By Craig Jones
On a far north eastern island in Siberian Russia you will find a group of devoted and enthusiastic activists who dedicate their Thursday lunch times to making the world a better place. The idea evolved from Sakhalin International’s school vision of developing future accountable global citizens. What better way of achieving this than linking their ideas to the UN Global Goals? This team of internationally minded and moralistic students all applied to become a member of the group. The 12 then decided who would become team leaders for particular goals. With some projects already in mind, the ideas, goals and team leaders were selected and the hard work began.
Global Goal 14: Life Below Water
The team leaders for the Life Below Water goal set out to recycle as much plastic as they could. There is a particular overuse of plastic bottles in their community, so this seemed the best place to start. The project aims to collect plastic bottles as well as encouraging other members to use the recycling bins that are already in the community. Better recycling initiatives and raising awareness of the problem, means that they can contribute to keeping plastic out of the oceans. It is said by 2050 that there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish. This worrying prediction highlights the need for all of us to play our part in supporting this goal.
Global Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Arguably the most precious resource on Earth is water, however only around 3% of the water on our planet is fresh water suitable for drinking. UN Sustainable Goal 6 is increasingly becoming one of the most urgent issues in many third world countries around the world. The team leaders are busily fundraising to build a well in Bangladesh.
Global Goal 1: No Poverty
Poverty can be an overwhelming issue to tackle. There are endless possibilities when considering where to start. However for the no poverty team leaders, the answer to this question was already being considered by a parent of the school. One of our parents runs a charity linked to an orphanage in Nigeria. During his recent visit he discovered that many of the children did not have shoes or the ones that did were using shoes that were ill-fitting. His mission was to provide the children with shoes. Our brilliant team leaders came up with an even better idea, growing shoes. Growing shoes can be adjusted to be made bigger as the child grows. The founder of the charity loved the idea and the no poverty team are now pitching ideas to the Head Teacher, Mr Freeman, for approval.
Global Goal 5: Gender Equality
The big surprise for the Gender Equality team was to discover how girls are treated differently to boys in many countries around the world. The team researched how boys were given more opportunities particularly in developing countries. They also considered countries where society dictated gender specific roles. The aim now is to promote gender equality through awareness projects in our school and beyond.
Global Goal 4: Quality Education
Access to education in many economically wealthy countries is often taken for granted however many children in developing countries have little or no access to any form of schooling. It is estimated that 70 million children worldwide do not receive a proper education. The team leaders came up with a great way to make the education journey easier for local orphans in Yuzhno. They decided to organize a shoebox appeal they call “School in a Box.” The idea is to help others by providing a gift package of school items that may be needed.
Craig Jones is a project leader and P7 teacher and says “we cannot save the world by ourselves, but we can contribute in our own way. By supporting the school’s vision of developing our children as future accountable global citizens, we can encourage a more internationally minded and compassionate group of people who can make a difference in the world. Along with high standards of academic achievement we also need high standards of thoughtfulness, cooperation and morality." Craig is originally from the Rhondda Valley in SouthWales, UK. He has been teaching for 12 years. He is currently the IPC Lead at Sakhalin International School where he runs a UN Goalkeepers Club. Craig is a passionate educator who believes in educating children as a whole focusing on the IPC personal goals as well as teaching international mindedness through the UN Global Goals. Craig is a big believer in lifelong learning and has just completed a Masters Degree in Education and he plans to move onto his next Masters, in Psychology later this year. As well as Russia he has also taught in Colombia, Malaysia and the UK. Aside from teaching, Craig loves to travel to new places especially to places where he can see wildlife in their natural habitats. You can connect further with Craig on Twitter at @CraigLearning.