Following the huge success of last year’s virtual leadership weekend, the COBIS GSL World Catalyst, we are excited to share some social action stories from the participants to help inspire you on your journey.

This page also contains live footage of the 2020 graduation event, and of the GSL student panel at the 2021 COBIS annual conference, where they spoke about the impact of the programme.

Last year, the annual Student Leadership Weekend in Madrid could not take place due to COVID-19. In response, we developed the COBIS GSL World Catalyst in partnership with Future Foundations and the Wellington Leadership and Coaching Institute.

At a time when students could not travel, this programme provided the opportunity for 191 young people from 19 COBIS schools to connect. We are delighted to be providing this opportunity for our students for the second year in a row.


After the leadership weekend participants are invited to take on an independent social challenge. During the 30-day period participants took the opportunity to take positive action and support an organisation or cause that they are passionate about.

Below you’ll find examples of some of the independent challenges taken by our Global Social Leaders after the COBIS GSL World Catalyst in November 2020.

JANANI PLEDGED TO RAISE FUNDS for somebody’s heart surgery

Charity/Organisation: Heart to Heart

How much was raised? £138

What was done? Janani raised money for the charity Heart to Heart that supports Children to receive Heart Surgery and organised a bake sale at her school.

She received support from the Charity Committee and other student volunteers to run her bake sale.

Janani created posters to advertise her bake sale and arranged for different people to make and sell their cakes.

“You see, for me, taking action not only means benefiting me but the community. That’s when I decided to reach out for the charity sector. After closer research, I decided to help donate to a charity called Heart to Heart, a charity here in shanghai that donates money to children needing life saving heart surgery.

It makes me feel delighted that I can help with saving a child’s life. Even though it may not be enough for some, I kept trying and I was determined to do whatever I can to help see a smile on a child’s face to see that I was a part of saving their life.”

Aishah published ‘Earth is Burning, Earth is Melting’ Posters to raise awareness towards littering & its effects

Davida used her artistic skills to draw a poster with powerful message: STOP GLOBAL WARMING!  

Tamerlan took action to promote Animal Support & designed Adoption Poster for an injured kitten

After witnessing a heart-breaking incident with a street kitten, Tamerlan decided to take action by raising the local communities awareness towards animals in the city. He went on to created posters (in English and Turkish) to spread his message and he also created posters to find a family for the kitten.

“I was deeply shocked by the case which our family witnessed. A street cat was seriously injured because she was looking for warm shelter and we found it under the car hood. Obviously, the unaware driver started the car and unavoidable happened. The car drove away and the poor cat was left bleeding on the ground. We took the cat and did everything possible to bring it back to normal life.

To prevent similar cases I started a campaign to raise drivers’ awareness about it. I was surprised by how many people had experienced similar cases. I also had a lot of positive responses and commitments from people to follow my advice. Because we already have cats at home I also started a campaign to find a home for the cats once it’s will be fully recovered.”

Rosa launched her ‘Children First’ fundraising campaign and started a blog for her community.

Rosa supported the charity Children First for her Independent Challenge. She set up her own website and launched a fundraising campaign! She spread the word through posts and videos on social media, and asked her friends and family for their support and donations. She raised a total of £680!

Rosa also decided to write blogs and share them on her website. She challenged herself to write a blog everyday for 10 days, to raise awareness for the charity and their work. In each of her blogs she tells the story of a child that they have supported and her thoughts on their story.

“I have started out thinking about how to raise awareness about an NGO that would reach many people and so I made a website dedicated to Children First and more specifically one of their projects involving garbage children in Pakistan.

I have launched a fundraising campaign (1000 EURO before Christmas) and a blog to go with it.

I talk about the children that are supported by the NGO in my blog; each blog tells the story of a child and my thoughts related to them.

My motivation was hearing about the children my mom met in her work journeys. I have gained people’s attention about the subject and they are donating to help the cause.”

Aditi designed the Pakke Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme

Aditi used her knowledge and research to created an adoption programme to save the Great Hornbills


Once the 30-days of action period is over, participants are encouraged to attend a virtual graduation event to celebrate what they have achieved. The event showcases what students have learnt and accomplished during the programme. E-certificates are then awarded following the event.

Below you are able to watch live footage of last years graduation events – both the morning and afternoon sessions.



At the 2020 COBIS annual conference, a panel of students who took part in the leadership weekend shared their experience, and explored how we can support your students to be leaders in their lives and communities. Watch the video below.


I will always remember that no matter where you live in the world people can come together for a common interest or cause

PichsineeGSL COBIS World Catalyst 2020

I learnt that to be a good leader, you must always be kind and never judge people by what they look like or anything that is visible on the surface – never make assumptions on how much of an impact a person can make on your team

Maryam GSL COBIS World Catalyst 2020

Age does not limit what you can achieve. No change is too small. Never back down from a challenge because mistakes do not define the final result

AshleyGSL COBIS World Catalyst 2020

GSL was very inclusive and we got to know each other really well. I met people from all over the world and I got to learn new things and hear other people’s opinions on situation/issues going on in today’s world

Ella-MaeGSL COBIS World Catalyst 2020

I will always remember the teamwork we did in the breakout rooms, because every time I was put out with different people, I was getting the chance to know a lot about the people’s opinions and their thoughts

DilbarGSL COBIS World Catalyst 2020

There was a lot of discussions and conversations about issues in countries around the world, different views, and much more! I believe that this was great for everyone as discussing and talking about issues and how they can be resolved is important

NorhannahGSL COBIS World Catalyst 2020