The Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations address the global challenges we face, for example poverty, inequality, climate change and environmental degradation. Nexus International School Malaysia put these words into action on their Global Goals Action Day. Read all about it in this article!
The 5th Nexus Global Goals Action Day saw more than 800 volunteers coming together to participate in 24 activities which addressed the 17UNSDGs. The volunteers included students, teachers and staff members of Nexus International School Malaysia, as well as visitors, who came together to promote and take action towards sustainability during the recently concluded 5th Nexus Global Goals Action Day, in November 2019.
Beach clean-up at Tanjung Tan beach
Learners from Nexus International School Malaysia contributed to the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, by executing a beach clean-up at Tanjung Tuan beach, Negeri Sembilan.
This activity was in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism (MOT), with MOT sponsoring the initiative. More than 80 students facilitated by six teachers gathered at the beach as early as 8.00am for a briefing session.
Among the activities carried out include the release of baby turtles back into the sea, beach clean-up, the making of waste art signage using wooden recycled items, and waste audit and sortings. Volunteers also placed recycle bins at the beach to ensure responsible waste management in the future.
Nexus Learner Chelsea Lim said: “This activity has made us realise how much waste is being produced every year.” She added that the beach clean-up activity was exciting and hopes that Malaysians limit the use of polystyrene and single-use plastics.
The beach clean-up was part of the Nexus Global Goals Project led by the Nexus Curriculum Enhancement Director, Ainslie Dann. The objective of the project was to address all 17 UNSDGs via a variety of activities, conducted either at or outside the school premises.
Working with the Orang Asli
Another project conducted was the ‘Working with the Orang Asli’ programme, where Nexus volunteers partnered with the Making Orang Asli Mother Independent (MOAMI) organisation. Volunteers travelled to an Orang Asli village called Kampung Tekir, Negeri Sembilan and worked with the community to initiate and implement ideas for reusing waste. They helped to build a playground, make art pieces and paint a mural.
“Nexus community’s commitment to the Global Goals has developed over the past 5 years and gone from strength to strength. We have been able to take a lead role in promoting sustainable development throughout schools in Malaysia. It is the dedication of our teachers and learners to making a difference in the World that has made this day a success. Nexus does much more than this day and the Global Goals are now a key component in our school’s curriculum from Early Years right through to IB Diploma,” said Nexus International School Malaysia Principal David Griffiths.
Other activities at the Nexus Global Goals Action Day 2019
Meanwhile, as part of the Action Day, students and teachers participated in one of the 24 activities, such as starting an Edible Garden, a Global Goals Language Workshop, and an Energy and Water Audit, to name a few, that happened concurrently within and outside the school. All activities aimed to create awareness of the SDGs among learners and encourage them to contribute to sustainability. The project also set a platform for students to adopt new skills and prepare for the uncertainty that awaits them in the world they are going to enter.
Teachers, parents and learners came together to start an edible garden. An organisation specialised in gardening came in to work with the community. Volunteers worked the soil using compost. The idea is for the garden to reap vegetation which can be supplied to the school canteen, as well as for students to have a fun outdoor gardening lesson every now and then.
Global Goals languages workshop
The aim of this workshop is to raise awareness about the Global Goals among the multilingual audience. Learners research Global Goals in their mother tongue, and produce a multilingual video to advocate for sustainability around the world. Languages in the video included Malay, Korean, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and English.
Nexus community fundraising
Learners cum volunteers brainstormed fundraising ideas to support charity activities which include sports, baking, science experiments, and artwork for refugees. In the past, volunteers sold Christmas cards and opened hair waxing booths to raise money in order to support these activities. Organising fun and educational activities for refugees has helped students improve their communication skills, as they learn how to interact with people with various backgrounds.
Sustainable fashion – Online swap shop
Addressing the 12th Global Goal which is Responsible Consumption and Production, the ‘Sustainable fashion – Online swap shop’ got learners to create an online shopping portal for the Nexus Community to swap clothes, purchase second hand items and donate clothes for charity.
The team will also be selling the donated apparel during the International Baccalaureate (IB) charity week set to happen in the first week of December. Money raised will go to charity.
Learners got into groups to discuss business plans which sell sustainable products. They were guided to research the feasibility of the products, costs, advantages, disadvantages, and marketing plans.
Designing a Nexus ‘Zen’ space
Learners in this activity drew out a plan to create a ‘Zen’ space at the school, more of a place for students, teachers or staff members to get some quiet time for themselves, do introspection and retrospection, and detach themselves from the demanding and fast paced world, when they want to.
The room is set to be equipped with adult colouring books, calligraphy artworks, cosy bean bags, and soothing music. Tech gadgets which include phones and iPads will not be allowed into the space.
Do your ‘bit’
Addressing the 14th UNSDG, ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’, learners investigated the fishing problem of bycatch. They programmed microbit by incorporating properties of light and sound, in hope to solve the bycatch problem. This is because it has been scientifically proven that certain frequency of light and sound can detract unwanted fish.
Energy and water audit
The school has recently had a high electricity bill. Thereupon, a group of learners got together to come up with a set of questionnaire to audit the usage of energy and water in the school. Questionnaires were shared with the whole school and based on the results, recommendations were given to the school management to use energy and water more responsibly.
Sustainable school policy writers
Learners discussed the overall school policies and identified grey areas where policies related to sustainability can be included. This were things such as minimising waste, recycling, efficient use of power and waste, etc. The group of students then came up with several policies which could potentially be added to the existing one. These policies will be presented to the management for approval.
Year 8 plastics campaign planning
Nexus Year 8 students pledged that by the end of May 2020, they would come up with a project to address the single-use-plastic issue. They have planned out campaigns and activities such as beach clean-ups. The group of students will also be raising money to support a workshop by a third party organisation who would teach creative ways to reuse plastics.
Recording a charity single
Learners got together to produce two covers which will be sold, and the money will go for charity.
Reusable wax wraps
Learners created reusable wax wraps using fabric and organic beeswax (edible) to replace single use plastic wrapping. This can be used to wrap food, presents, pack-up soap and toiletries when travelling. Sheets can be washed after use. The lifespan of every sheet is approximately 1 year, provided it’s not exposed to extreme hot temperatures, because the wax can melt. So, users must be careful to let food cool down first before wrapping it. The wax wraps will be sold during the charity week in the first week of December.
Soap making workshop
Learners made soaps from organic ingredients namely goat’s milk, lavender, jasmine and lemon essential oil. Soaps will be sold at the IB charity week in the first week of December.
SPCA Pet Care Programme
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Selangor is an animal welfare organisation based in Ampang Jaya, Selangor. The aim of the SPCA is to protect defenseless animals and to alleviate their suffering. Nexus Learners became volunteers for the SPCA after completing a Pet Care Programme in learning the correct way to handle and care for animals.
Upcycling and repurposing old furniture
Learners found ways to breathe new life into damaged or well-worn pieces of furniture that nobody wants, using creativity to make practical and stylish pieces that can be used again.
A vegetarian cooking workshop was conducted to teach volunteers how to cook delicious and healthy vegetarian meals.
About Nexus International School Malaysia
Established in Putrajaya in 2008, Nexus International School is a member of the Taylor’s Education Group, which encompasses some of the largest and most successful international schools in Malaysia and Singapore.
Nexus International School caters to students from early years to pre-university and offers the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC), International Primary Curriculum (IPC), IGCSE, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Its current enrolment is approximately 650 students from over 30 nationalities. In addition, the Nexus Boarding House provides boarding facilities for 10 to 18 years old.
Nexus International School strives to create in its school an inviting place, in which human respect and values are balanced against academic rigour, and where learners are encouraged to realise their potential and to respect their own unique worth as well as that of others.
For more information and pictures, please drop Nexus an email or call 03-8889 3868.
This post is written and sponsored by Nexus International School.