Written by Abigail Chifusa, Global Schools Project Officer.
The Global Schools Program (GSP) recognizes and celebrates the achievements of its Advocates every month. These Advocates are featured and given the spotlight for their endless contributions to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Below are the eight featured Advocates recognized for the month of January.
Anita Čota is a GSP Advocate based in Croatia. During a six-month period, Anita participated in various projects such as the European Sustainable Development Week and World Clean Up Day (The World Soil Day), which was held under the motto: "Soil - where food begins". She participated in the creation of an online meeting between Croatian and Polish students where they discussed the importance of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Anita’s students at Elementary school Trilj in Croatia researched the achievement of SDGs in the EU using Eurostat data of sustainable development indicators to investigate which European Union countries are closest to achieving these goals. During the entire first semester, the 8th and 6th-grade students learned about climate and climate change as part of the geography curriculum.
Akansasira Junior (Victor) is a GSP Advocate teaching SDGs and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in South Sudan at Greenbelt Academy -Bor in Jonglei State. He has empowered learners in the 100 tree planting campaign in different schools within his country. He has also represented the Global Schools program, SDSN, and UNESCO in the BRITISH COUNCIL WEBINAR presenting on "SDGs in Classroom."
Akansasira Junior has utilized Televisions and Radio stations in Uganda and South Sudan to educate the masses about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). He formed SDG Clubs at Greenbelt Academy -Bor to foster sustainable development in his country, South Sudan.
Akansasira was rewarded by Global Learning for Sustainability in Partnership with SHE LEADS as one of the global transformers on SDGs and the Education field in Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
Furthermore, Akansasira admitted that he is proud to be a GSP Advocate and is willing to do more to improve the education system in his country.
BIBIAM GONZALEZ RODRIGUEZ
Despite the limitation of meeting her students only once a week, Bibiam has managed to impact the learners as well as her surrounding community.
Teaching about the SDGs to a group of students that had not been introduced to this topic before was challenging for Bibian, especially because of time constraints. However, her love for Education for Sustainable Development (EDS) empowered her to cover most of the SDGs within the time she was given. Therefore, with this experience, Bibiam has had the opportunity to use many of the resources available provided by the Global Schools team, combining them and creating lessons that were distinct, enriching, and entertaining for her class.
She points out that her success as an advocate had not have been reached without the consistency and awareness parents have concerning the education of their children in their mother tongue. Thus, this was an opportunity for her students to increase their language skills in various situations, with a great range of topics allowing them to participate actively weekly.
As Bibiam earned a MA in education in 2017 and her final project was about how to Instill Sustainability within the Spanish Context, she saw the opportunity given by the Global Schools Program as a perfect bridge to practice what she had learned back then and use it now during her advocacy.
Bibiam’s active participation as an advocate for the GSP has allowed her to also complement her academic knowledge by adding to it Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and some Global Citizenship competencies. This has also permitted her to create lessons encouraging her students to apply these skills.
In her commitment to the community, Bibiam presented the SDGs to her colleagues of Moðurmal, the Association on Bilingualism (teachers of other mother tongues in the Icelandic setting). The General Board Members, of which she is part, have created a common event that will welcome the Icelandic community and others to demonstrate that human practices with food have a tremendous impact on Planet Earth. Thus, since all the SDGs are related to this topic of food, and food attracts people, Bibiam saw this as a chance to help develop awareness about the privileged positions some countries have compared to others. The result of this will be a book of recipes of the dishes presented during the event on a poster. The recipes will be linked to the SDGs along with a wish that the children would make that will change the world for the better. The book will be presented during the Children's Festival in Iceland in spring 2023.
As a result of her experience, Bibiam is working towards creating a blog with her students in Spanish in line with what her pupils have learned about the SDGs. Finally, Bibiam´s motto is “Education for Sustainable Development is all about individual steps, we can only think about what one can do personally, this is our responsibility as individuals living in a Globalized world”.
As an Advocate for the Global Schools Program, Cherechedzai has held various activities in her journey. Some of the activities were school-wide, and colleagues and herself, administered some in their respective lessons involving learners from grades 8 to 12.
School-wide activities ranged from blood donation, heritage day, entrepreneurial day, and the recycling drive, where local businesses donated bins for recycling paper, plastic, and cans.
Cherechedzai’s fellow teachers at her school participated in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through assignments given to learners. In her own capacity, she initiated activities where learners researched and presented on the 17 SDGs and also incorporated SDGs in line with the CAPS teaching curriculum of South Africa.
Cherechedzai takes motivation and pride in the proverb, " If you are planning for a year to plant rice, if you are planning for a decade to plant trees, and if you are planning for a lifetime to educate people."
“The Global Schools Program is one such avenue that can be used to bring lifelong change in our societies,” said Cherechedzai Mukonde.
Esra Karahan impresses the great impacts of the Global Schools Program (GSP) on education to enhance students' points of view about sustainability.
Karahan has participated in various seminars and conferences by the GSP team and shared these experiences with her colleagues in her learning community.
By working collaboratively with GSP, Esra Karahan has planned interactive in-class activities to raise the students’ awareness of SDGs. In December, under the guidance of Esra Karahan, a storybook named “SDGs: Planet Heroes” was written by her students.
Karahan believes that the most permanent way to keep up productive studies is to take action and to live in a better world with the students.
Neetu Luthra from Modern Public School Shalimar Bagh Delhi, India, has been working wholeheartedly on the Sustainable Development Goals, incorporating ESD through climate action projects, and collaborating with International organizations. Her, Principal Ms. Alka Kapur, gave her the opportunity to inspire and work for society through donations and other acts of benevolence, which was an amazing journey for her as an advocate.
RAYMOND MITCHELL AFRICA
Raymond Mitchell is a GSP Advocate in China who has facilitated SDG workshops for students, teachers, and the wider community. He designed a curriculum that exemplifies sustainability and climate action. He inspires, motivates, and empowers the community to do meaningful and engaging projects related to the Global Goals.
“The Global Schools Advocate program empowers me as an educator to engage the students, teachers, and the school community in meaningful projects related to SDG,” said Raymond Mitchel Africa.
SAUMYA TRIPATHI MISRA
Saumya has contributed a lot in bringing the SDGs to the classroom and connecting not only with the content of the syllabus but also with the lives of the children. She has connected the Chemistry concepts with the SDG in a fruitful manner in class XI in the chapter: Chemical bonding, where students presented their work related to SDG 13 (climate change) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and concluded that it's important to bond with the climate as well!
Saumya has encouraged Class VIII students to make the models like vintage cameras and presentations and even did role-play in many chapters like Reproduction hence contributing towards SDG 5 (Gender equality), SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities). She has participated actively in inter-school SDG events like Razzmatazz, or founders day.