Fernanda Bravo Conrads is in her last year of IB. She was selected by her head of school to attend the first Global Goals Summit 2017, where 87 Nord Anglia students traveled from across the world to the iconic city of New York. Nord Anglia worked with UNICEF to promote and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Fernanda joined three other students from Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong -- Sammi Huang, I-Zac Lee and Benedicte Vestrum.
In the previous school year, UNICEF challenged Nord Anglia Education students worldwide to raise awareness of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to be reached by 2030, and to work with their local communities to develop solutions for these global issues. They directed our focus into Goals #2 and #3 of Zero Hunger & Good Health and Well-Being respectively. While in New York, we were able to discuss the different projects and ideas each one of the schools had developed and were given feedback to be taken into account for future challenges.
We also had the marvellous chance to hear directly from diplomats, including the President of the General Assembly of the UN and the Executive Director of UNICEF, about how we, as ambassadors, can work together to promote sustainability in our schools. They believe that students should have the Sustainable Development Goals embedded into our DNA; that we have only one chance to save our planet, and together, step by step, we can work towards achieving these goals by 2030. They are keen to hear our voice and projects, which gives me no doubt that this partnership with UNICEF will be absolutely fruitful, just like it has been for the past year.
Here at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong (NAIS Pudong) we’re reminded constantly that we have to be ambitious. When selected I was informed that as part of the activities, a conference of Model United Nations (MUN) was going to take place. MUN is an educational simulation of a United Nations debate. Participants, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries where they represent members of that body. MUN goes along with a very specific and detailed procedure, which can be challenging to understand as a first-comer. I was presented a challenge. Since I had never taken part in an MUN conference before, I was not familiar in any way with any of the rules or procedures. Everyone else going with me from my school had already attended various conferences.
I took the challenge and prepared myself as much as I could for MUN. I always said to myself that there’s a first time for everything. After two whole days of debating, the Global Goals MUN was an absolute success. It not only enhanced my public speaking skills and grew my confidence while debating, but also gave me a chance to learn about issues such as eradicating hunger in developing countries from multiple nations’ perspectives. I enjoyed taking part in it so much that I’ve decided to join MUN here at NAIS Pudong, where students attend multiple conferences throughout the year. I really encourage students to join as it is a fantastic way of either enhancing or discovering speaking and debating skills which I can assure will be useful in all stages of school life.
This trip has made me realise what being part of the Nord Anglia worldwide family means to me. It means that I’m given opportunities to speak up about my opinion on world issues and that I have every resource available to reach out to other students just like me around the world. But most importantly, it means that I don’t just get the chance to develop ideas about how to enhance our schools’ social, cultural and environmental responsibility, but also get opportunities to take them into action.
Benedicte and I have come back and are able to tell about this fantastic experience and what we learnt, but this does not end here. We are eager to work with the school’s leadership team to introduce this year’s Global Challenge which will be focused on Goals #11 and #12, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Responsible Production and Consumption respectively. Student involvement is key. Therefore in order to succeed, we will assure all year groups are involved in various different activities and projects, all the way from Early Years to International Baccalaureate. Lastly, we aim to keep in touch with other students who attended this Goals Summit, so that we can share our progress throughout the year as well as make the links between our schools much stronger.