THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2016
NEW YORK, NY - The Mission Possible international conference at UN Headquarters in New York brought together students from two different schools in Hyderabad, Meridian Banjara Hills and Gitanjali Senior School, who are just finishing up the very first year of Mission Possible, a global citizenship education program for high school students. The students, accompanied by their faculty advisors Ms. Caroline Ross and Ms. Munmun Sharma, were trained throughout the program in project management, global issues and the UN, and then implemented their own projects to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
WFUNA’s education coordinator in India, Medha Krishnan, worked with the students over the course of the program and facilitated the week-long conference in New York. During the conference, they presented their projects and refined their understanding of sustainable development and the project management cycle, with a focus on measuring impact.
Becoming a "Water-Wise" School
The group from Meridian Banjara Hills School identified the major problem of water consumption and waste on their school campus and decided to implement a project on water conservation to contribute toward Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production. They conducted a school-wide water audit to determine where the most water was being used on a daily basis and where it was being wasted. With that information, they then conducted an awareness-raising campaign amongst their teachers and peers to encourage more sustainable practices, advocated to have leaky faucets repaired, and even harvested rain water to be filtered and reused. With all their hard work, they managed to reduce the school's consumption of water by 12,000 litres per day! And they won't stop there. Next they plan to expand the project to other schools in the area.
Watch the video summary of their project below.
Creating Reading Rooms
Students from Gitanjali Senior School chose to work on Goal 4: Quality Education, based on their mutual love of reading and passion for sharing good books. They held a book drive at their school and collected 350 books to start, before they had to pause on accepting donations due to lack of storage! With the help of Teach for India-Hyderabad, they partnered with a local government school that had no library, and identified a local sponsor to help them build one from scratch, using the books they collected. They also held workshops with the children on reading and literacy, and led fun activities like making bookmarks. Building on the success of their first project, the students now plan to work with additional under-resourced schools in the area.
Watch summary of their project below.
During the conference, students had the opportunity to interact with other students from China that were simultaneously participating in WFUNA's Advanced Training Program, collaborating on group activities and simulations. They also met with staff from UNICEF, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and She’s the First, an NGO that works on education for girls in low-income countries. They got a tour of the UN Headquarters building and visited famous New York landmarks.
The students also attended the UN’s celebration of International Youth Day, featuring the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, among others. During the closing ceremony of the conference students will be presented with certificates of completion by Mari Ullmann, Director of Sustainable Developement at WFUNA. Students will then travel to Washington, DC, to visit higher education universities and other national landmarks.
Mission Possible imparts the goals, principles and methods of the United Nations to empower youth with global citizenship skills. Mission Possible India was made possible with the generous support of the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF). Learn more about the program here.