TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016
This September, 120 students from five high schools in Yerevan, Armenia, accepted the mission to become Agents of Change working toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their communities and the world. As the newest participants engaging in the World Federation of United Nation Associations’ (WFUNA) flagship global citizenship education program, Mission Possible, these students have embarked on a journey to learn more about the United Nations, the SDGs, and what it means to be a global citizen. Students will also develop project management skills and bring their innovative solutions to local problems to life through student-driven projects.
The energy, creativity, and enthusiasm these students demonstrated during the two-day Mission Possible: Armenia launch workshop was inspiring. Students discussed the biggest challenges facing the world today and brainstormed strategies to address these challenges as manifested in their communities. The pollution of Lake Sevan (Goals 6 and 14), a lack of affordable energy options (Goal 7), and a need for sustainable urban transportation (Goal 11) were among the many issues highlighted by students as important to achieving the SDGs in Armenia and beyond. During the launch workshop, students also had the opportunity to practice their collaboration and communication skills by presenting their work to their peers and working in teams to build impressive structures from unusual materials.
University students visiting from Korea as part of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) ASPIRE helped to facilitate the student group work over the two-day workshop, adding another important element of the Mission Possible program model – intercultural exchange.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about sustainable development issues such as climate change (Goal 13) or gender equality (Goal 5), but the Mission Possible: Armenia students were not deterred. These young leaders recognized the gravity of the problems they identified in their communities, yet remained optimistic and confident about their ability to create change and have a positive impact. It is clear that they are, and will continue to be, powerful advocates for the issues upon which they will focus their group projects, using their newly acquired project management skills to address these issues in a strategic, coordinated, and effective manner.
Mission Possible: Armenia participants will also benefit from encouraging teachers who will provide guidance as they progress through the program. During the launch workshop, 12 teachers and coordinators challenged their students to act as leaders, think more deeply, and collaborate more effectively. It was wonderful to see these educators in action, demonstrating their commitment to support global citizenship education through participation in Mission Possible. Beyond the launch workshop, teachers and students will receive direct support from a National Project Coordinator working with the Armenian UN Association (AUNA) based in Yerevan.
After an exciting launch, we anticipate amazing projects to emerge from these young global citizens in the coming months, with the support of their teachers and schools. In the meantime, read about some of the inspiring student-led projects from the Mission Possible program implementation in India here.
Many individuals and organizations contributed to the success of the Mission Possible: Armenia launch workshop. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our partners at the AUNA, university students participating through UNAI ASPIRE, guest speakers from the Project Management Institute Armenian Chapter, and Yerevan State University for providing us with the venue. We would also like to thank our generous supporters, UNAI-Korea, Human In Love, and the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF).
Learn more about the Mission Possible program.