We are delighted to share a blog written by student Nadia, from Puntacana International School, Dominican Republic, delivering a Global Goals project for the 2020-21 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.
Our team’s primary goal is to restore and preserve our area’s beaches and to raise awareness about the problems in the area such as the death of corals, erosion, plastic and aquatic pollution and human or animal threats towards our native species.
Firstly, we will work to restore our reefs by cleaning up beaches, collecting signatures in petitions, and working with existing eco-friendly organizations in our area that focus on the restoration of corals. Second, we want to preserve the changes we make by raising awareness and educating our community on the importance of coral reefs, which we’ll do through posters, flyers, surveys, educational videos, programs and through social media.
When we first began our project, we were hesitant about which topic to choose from, but when we investigated further on the dangers our reefs faced and their importance, we immediately knew we would focus on our country’s beaches. Furthermore, coastal areas are the main attraction for tourists, the main source of income and our national pride in our community. We feel that this is a cause many other Dominicans will want to support. We don’t look to end climate change, since it’s a global phenomenon, but rather do our best to impact and benefit our community, and inspire others to do their part in halting the effects of climate change. To us, a small change is better than nothing, and we believe that no matter how high we set our goals, we will still be proud of the outcome.
We first created our team when we heard of this program last year, and since then we have gone through many issues. One of our members was unable to participate due to personal matters, we had to integrate a new member, had to work through many time difficulties due to the busy schedules of many of our members and, of course, deal with the issue of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Something we’ve learned that would be necessary to mention is the knowledge we obtained on our coastal environment. The more we learned about the situation of climate change, the more we felt frustrated, disappointed, and upset, but most of all, even more motivated to continue on with our project and do our best to make a worthwhile change. This is why we felt it was so necessary to raise awareness on the actual situation of our reefs. We cannot make a change in our community through ignorance.
Another element of difficulty was learning to manage new situations. We set many goals for our project that we had never done before, like designing an image that reflected our project, communicating and collaborating with other organizations, establishing a reliable social media presence on multiple platforms, organizing events, and performing surveys and petitions, all of which presented a new challenge. On the other hand, there were ideas that we had experience with, and we divided the responsibilities between our group accordingly, which taught us how to use the experience we already had and apply it to new situations.
Throughout our journey so far we have definitely learned valuable skills in patience, responsibility, group work, organization and time management, as well as learning how to maneuver through obstacles. We have adapted many of our plans which we wanted to execute in person, like surveys, petitions and meetings, to online or socially distanced alternatives. If there was one lesson that we have learned the best, it would be working efficiently as a team.
Our Next Chapter
Since we have yet to meet all our goals, we have plans for the future. We have taken surveys to determine the level of knowledge on climate change in different grades, and from there we will create personalized videos and lessons created to raise awareness. Hopefully we will be able to expand this idea to other schools in the area, which we are hopeful for as we have already contacted one other school which was willing to collaborate with us.
Currently, we have planned meetings and tours with other eco-friendly organizations from our community and we plan to volunteer with them, as well as working with other students. We are also constantly maintaining our social media accounts and creating designs for flyers. We are excited to see what our project becomes and how it impacts our community in the future.
The 2020-21 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2021. If you belong to one of the 500+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.