For this year’s NAE-UNICEF Student Summit — a vital part of our collaboration with UNICEF — student ambassadors from our family of schools joined a virtual event from 11th to 15th July where they worked together to further the Sustainable Development Goals through the concept of “Factivism”, joined discussions at the High-level Political Forum, and took part in high-impact workshops led by notable experts.
Let’s take a look more closely at how students got involved each day.
During the first day of the summit, students participated in a workshop led by the World’s Largest Lesson about the idea of ‘Factivism’. A combination of ‘facts’ and ‘activism’, factivism is the act of presenting data in a digestible way to educate people on social issues and encourage them to act on them.
During the workshop, students created their own factivist infographics. They also worked together to make materials to further promote awareness of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which they’ve all been working towards in their schools throughout the year.
On the second day of the Summit, students were invited to join a side event at the United Nation’s High Level Political Forum, which included a panel discussion on ensuring children and young people are protected in digital environments, especially due to complications from Covid-19.
During this important event, issues related to children’s access to the internet were explored. Nakshatra (top left), a student from Dover Court International School, hosted the panel and shared her own personal perspective on the issue. Another student, Aaraynaa from NAIS Dubai, shared what she’s done to help safeguard young people on the internet, namely by arming them with safe and accurate information and her digital detox campaign across Nord Anglia schools.
Panellists included industry experts from diverse organisations such as UNICEF, the Kenyan ICT Authority, Microsoft, and Lego. Many of these experts have been working to enhance children's online connectivity during the pandemic to ensure children’s access to education.
Young scientist, Gitanjali Rao – TIME’s first-ever Kid of the Year in 2020 – even joined to talk to our students about the importance of using technology for social change and how young people should use their voices to empower others.
On Day 3 of the summit, students learned all about the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Article 29: Aims of Education. They discussed what they believe great learning really means and created their own lesson plans around a chosen global issue. This activity was in part to help prepared students for the upcoming World Children’s Day on 20 November, during which students will lead conduct their lessons at their own schools.
On day four, students took part in an ‘Advocacy Skills’ workshop delivered by UNICEF leaders. In small groups, students discussed the prompt “What does advocacy mean to you?” and created advocacy plans while considering stakeholders, barriers, and how to overcome them.
The final day of the summit began with refining students’ World Children’s Day lesson plans ahead of the big day on 20 November.
Students then shared about what they think needs to be done to transform education and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education) through a collective ‘to do’ list. They were able to use everything they learned throughout the week to come up with truly valuable, diverse ideas.
Finally, our they were able to hear from special guest Dr. Elise Ecoff, Group Education Director as the summit ended with some words of encouragement. She reminded students how the Student Summit is a fantastic opportunity for students to continue their efforts to make the world a better place.
The virtual summit ended in many hand-clapping emojis and virtual waves, and the student ambassadors were left to reflect on the words repeated throughout the week: “No one knows everything, but together we know a lot.”
Want to read more from our students? Click here to read how they got prepped for the Summit.