Bangalore: Vidyashilp Academy recently hosted the 2019 closing ceremony of the Indian chapter of ‘Mission Possible’, an initiative by the United Nations Association’s agency WFUNA. The program convened 77 students from two cities Vidyashilp Academy in Bangalore and Meridian School Banjara Hills from Hyderabad. The closing ceremony is the culminating event of the Mission Possible program where student groups present the work they had taken up in their communities for the past 6 months. This is a platform where active global citizens talk about the change they have brought about in their local contexts.
This national-level conference saw some strong presentations from the students about their work contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students presented the projects developed as part of the program curriculum and shared the outcomes and experiences gathered over the past year.
The event began with the guest speakers who engaged in a dialogue session with the students. The panel providing feedback to student presentations comprised of Ms. Monica Burba, WFUNA’s Global Citizenship Education Consultant- New York, Ms. Neena Gupte, Program Manager from Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, Mumbai and Ms. Soujanya Ganig, National Program Coordinator along with the Mission Possible Faculty mentors from VSA.
Following the dialogue session, the Mission Possible students presented their projects that addressed several of the Sustainable Development Goals. The students of Vidyashilp Academy along with other agents of change from India provided solutions to global issues through youth-led advocacy and project management. Fifteen student-led projects, addressing 10 out of 17 SDGs, were presented. Various teams presented their projects pertaining to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as providing quality resources to the visually impaired students with regards to industry, innovation and infrastructure facilities to schools for the blind, reducing inequalities and providing sanitary products for promoting well-being and hygiene at government schools. Overall the students demonstrated and adhered to the management skills and the 21st-century outlook for addressing the local issues in the communities as laid out by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking on the occasion Mrs. Kalai Selvi, Head of the School, Vidyashilp Academy said, ”We started our association with WFUNA 4 years ago, it’s encouraging to see the number of student participants steadily increasing. From 13 students in 2015-16, we have 120 students this year working on the SDG’s. We feel so delighted to see our children and their parents equally engaged in this social commitment. Listening to one group of our students while they shared that a differently abled teacher when asked to use the Braille based board game, the joy she and her colleagues sensed was unparalleled. Initiative to create resources to help children who are visually challenged speaks volumes about Shilpites genuine desire to be change influencers. We feel inspired by our student’s sensitivity while handling issues and their goals to bring more meaning to their lives and others. This initiative offers the most significant lessons of life and a journey for our students to prepare themselves for global citizenship.
“Being present at the closing ceremony at Vidyashilp Academy was life-changing. I was very proud to see the students’ confidence and excitement for their projects. These students are going to change the world”, said Ms. Monica Burba, WFUNA’s Global Citizenship Education Consultant- New York.
The event came to a close with an award felicitation for the students. Recently the students also visited WIMUN 2019 Future Leaders programme organized by the World Federation United Nations Association at New York. 1200 delegates from 70 countries participated for WIMUN, where Tejas Dutt& Anika Mohapatra bought laurels by winning ‘Diplomacy Award’.