Written by: Janelle Garrett, Lower Secondary Coordinator
The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals or UN Global Goals are the United Nation’s blueprint for achieving a happier and healthier world by 2030. They were designed with specific targets to be achieved in order to make real progress towards ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. In order for the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and ordinary people around the world…like each of us.
Driven by our commitment to global education at YCIS, our Century Park campus decided to focus on one of the UN Global Goals each month and challenge our students, staff, and community-at-large to learn about the UN Global Goal and find ways to ‘think globally and act locally’ to do our part to ‘be the change’ and manifest these goals in our own lives. Our student prefects have been charged with the task of introducing the UN Global Goal focus for each month at our Whole School assemblies as well as organizing activities and challenges around the goal to help us do our part and impact our world.
Through information shared in the assemblies, in our Daily News, and on display boards, and activities in the classroom and beyond in our CCAs (Co-Curricular Activities), student initiatives, and CAS (Community and Service) projects, our YCIS Pudong community is building a culture of global citizenship and action.
In Primary, teachers focused last Semester on the UN Global Goals and completed several activities in their classes as part of the United Nations’ World’s Largest Lesson initiative. In November, several of our Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students also participated in a full-day iCan Life Skills Tournament in November organized around helping students understand, organize and take action on the UN Global Goals.
In Lower Secondary, our Year 7-9 students took on a ‘Think Global, Act Local’ challenge around UN Global Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing. The Year 7s focused on our school community with our 30-Day Health Pledge challenge. The Year 8s organized a Walk-a-Thon to raise awareness about and raise funds for Heart to Heart Shanghai to help provide corrective heart surgery for children from all over China with congenital heart defects whose parents are unable to afford the surgery. The Year 9s focused on our world’s deadliest predators, the mosquito, saving lives with their Nothing But Nets project leading assemblies and organizing activities educating our community about malaria and raising enough funds to buy 65 malaria preventing treated mosquito nets for refugees in Eastern Africa.
A group of Year 10 Students, inspired by UN Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, came together as part of the Global Issues Network (GIN) and designed an ongoing project called STOP SINGLE USE SHANGHAI. Drawing attention to the massive, unsustainable environmental cost we pay for the convenience of single-use in terms of plastic waste, they are finding creative ways to tackle reducing single-use plastic usage at our school, raising awareness, taking action, and advocating for policy changes in our institution. Our students joined change-makers from international schools all over Asia January 20-21st at the GINAsia 2018 conference where they presented their project.
It is fantastic to see our students from Century Park Campus taking on these UN Global Goals and thinking globally and acting locally to make a difference in our world. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”