Annual Just World Festival


Jessica Salisbury, News Editor


On Friday February 24 many students stopped by the cafeteria to attend the 11th Annual Just World Festival to help celebrate the different cultures and clubs in the Annandale community.

The Just World Festival is an annual event, sponsored by the Just World Interact Club that highlights student activities aimed at making the world a better place. This year’s theme was “Light Up the World”.

During the Festival students promoted environmental activism, social justice and cultural awareness through workshops, booths, food and music.

The main goal of the festival was to show students that they are not only part of the individual and local community, but a global one as well.

This year the festival was loaded with many different types of events and activities.

There was a service project for students to participate in, as part of the Youth Uplift Challenge from Students Rebuild. Students were encouraged to make paper tracings of their hands and to write something they pledged to do to help “light up the world”.

For every hand they made, the Bezos Family Foundation donated $1.90 to Save the Children’s programs in Nicaragua and Indonesia. “I haven’t had a chance to tally all the hands yet, but I’m sure we raised at least $200,” IB Middle Years Program Coordinator, Laura Wells said.

There were also many arts and crafts available for people to participate in, such as Chinese New Year crafts from the Hope Chinese School and henna painting by the parent of Annandale student. The Arabic Club also taught visitors how to write their names in Arabic.

The Festival also included exhibitors from other school clubs and local community organizations who serve our local and global community.

For example, The Annandale Rotary and Springfield Rotary demonstrated ShelterBox, a huge tent that is used for refugees fleeing disaster and conflict around the world. The Legal Aid Justice Center, which provides free legal advice to immigrants was also there along with Edu-Futuro, which runs a free leadership development program for high school students. All of the organizations came to share information about their services.

Throughout the Festival there was also many different shows and acts. The Theatre Company, AHS Jazz Band, and the Mariachi Estrellas band all shared very enjoyable performances.

There was also a dance workshop led by Bonita Oteri where everyone learned to Belly Dance.

Aizimaiti Aizier, an Annandale student, also performed a magic show.

“I think my favorite part was watching the different clubs and activities either talk or perform, like the theatre department doing songs to promote their upcoming musical,” Sophomore Kyle Dalsimer said.

While students watched performances or participated in arts and crafts there were many different types of foods and refreshments available. “The AHS culinary program provided lots of delicious international food, and an Annandale family brought their food truck as well,” Wells said.

The guest speaker was Alison Greenday, a student at William and Mary and an activist with Amnesty International. During the festival she spoke about how students can get involved with Amnesty International’s Refugee Rights campaign.

“The guest speaker was my favorite part, she showed us some really inspiring videos of refugees and talked about ways that we can make our community more welcoming to refugees,” Wells said.

Overall the festival was a very entertaining and enjoyable way to inspire students to get involved in service to their local and global communities.