Fredrick Chilongo, Global Schools Advocate, Zambia
Nelson Mandela Once said ''Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world and how great it is if this powerful weapon is education for sustainable development''.
Late last year when I was trained to be a global schools advocate by SDSN youth, I was really excited to be part of this great initiative. It reflected my desire to help make a difference among young people in schools who are the future generations and educate them about sustainable development goals as well as global citizenship. At first, it was quite a challenge for me to get schools to sign the pledge and become part of the global school’s program but with time, I was able to do some presentations at some schools. One of the schools I did a presentation at was Hermann Gmeiner School located within Save Our Souls(SOS) childrens village in Lusaka. I arrived at the school premises on a Thursday morning as agreed upon and was able to do deliver my talk during break time which was to last for only about 30 minutes. At that time Zambia was facing a lot of load shedding but I improvised and was still able to do the presentation. As the presentation went on I could see the eagerness in the eyes of the teachers as they were very much keen to learn about the Sustainable development goals, their importance and the role the educators have to play to ensure that the SDGs are implemented effectively in schools. With careful planning and execution, I was able to deliver my presentation within the 30-minute time frame and the teachers were so impressed as they gave me a round of applause. After I was done, the teachers were able to ask several questions most of which I was able to give satisfying answers to. For more information, I simply refereed them to the global schools website. Another memorable thing about this experience was that most teachers were so amazed by the facts and statistics that I talked about during presentation and they advised me to reach out to more schools so that they too acquire such valuable information. After attending to teachers I was able to show the deputy head teacher how they she could sign the pledge and also get to add the teachers to the global network of educators. It was an amazing feeling and experience to be able to educate the teachers and also learn from them. When it was all set and done I left the school premises very happy and accomplished as I traveled to another school within Lusaka to make an appointment for my next presentation. Being a global schools advocate has not been the easiest of journeys as different countries have different education systems and economics strengths. Nonetheless, I believe it was one worth it because through the global schools program I was able to do things I have never done before and I was also able to go to many places and meet different people, thus building more partnerships and connections with people. Above all I was able to make a difference for a sustainable future!