We’re Arisu, Antra and Rachel and we’ve been selected to be student ambassadors at the Nord Anglia-UNICEF student summit in July 2022. The summit is part of Nord Anglia’s collaboration with UNICEF and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. As student ambassadors we’ll be taking part in conversations around the Sustainable Development Goals and listening to talks by experts in their fields. Students will give presentations, speeches, take part in workshops and learn tools for being a youth advocate.
Prior to the summit, our schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, and Dubai all incorporated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our school curriculum through different initiatives and student-led projects.
BIS Ho Chi Minh City update, by Arisu, age 14
At the British International School of Ho Chi Minh City (BIS HCMC), the Global Goals club has several committees that focus on different projects, each related to an aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals. Examples include our media team, the ECOCOIN initiative, and the ‘Meatless Wednesdays’ program.
The school’s Global Goals Events Committee focuses on promoting all SDGs to the BIS HCMC community. It recently held a Global Goals Teaching Project, as part of UNICEF’s World’s Largest Lesson
. Older students visited Year 2 classes in the primary school, introducing them to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The school’s Global Goals Precious Plastics team was recently awarded a charitable Research and Development Grant of USD$1,500. This will aid their work in collecting, sorting, cleaning, melting, molding, and processing plastic into marketable products.
As well as this, students in all year groups of the school partake in Global Campus events such as Mental Health Awareness Week and the Voices of Youth competition, which encourages engagement with the SDGs through creativity.
Other projects that students create and partake in include World Children’s Day, the Geography Photography Competition, and a club for upcycling old uniforms.
NAIS Hong Kong update, by Rachel, age 17
Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong (NAIS HK)’s Student Council have been working closely alongside the SDGs on their events and assemblies this year.
To raise awareness of Goals 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible production and consumption), and 13 (climate action), the Student Council has been putting up classroom posters and uploading social media posts on the Student Council’s Instagram.
On International Environmental Day, the council invited a guest speaker from the World Wide Fund of Nature to speak about the pressing dangers of animal extinction. They have also organised a fundraising raffle in which they have raised nearly USD$500.
On International Women’s Day, students and teachers shared their stories about influential women that inspire them. To raise awareness of the importance of Menstrual Hygiene, their council gave an assembly and sold wristbands, the money being donated to charity.
The Student Council has also promoted Mental Health Week. During that week, the student council created form time events and PowerPoints to educate students on Neurodiversity and specific Mental Illnesses, such as PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and OCD.
The NAIS HK student community have also organised events to raise awareness of SDGs. At the start of the year, students hosted an event raising money for charities combatting Modern Slavery. To finish the year, an IB student organised an LGBTQ+ Mental Health Awareness event alongside an expert from a Hong Kong Mental Health Charity during Pride Month. Their workshop encouraged NAIS HK students to make use of the support networks within their school.
NAS Dubai update, by Antra, age 17
Here at NAS Dubai, we have helped achieve sustainable development goals in various ways. Primarily, we have raised awareness by putting up pictures of the UN SDGs around the school to remind our students and staff members of the importance of environmental awareness.
In 2020, NAS Dubai stopped selling plastic water bottles and instead gave provision water to students through water bottle fillers which can be found around the school. Each water filler has the number of plastic bottle usage avoided written on the top, which increases steadily every day, and additionally motivates the staff, students, and all members of our community to continue refilling and reusing our water bottles. This, I believe, makes an impactful difference and enacts the UN Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), 12 (Responsible consumption and production), 13 (Climate action) and 14 (Life below water).
Furthermore, 2 sixth-form students, Arav Devadason and Azita Pithawala found that when disposed of incorrectly, expired medicine pollutes waterways and ecosystems and cause significant damage to the environment.
To combat this, they began collecting expired medicines in their communities, and eventually brought this idea to the UNICEF CCA. Thanks to the enthusiastic young advocates, they managed to collect 60 kgs of expired medicine in just 2 weeks. This medicine was then taken to government hospitals in Dubai who ensured they were disposed of correctly and did not harm the environment. Azita, one of the organisers of this event is grateful for our collaborative efforts, saying “Thanks to our NAS Dubai community, we were able to make a difference.” This event helped the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate action), 14 (Life below water) and 15 (Life on land).
Student Ambassador Selection Process
Each student ambassador had to undergo a selection process to become a participant at the upcoming NAE-UNICEF student summit.
NAS Dubai and BIS Ho Chi Minh City had similar application processes, with multiple stages. First, we submitted an application form detailing our past involvement in school projects or clubs (for example, Model UN, the Global Challenge, and World Children’s Day) and how we embody our school’s ethos and values.
After the form, we each selected an issue in our community to create a video on the problem and how we think it could be solved.
The final stage of the process was an interview with the other candidates. We were given prompts about community issues (for example, about our school’s community responsibilities in Ho Chi Minh City) to discuss and debate on.
A little while later, we were given the good news that we had been selected to represent our respective schools at the upcoming NAE-UNICEF summit!
NAISHK worked differently compared to NAS Dubai and BIS Ho Chi Minh City regarding the application process. Students who have shown interest and enthusiasm toward SDGs (for example, organising fundraisers and events, MUN, Global Campus events) throughout the school year were selected to join this summit.
As student ambassadors, we look forward to meeting like-minded young people from the Nord Anglia Education community, all around the globe, and enacting change this July.