness”, having delineated the relationship of the Ana to the Nahnoo, the Program focuses on what may spoil this relationship, not knowing how to deal with our differences. It presents the stories of the tribal problems in Rwanda and Kenya as examples of problems arising from not accepting the other, and shows how to make assets out of our differences and not let them become liabilities since differences can increase the vitality of a community and multiply its chances for development.
In the fourth part, “Ana wa Nahnoo Our Society”, we arrive at the resultant society formed by the previously described individuals or Ana, a society where one unconditionally loves one’s country as one loves one’s mother, where we address different issues of the environment, of democracy, of separation of powers and responsibility, and in which we differentiate between the public and the private. The Program then trains the children to make choices and to take collective decisions, then asks them to prepare a project for their society.
In every part of the Program, there are 3 main concepts used to evaluate it and 8 or 9 additional ones. The Program or parts of it were applied in 12 governorates on 31,800 child-terms, where a child-term is a child who was given a term or 36 scholastic hours plus weekly supplementary activities of the Program.
The effectiveness of the Program was demonstrated in an independent Impact Assessment Study conducted by the consultant. Hana Fahmy in 2012-2013. It was also clear from the observations of many parents, teachers, school administrations, and youth centers who testified that the children have really changed, showed self-confidence, became more organized in their lives, started using lists and schedules, work through goals, and they started applying in their life the good attributes they learned in the Program. In a different study, two years after completion of the Program the children still remembered to have goals and to use lists and schedules and be organized.