Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November's events: Global Issues Network

November was filled with GIN events, planning, and action:

BeiGIN: Beijing Global Issues Network Conference

The theme of the conference:
Hope, Humanity, Opportunity
From November 8th to 10th, 24 delegates from SAS's GIN club attended a conference in Beijing. Each of us were placed in Global Action Network Groups (GANGs) to brainstorm solutions to problems prevalent in South East Asia. I was in the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Loss GANG. Collaborating with people from Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand was an eye-opening experience, as we had to think about how solutions would be implemented given specific circumstances in each of these countries.

After attending and facilitating a GANG in last year's GINSING conference, however, I definitely feel that BeiGIN could have been more effective. Many of the actions we discussed were already in place at SAS, including a week-long environmental science trip to study the integrity of an ecosystem (Tioman!), article publishing in school 
periodicals (Crossroads and the Singapore American), and cultivating an eco-garden on campus (I'm a part of SAVE's eco-garden committee and our plans are currently being evaluated by administration). 

On the Great Wall  
The workshops and speakers were more focused on humanitarian issues; I actually cried when we watched Girl Rising (and I never cry during movies). I found its dual messages of challenge and hope really encouraging. I'm so grateful for the education I've received. 

Bundled up in the 5 degree C air, climbing up the Great Wall, and hunting for restaurants at 10 pm, all of us GIN members and officers bonded over this trip. It was a great end to fall break. 

Middle School GIN Mentoring - Success! 

Every Tuesday, high school GIN members and officers, including me, help middle school students interested in global issues, in their own GIN club. And as a part of SAS GIN, Service Council, and Wish for Kids (club)'s Wish for Tabuelan fundraising initiative for families devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, Middle School GIN took up the opportunity to raise thousands of dollars in the form of a competition. They used a coin-point system to increase competition among the sections of each grade, using an ice-cream treat at the end as the main motivator (food always works). In 7 days, this Coin Craze for Cebu has raised about $12,200! That's a large contribution to the school wide fundraiser that has raised $59,036.77 to date. 

Speaker Series 

GIN wrapped up its speaker series for the semester with World Vision, a disaster relief agency dedicated to helping children, and Emma Freedman, a teen conservationist who started Jungle Heroes. We had a decent turnout for each talk and are glad that other students are taking interest in our GINitiatives. 

Emma Freedman's poster 
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Enjoy your days off and get some extra sleep. Consider going easy on the turkey; you owe the planet! 

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