By Raquel Armendariz Sucunza, Global Schools Project Lead (Communications)
The figures of Mentors are crucial to the success of Advocates and the Advocacy Program. Through their work, they’ve been able to help Advocates promote activities for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) networking and advice. In honor of their hard work, we want to spotlight their contributions every month.
One of these honorable Mentors is Kirti Jindal from India. During her mentorship, she has regularly communicated with her mentees and presented them with resources. Her passion and commitment are worth it to mention as someone who is inspiring changemaking.
Interview with Kirti Jindal
Kirti is a postgraduate in Geography from the Delhi School of Economics, India, with a total working experience of 20 years. During this time, she has worked as a coordinator of grades IX and X in her school. And at present, she is the House In-charge, Disaster Management In-charge, and the SDG In-charge of my school. This means she plans and executes the disaster evacuation drills in her school and also plans the SDG activities for different age groups. She’s even been awarded for her outstanding dedication to service and excellent results by her students in CBSE exams.
Tell us more about your Mentoring role and what it means to you.
My role as a mentor has been a very special one, as I got a chance to share information and my experiences working in the field of sustainable development goals. I also learned a lot from my mentees and developed mutual respect with them. One thing that helped me is my good listening skills. I always listened to what my mentees had to say. Flexibility and respecting diversity are also very helpful in mentoring. I have always tried to be honest with my mentees and gave them constructive feedback wherever it was possible.
What is the most meaningful part of your work?
The most meaningful part of my work is to support the mentees in whatever way I can, that is, by listening to them, providing them resources, solving their queries, and encouraging them to take meaningful actions with respect to SDGs. It gave me immense satisfaction when my mentees collaborated and worked together on an SDG project, participated in Climate Action Project, and saved Carbon dioxide emissions by participating in no ironed clothes day.
What led you to decide to become an Advocate in the first place?
My passion for sustainability motivated me to become an advocate. I came to know about the advocacy program through my school. Once I started filling up the form for the advocates' program, I knew this was what I had been doing, and I needed to take it up further. The training program guided me in a systematic way. Today, through all the activities we are doing in our school, more and more students are aware of and taking action in this field.
How and where do you find inspiration for your SDGs-related activities/work as a GS advocate and Mentor?
The seeds of sustainability were sown in my early childhood by my parents, be it for resource conservation, equality, or helping the poor. I have been doing it since my childhood. Moreover, I am a social science teacher and come across all SDGs directly or indirectly while teaching different topics in the classroom. When my students ask me,” Ma’am, Isn’t this topic related to SDG 1 or SDG2 and so on,” and try to come up with solutions, I feel, I am working in the right direction. I get a lot of inspiration when I see so many people doing such good work in the field of sustainability. My eagerness to learn helps me to explore more and more. Getting a positive response from my students, school authorities, and mentees also inspires me. Also, the mutual learning that takes place in the mentorship program is an additional factor.
What is one thing you wish to tell current and future Global Schools advocates?
One thing I wish to tell current and future Global School advocates is that no matter how small an action may be, it still matters. We may face challenges, but the fact that we really want to do something is what matters the most. Never Give Up!