We are delighted to share a blog written by student Nirvi, from Pathways School Gurgaon, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2021-22 GSL Global Goals Competition.
Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community!
I often wonder. How could our previous generations be so careless to have left us with the bleeding planet? How could they have not seen what is the impact their actions are having? I have now realised it’s the youth that needs to take charge. We cannot just sit and wait for actions to be taken by politicians or bureaucrats. Change starts with us! Each one of us have the power and the potential to bring about a change. And every small action counts in our fight against earth’s extinction.
With this goal, we started on our journey on our GSL project. We are working towards the issue deforestation, having seen the drastic impact of deforestation all around us. Deforestation is the cause of pollution, flooding, climate change and more. Seeing all this, my team and I knew that we had to stop this major crisis before it is too late.
We believe there are three ways you can save the environment and contribute to climate action. One, spread awareness to people around you about this issue. Two, change your own lifestyle to help save the environment. Lastly, take actions in your surroundings.
To take actions on this, we launched a fundraiser in collaboration with the NGO One Tree Planted. We raised over 1,000 USD from our fundraiser. We used this money to plant over thousand trees. We also raised funds by selling plants around our neighbourhood.
We collaborated with the well-reputed NGO Yuva Unstoppable. We conducted awareness sessions in government schools in Delhi and interacted with over hundred kids. We planted over 65 trees at one of the schools together with the kids.
We went to many classes in our school to raise awareness of kids on the issue of deforestation, pollution and climate change. We shared lots of ideas on how kids can contribute to reducing deforestation and climate change, asking them to sign a pledge to make earth better.
We have also created an app, and channels on social media, including YouTube and Instagram channels, to spread awareness on the issue and to inspire others to take actions, even if they are small.
Every small act counts. And we need to change before it’s too late.
I learnt tremendously and developed many skills during my journey.
I enhanced my communication skills, as I had to communicate with my family, friends, neighbours and other kids around to raise awareness using various mediums. In addition, I improved my influencing skills as I had to collect funds for my plantation drive by convincing my family and friends. I also enhanced my communication skills when I created my YouTube and Instagram pages as I needed to create impactful videos. I improved my design skills while creating engaging posts for Instagram.
My research skills were strengthened as I researched about my issue using different mediums including websites, books, family and friends. I further sharpened my self-management skills, independently planning my actions from the start of the project, ensuring I meet the timelines and submit my work in time. My social skills and collaboration skills improved as I interacted and collaborated with my group members and worked with the NGOs that I partnered with.
One of the challenges I faced in this journey was learning how to converge different set of ideas in our group to something we all are aligned with. Sometimes we all had different opinions and it was difficult to arrive at a consensus. This journey has indeed taught me how to do this well, and with this experience, I feel confident to work more collaboratively and effectively in teams in future.
Ensuring our actions are sustainable would be challenging in future. I plan to use my time-management skills to ensure I keep aside few hours every week to continue making earth better with my actions.
The Next Chapter
From the start of the project, we have been mindful of taking sustainable actions. This is a project for life, not just a project for a competition.
We will continue to post videos, pictures and infographics on our Instagram and YouTube pages, making it a sustainable effort which continues to raise awareness on the issues and inspires others to take actions even after the GSL project. We will also continue to organise events and spread awareness in our society, school, and other relevant groups. We will maintain the environment friendly daily habits we have acquired. We will plan and host many plantation drives in the future as well.
If you want to help and make a difference, start by changing your own habits. For example, instead of using plastic or paper bags, you can use cloth tote bags which can be reused and recycled. You can use tree-free paper to save trees. Picking up a specific issue that you are passionate about and working through a dedicated project like GSL would help bring focus to your efforts.
No action is small. Don’t doubt your contributions. Start acting now! Let’s make earth better, one small step at a time.