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BVIS HCMC students take actions for SDGs at NAE - UNICEF Summit 2019!

NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC

It's been a very full first day of the summit after our long day traveling yesterday. We made our first visit to UNICEF house to hear from Shannon O'Shea from UNICEF, who talked about the importance of youth advocacy and action in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

We also heard about the worldwide UNICEF campaign to end violence in and around schools ensuring that all students have safe access to education no matter where they are, and were introduced to the Youth Manifesto created by over 100 youth advocates in November. Students were led through a series of discussion activities to get them thinking deeply about the issues around how to raise awareness and take action for the SDGs and to encourage collaboration with students from different schools. In the afternoon we traveled to the Nord Anglia International School New York to begin our MUN workshops in preparation for the MUN tomorrow, and we're now working on opening speeches and position papers ready for the conference.

  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
Day 1 (15/07/2019)

Today students began the NAE MUN, splitting into their WHO, UNICEF, and UNESCO Committees to begin debating topics such as reducing the influence of anti-vaccination campaigns and how to ensure cultural heritage is preserved during war time. Students gave their opening speeches setting their country's stance on the topics and looking forward to a productive conference.

We finished the day with dinner out in Manhattan and a few excursions!

  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
  • NAE-UNICEF Summit 2019 BVIS HCMC
Day 2 (16/07/2019)

We've had our second day of NAEMUN and the debate has continued to be rich and exciting, with many resolutions being passed at the end of the two days. Though the debate style has been slightly different to what our Vietnam MUN-ers are used to, the team have taken this in their stride and gotten involved in some in-depth debates. The closing ceremony took place after lunch, with the committee chairs complimenting their attitude towards debate and their collaborative approach.

The second half of the day involved a World Children's Day workshop as preparation for the World's Largest Lesson session tomorrow afternoon. Students were challenged to answer the question "what does it mean to be a child?" and identified what they believe to be the top 5 rights that children and young people should have. These were compared with the Global Goals and the rights set out by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an agreement that celebrates its 30th birthday in November this year. The team worked to research the convention and began to discuss ideas for the schools to undertake to celebrate World Children's Day.

This evening we went out in different directions on excursions (without a power cut this time!), with some students taking a walking tour of New York, others visiting the World Trade Center, and others taking in the sights of the city from the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller centre. 

Our team are looking forward to our visit to the UN tomorrow!

Day 3: 16/07/2019

For the penultimate day of activities at the NAE-UN Student Summit we visited the United Nations Headquarters to learn more about the buildings and the important work that goes on inside them. This was an absolute highlight of the summit as we were given a tour through the working areas and learnt about why the United Nations was founded and how it operates. We discovered the United Nations 'School in a box' programme which sends resources to teachers and students in areas of need with everything needed for a class of 40 children, and saw the work being done towards reducing the negative impact of climate change. It was also awe-inspiring for some of our students to learn about the peackeeping projects around the world.

We were lucky enough to be able to walk quietly through the ECOSOC chamber which was actually in session, discussing Women in Power. This was incredibly inspiring for the students to see the United Nations in action. We also spent time in the General Assembly room where Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces oversees discussion between the 193 member countries alongside Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Though they weren't there at the time, the importance of the room was clearly felt by our team!

In the afternoon we returned to NAIS New York to take part in a workshop led by Alison Bellwood from the World's Largest Lesson. Working with Project Everyone, which was founded by director Richard Curtis, Alison challenged our students to design a communication idea to help to raise awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Global Goals to celebrate World Children's Day. They've come up with some fantastic ideas for Alison, and I'm sure we will be using some of these in school in November.

There were a number of evening excursions again, including a trip to the Broadway show Wicked, and our students are now resting after the full day. Tomorrow we will travel for the final time to UNICEF House for the High Level Political Forum, where Nina will be joining 7 other students in a youth discussion panel, and Jenny, Ha Nguyen, Eugene, Lily and Ky Dan will be performing in the choir to support the Sing for Hope project. I will send more information about that project tomorrow!

Day 4: 17/07/2019

On the final day of the summit our students attended the High Level Political Forum side event focusing on Youth action and using the creative arts to share the message of the Global Goals. We heard speeches from UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, Film Director and founder of Project Everyone, Richard Curtis, and student winner of the UNICEF Comic Competition, Rezka, all of which were incredibly inspiring. It is clear that young people's voices are strong and should be heard, and that important people in positions of power are becoming more willing to listen and take action.

Nina did an amazing job as a panelist at the HLPF, sharing her views on why it is important that schools are safe and free from all kinds of violence, and why she became an activist - a person making changes in her school and community. She was joined in her panel by other NAE students and Charles Young, a 23 year old youth activist in Jamaica who has been involved in developing UNICEF's Youth Manifesto.

Jenny, Ky Dan, Nguyen, Ha Minh, Lily and Eugene all took part in the Sing for Hope project which opened the event. They were in a choir who sang a song with the message 'Dream Big, Speak Loud' which was very poignant. They were accompanied by a pianist playing the SDG Superhero decorated piano which is being donated by Sing for Hope to a park in New York city.

In the evening we traveled to the Juilliard School where we held our Gala Dinner. Eugene and SungWoo gave inspiring speeches about the work of NAE students towards the Global Goals and with the message that adults need to listen to young people and take action. We also had performances from Juilliard alumni and were joined by representatives from the NAE collaborations: Juilliard, MIT and UNICEF. The students enjoyed their final evening together with a mixture of emotions.

  • BVIS HCMC NAE-UNICEF SUMMER 2019 (6)
  • BVIS HCMC NAE-UNICEF SUMMER 2019 (10)
  • BVIS HCMC NAE-UNICEF SUMMER 2019 (3)
  • BVIS HCMC NAE-UNICEF SUMMER 2019 (19)
  • BVIS HCMC NAE-UNICEF SUMMER 2019 (16)
  • BVIS HCMC NAE-UNICEF SUMMER 2019 (11)