8 Global Schools Advocates are recognized as Advocates of the Month for their contributions to Education for Sustainable Development.
Cris Raymund Patricio Viray
Cris is an active, licensed Filipino educator who advocates for integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the school's curriculum, where he is serving as a School Principal. As a Global Schools Advocate, Cris empowered his teachers at Little Angel Study Center (LASC) in Olongapo City through various workshops, dialogues, and collaborative sessions. With the strong support of the school administration and the enthusiasm of LASC teachers to become part of the mission in localizing SDGs in curriculum, extra-curricular and student development activities, the LASC teachers were able to revisit their curriculum and integrate related SDGs in their classroom teaching, activities, formative and summative assessments. Also, to strike a balance between academics and student development, the teachers from the Preschool, Elementary, and High School Departments organized and implemented different activities such as an SDG Week, SDG Presentations, SDG Quizzes, and an SDG Webinar. The activities were able to reach more than 400 students in the school. Truly, it takes a village to localize SDGs. Empowerment is the key to sustainability.
Job Otieno Muga
As a Global Schools Advocate, Job has been implementing Global Schools Program activities to promote and implement several SDGs in Nakuru Central Secondary School in the Rift Valley's Nakuru City-Kenya. He has applied a range of Education for Sustainable Development activities in implementing Kenya's secondary school curriculum, focusing on promoting 21st-century skills and a sense of global citizenship in learners. Specifically, he organizes debates and discussions for his mathematics and economics students. He has also organized clothing and food donations for the local orphanage. He has received approval from the local authorities to plant trees with students in the National Park.
Nabuduwa Grace Olive Musingo
Nabuduwa Grace Olive Musingo is a very passionate and active Global Schools Advocate. In her country, Uganda, schools have been under COVID-19 lockdown since June 2021. Despite the closure of schools, she has developed a community approach to create awareness of sustainable development for different categories of people. She mobilized teachers in her community and taught them the need to provide ESD by ensuring transformative education is given to learners. The teachers requested that Grace visit their schools when they reopen in January. Also, Grace mobilized young children to learn that SDGs are part of their life experiences. She also gave a presentation on SDGs to a group of students, teachers, farmers, and businessmen during the Gayaza Farm Camp, which is an annual camp to teach youth ESD in relation to SDG 2: No Hunger. This was on the recommendation of the office of the UN Resident Coordinator Uganda. She also organized a 2-day workshop for young girls and a one-day workshop for parents on SDG 4 and 5 to empower girls by giving them the necessary tools to succeed in education and life. The workshop was facilitated by different teachers, youth role models, lawyers, and high-ranking officers to provide inspiration. She mobilized others to provide meals for the girls and the parents who were additionally trained on proper parental involvement in girls' education. Girls also got to hear from the Director of Debt and Cash Policy from the Ministry of Finance in Uganda, the Education Manager at UWEC Uganda, and the Principal Education Officer at MOES who funded meals for the female participants. Two lawyers funded meals for parents during the sensitization training on: sustainable development and incorporating SDGs into family activities. Once schools re-open in Uganda, Grace will carry out staff workshops and school-wide activities and also visit the schools that are anxiously waiting for her to sensitize students and teachers on incorporating SDGs into school activities. Her advocacy journey has been interesting and inspiring and she looks forward to working with other Advocates, the Global Schools team, and her community to ensure ESD is adopted by as many teachers and students as possible.
Ms. Purvi Parekh conducted a workshop to advocate for the UN SDGs in both regional languages: Hindi and English. She unpacked the advocacy in the classroom, where her learners were involved in participation, discussion, and poster-making activities for the Global Goals. She also created a book club for learners to interconnect all the goals and cater to quality education. Finally, she created a green space where learners can bring nature-based solutions to the classroom, community, and locality. This was introduced to combat climate action. Digital citizenship, STEAM, and innovation were also welcomed in her school to integrate STEAM and SDGs.
Rafi, Director of the Social Impact and Sustainability Program (SISP) in The Harbour School (THS) in Hong Kong, aspires that his passion and experience in leading a long-term school-wide movement and program on community service and sustainability would give insight and inspiration to the other Global School Advocates that an action-oriented plan for social impact and sustainability in a school set-up is feasible and can bring about meaningful change. In 2019, Rafi, together with two (2) equally community service-oriented co-teachers, started Project Hope, which aimed to cultivate interest in community service and inspire volunteerism at THS. The project focused on providing support to ethnic minority groups, the elderly, and those in need, completing close to 20 projects from 2019 to 2021 despite the challenges brought by Covid-19. THS mobilized the school community to engage in community service events through simple classroom activities that are naturally occurring, part of the school, and integral to students' learning process. These activities included reading stories to the elderly, making thoughtful greeting cards for the sick, creating fun videos to cheer on medical workers at the front lines of this pandemic, designing statement t-shirts, potting plants for domestic helpers and victims of violence, and counting, sorting and packing fruits, masks, or mooncakes which were distributed to people in need. In August 2021, Project Hope won a Merit Award under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) Achievement Awards 2021 organized by Green Council in Hong Kong, being amongst a group of established organizations such as Nestlé Hong Kong, HK Electric and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. With the tremendous support of THS' school management, Rafi and his team proposed to expand Project Hope and launched the Social Impact and Sustainability Program (SISP) in August 2021 where Rafi currently serves as the Program's Director. SISP's main thrust is to spark curiosity and interest in THS' community through the introduction of basic but important concepts of volunteerism and community service guided by the UN 17 SDGs. SISP's long-term goal is to establish a full-blown community service program formally embedded into the school's curriculum and course offerings. To date, SISP introduced 35 supplementary developmental activities across all grades levels, partnered with 36 organizations, and conducted a Sustainability Survey for Grades 1 to 8 in August 2021 to benchmark and track the awareness and knowledge level of the young students on the topic of sustainability throughout the school year. Rafi has been with THS for close to ten years where he engaged in different capacities including as a co-teacher in lower and primary grade level, and subsequently as a teacher in high school on elective courses such as Introduction to Philosophy and Moral Philosophy and World Religion. He is also currently leading the first Social Entrepreneurship Course to High School students (Grade 9 to 12) as part of SISP.
Throughout the past few years, Sarah has designed and implemented an inclusive social action program that is based on the SDGs that is carried out during tutor time. Once commencing her role as an Advocate, Sarah has continued to develop this with great passion and has met with her SLT and curriculum leads so that this work can now be introduced across the teaching curriculum within the Humanities and Citizenship courses. The school has been acknowledged as School Of The Year from the UK Parliament as well as recently receiving second prize in The Goldsmiths' Community Engagement Award due to their various projects that are designed once again with SDGs in mind. Sarah's goal is to create cohesive global leaders who are aware of all the issues, showing empathy as well as confidence when tackling challenges. Changing the mindset of our youth is vital if we are to make a difference before 2030.
Silvia Yubitza Moreno Carlín
Silvia is a Global Schools Advocate who teaches at the International School of Leuven in Belgium. As an Advocate, she has worked with staff and children to highlight the importance of sustainability and weave this into the learning with class activities and whole-of-school initiatives. Silvia and her students are following a unit of inquiry called "Living Together", which discusses different communities and their problems and needs. The students learned why this unit is closely linked with SDGs 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and they are coming up with different ideas to improve their communities, such as an initiative to recycle plastic at the school and weekly sustainable actions. For example, the class created a pool of small, achievable, and sustainable actions that they could undertake. Every Monday they pick one action from the pool like "use less water, take shorter showers", discuss the impact of their actions, and on Fridays, they monitor their progress. In English, the students enhanced their lesson in report writing with a practical activity in which they report on facts about saving the environment from plastic pollution. In ITC, they started using Ecosia instead of Google as a more sustainable search engine. In Art, they drew the 17 SDGs. During their journaling time, the students write and draw about the SDGs and sustainability. In Science, they learned about 3D printers and how recycled plastic fibers could be potentially used to minimize our environmental footprint. They also learned about the journey of food and some students participated in the World Food Poster Contest 2021. Students are sharing content related to sustainable development on Silvia's Google Classroom (how people are building houses made from plastic and the initiatives of the YouTuber Mr. Beast with Team Seas and Team Trees). The whole school is working on their Winter Concert song about the SDGs. In their class, they came up with a fabulous idea: they will sing "All I Want For Christmas" but they changed the lyrics to talk about Global Goals and sustainability and are looking forward to sharing it with the whole world. Likewise, given that they couldn't create their Global Goals presentations in the school assembly due to covid, they came up with a creative solution and made an interactive wall display for the entire school about the Global Goals, explaining what they are, why they are important, and inspiring other students to take action. All her students are sharing and encouraging their parents and friends to take action to achieve the SDGs. Additionally, the whole school designed and created wearable shoes made from recycled materials inspired by the book "Four feet, Two sandals", which tells the story of two refugee girls that have to share a pair of shoes and explores the hardship of some families around the world.
Susana Pinheiro introduced the Global Schools Program at Luanda International School. She held program presentation meetings with the director, principal, and deputy-principal who is in charge of the wellbeing program, co-curricular coordinator, head of the mother tongue committee, and with subject leaders of learning. The main goal of these meetings was to introduce the Global Schools program, acknowledge the SDGs and try to bring to discussion some links between the objectives and the different programs at school. To support teachers in this exploration and reflection, Susana created a document in which she compiled a variety of strategies by subject area, which teachers can explore and apply in their classes. Susana also implemented several activities that addressed the SDGs in media, such as advertisements, cartoons, and articles. Students were able to interpret, analyze, create their own projects, and share with colleagues. As the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) coordinator, she also created the routine for each project to start with a reflection on an SDG. Students were able to share their projects with each other and with different years. CAS students also welcomed a guest speaker who introduced his project: he kayaked the Kuanza River with the aim of raising funds to donate to a project to demine Angola. Another document was created and shared with students and teachers about free online opportunities that everyone can access and that raise awareness about the Goals, such as symposia, workshops, and webinars. Another project was led by students, which was part of the wellbeing program, to donate masks for non-teaching staff.