The challenge is part of the World’s Largest Lesson, a global initiative aimed at bringing the SDGs to classrooms across the world through lesson plans, videos, comics, and creative content. BISH students will focus on two of the seventeen UNICEF goals:
- Goal 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
- Goal 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
BISH students are working directly with their communities to raise awareness of the SDGs while researching and designing practical solutions to build a more sustainable future. Over the past few weeks students from Years 10 to 12 have been submitting proposals for how they may tackle these goals within their school community.
Besides making life better for others, UNICEF has also invited selected students from BISH to present their ideas on the SDGs during the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (July 10-19, 2017) at the UN Headquarters in New York City. This is a unique opportunity for BISH students to influence policy at the highest level. They will participate in workshops, seminars, and debates for the week and will work together to deliver presentations at the UN’s High Level Political Forum.
Two students have been chosen to run school-wide initiatives and represent BISH in New York: Hannah (Year 11) and Chase (Year 12). Over the next few months both students will develop their project ideas in collaboration with the entire BISH school community.
Hannah will examine the problem of mosquito-borne illnesses. She plans to spotlight malaria and its devastating impacts. Worldwide, it is predicted that 3000 students die every day from the disease. Hannah will drive awareness in the school community by leading a mural project to educate students on how malaria can be prevented. To continue the momentum of this project on a wider scale, Hannah will organize a range of external events such as fun-runs, concerts, and calendar competitions to raise money for mosquito nets. The initial goal is to raise $7500 by June 2018 – which is the price of one mosquito net for every child that dies of malaria in one day.
Chase will help mitigate hunger in Texas. It is estimated that 42 million Americans currently struggle with hunger - and the city of Houston is not immune to this problem. One in six Texas households has struggled to avoid hunger in the past year and, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture, Texas has the second highest rate of food insecurity (18.5%) in the country. Chase plans to lead students in the creation of a compilation video, focused on “Ending Hunger”, that will be showcased along with a visual hunger themed artwork event. His long-term strategy is to organize regular donation days within the school, which will yield local charities with an immediate supply of food contributions at regular intervals.
In total, there are 17 goals which were adopted by 193 countries in the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030. To accomplish these goals, the UN has asked governments, private sector, civil society, and citizens to participate.
Andrew Derry, Principal of BISH commented, “I am extremely proud to collaborate with UNICEF and our students, Hannah and Chase, who will take a leading role in representing BISH at the United Nations High Level Political Forum. Our partnership with UNICEF empowers our students to take greater ownership of their passions, while embracing our core values of respect, unity and pride, and will help ensure they leave us fully prepared to compete and thrive on a global scale.”
“If the Sustainable Development Goals do not resonate with children and young people around the world in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their own lives and experiences, they will not be achieved. Students are some of the most passionate activists and agents of change on the planet, and it is their passion and determination that will drive all of us towards a more just, equal and sustainable world by 2030,” said UNICEF Agenda 2030 Partnerships Manager Shannon O’Shea.