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BIS Hanoi’s student ambassadors stand out at the NAE-UNICEF Student Summit 2019

Everyone associated with the British International School Hanoi (BIS Hanoi) is extremely proud that two of our students: Ha Minh and Sung Woo, successfully represented the school at the NAE-UNICEF Student Summit this Summer. The Summit is part of Nord Anglia Education (NAE)’s collaboration with UNICEF, and is hosted annually within the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Held this year from 11 to 17 July, students had the chance join workshops, seminars, debates and were offered speaking opportunities about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) of the United Nations.

UNICEF

 “The Nord Anglia Student Summit in July is an excellent opportunity for students to share their ideas and efforts to leaders at the United Nations during the annual High-level Political Forum, where different stakeholders meet to share ideas and assess progress on the Global Goals,” Shannon O'Shea, Team Leader: Public Partner Advocacy and Visibility Section, UNICEF, shared.

“This year is the most ambitious yet, where students will be participating in various sessions and events at the HLPF as well as showcasing their creativity on what the SDGs mean to them through art and activism,” she added.

In the Summit, Ha Minh and Sung Woo presented their hard work by sharing their thoughts on sustainability and demonstrated how BIS Hanoi have made progress in addressing the SDGs throughout the past academic year.

NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019

Ha Minh, Sung Woo and other students from NAE Schools worldwide also they participated in the NAE Model United Nations (MUN) debate with a collaborative and knowledge-based approach. In this year’s summit, the student ambassadors worked together to come up with practical solutions for “Quality Education” (Goal 4) and “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” (Goal 16).

During the Summit, BIS Hanoi’s student ambassadors achieved significant success. Ha Minh was a part of the Arts Exhibition team for the High-level Political Forum. She shared with us that, “My favourite part about the trip was the Art Exhibition. I was lucky enough to be one of the students who had the opportunity to enter the UN area which is off limits to the general public. We had a Nord Anglia stall that displays beautiful artworks of students about the Global Goals. Our role was to talk to people that were walking by about the efforts of our generation in raising awareness of the Goals. I was able to talk to many different people and organisations including an NGO that is in partnership with the UN, UN interns and even an official UN employee who works in the multimedia department”. Besides that, Ha Minh also took part in the Sing for Hope choir that opened the Forum with a song giving a message of “Dream Big, Speak Loud”.

UNICEF

Adding to the collective achievements of our students, Sung Woo was one of two students selected to present their experiences from the week as well as about the Global Goals. These presentations took place not only within the main chamber of the United Nations, but also at the Gala Dinner that was hosted at the Juilliard School, just off the bustling Broadway in the heart of Manhattan.

Sung Woo reflected: “I’d like to say that it was a great honour to visit New York as a student ambassador and representing my school at the NAE-UNICEF Summit. The Summit helped me to gain new experiences and skills from many different aspects. To me, the relationships I built at the summit, with the various students from all over the world, is the most valuable experience that I acquired. I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Mr. Forster, Global Campus Coordinator, who helped Ha Minh and myself to successfully take part in the summit and for giving us extra help in the lead up to it”. 

NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019

Ha Minh and Sung Woo have together prepared short writing about their trip and "Inspired" is what they want to conclude. Their sharing is below: 

 

‘Inspired’ is a verb to describe giving someone enthusiasm and desire to do something. To be inspired, that’s not an easy thing to be. Yet, we can’t find any other words to describe this trip. It taught us about the Global Goals, about how the United Nations is listening to the youth of the world, and so many other things. Listening to UN leaders and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) staff, as well as visiting the actual Headquarters of the UN gave us a real insight into the top global organisations. In the HLPF (High Level Political Forum), we were able to listen to and meet people such as the Jamaican ambassador and the General Secretary assistant.

We were fortunate enough to have extra student roles. Sung Woo was chosen to be the gala dinner presenter, while Ha Minh was in the UN Art Exhibition and the Sing for Hope Choir at the HLPF. Sung Woo’s job was to prepare a speech about how NAE and their students have been involving to achieve the SDGs (student development goals) and present it to all of the student representatives as well as important people, including the Chair of Juilliard School. Ha Minh presented the artwork made by Nord Anglia students to UN staff as a way to showcase the youth involvement in SDGs These opportunities gave us unique experiences that otherwise, we would not be able to get. 

We weren’t only ambassadors, we were also excited tourists visiting New York City. If asked, our most memorable experience would be our first night of excursions, when a blackout occurred, on the same date as 1977. Not only were we kept safe, but the teachers also brought us to see another special rare event which was called the Manhattanhenge that happens only 3 days a year. We had authentic experiences such as walking through the buzzing streets of busy New York and using the subway to transport. Not only that, we saw all of the famous attractions of the city including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire States Building, Central Park,... through evening excursions.  The evening excursions were available for 3 nights during the trip, and they were amazing memories as they helped us to relax and bond with many other students.

There won’t be enough time to talk about all the things we did in New York, so we will conclude this article with one sentence. After New York, we can’t be anything else other than inspired.

Ha Minh (Y12) and Sung Woo (Y12), winners of the Nord Anglia youth ambassador competition.