World Perspective

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On her Gold Project, Eliza helped build a school in Sri Lanka with Round Square.

Eliza tells us, “In Sri Lanka, there were fifty students representing twenty-five different countries. In 10 days, we built a school with a playground and cricket pitch for the Wasgamuwa community. It was definitely hard work in the heat, concreting, laying bricks and slashing grass, but with our powerful and determined team, we were able to accomplish our goals! We were able to experience the culture and beauty of Sri Lanka. … This trip was facilitated by Flooglebinder, a travel and sustainability company. Throughout the trip, we had many presentations and discussions about environmental conservation and the role we play in it. It inspired me to implement an environmental initiative called Ecobricks in my school community, to create purposeful structures such as chairs and garden beds with plastic recycling.”​

- Eliza
Bronze, Silver & Gold Achiever

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Rose volunteered at an elephant rescue centre in Thailand. Hear what she learned in her own words.​

 

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For her Gold Project, Davina went on an international exchange in Uganda. For three months, she studied at university and worked for a non-profit organization, DefendDefenders Uganda, promoting and protecting human rights. In her own words:

As a result of my experience in Uganda, I gained fresh and new perspectives that helped me critically assess local community challenges and solutions that could be extrapolated and applied to larger global communities. This became a great steppingstone to one of my largest projects, DOC-IT. Through DOC-IT, I aided human rights organizations trying to innovate in their monitoring, research, and campaigning programs. I was responsible for facilitating workshops with a curriculum based on social media campaigns I made to a wide range of human rights organizations, including those that worked closely with the LGBT community. By working with DefendDefenders I have seen firsthand the importance of research, policy, and securing information as it pertains to human rights defenders at risk.

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Davina discovered interest in a new career. She says, “Putting myself in a brand-new situation opened up possibilities. It showed me that I have a passion for international development.” Inspired by her new perspective, and made confident by her experience, Davina jumped on a new opportunity. “If I hadn’t done my Project in Uganda, I probably wouldn’t have done this,” she tells us. “This year, I was in India working for a social entrepreneurship foundation. We gave people in rural areas tools to create businesses which solve everyday issues and can be scaled up to help people all over the world.

- Davina
Bronze & Silver Achiever, Gold Participant

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Through volunteering at a village school in Malawi, Claire gained a new perspective, both on culture and what she was capable of: “I was able to co-teach a music class along with another volunteer teacher whom I met only 3 days prior to starting classes. Together we decided that we wanted to try to teach the students a new English song each day. With only a weekend to prepare, we chose songs and wrote out the lyrics on large sheets of paper for display at the front of the class. The school had one guitar and 13 hand drums that we could use. The next challenge was having to set up our classroom outside in the blazing, hot sun. The students were so excited to come to music class each day and learn a new song with actions, as well as review the ones we had learned the previous days. They had such a passion and talent for music that we made sure to give them time to experiment and demonstrate their own interpretation and unique music styles. Despite being initially disappointed at the lack of available resources I realized how creative I could be when I had the strong motivation for what I was doing. The students impacted me greatly with their gratitude and desire to learn new things."

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Claire also fundraised to remove barriers and support education for girls. She tells us, “I became aware that one of the barriers to girls receiving an education in Africa was a lack of menstrual supplies. Through further research I learned of a company called AFRIpads, that make a reusable, sustainable solution for women and girls ... Through Talent Show/Dessert Nights, bottle drives, soup and bun lunches, and approaching individual donors, we raised money to go towards these kits. During our time at Cornerstone School in SaIima, Malawi, we were able to purchase 200 kits for the school and present them to the female students. The girls were overjoyed to receive these. ... It was very fulfilling to see the smiles on their faces.

- Claire
Bronze, Silver & Gold Achiever​

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Olivia helped improve school facilities for girls in India for her Gold Project. Here is her story:

I travelled to India with a group of girls. We worked together to build a latrine at a school, so the girls will not have to go home when they need to use the washroom, out of embarrassment. They often don’t come back to school because they live too far away and travel by foot. We interacted with school girls from the community, sharing glimpses of our cultures with each other. One of my favourite memories was singing a common pop song (with the girls on my trip) to the group of girls from the community. Then the girls in the community sang a song in Hindi to us, and my heart was warmed. The smiles on their faces poured right into me, and I felt as if the barrier of language and culture that separated us before, vanished. It was a unique and amazing experience to be two groups of girls from completely different backgrounds; we still felt a deep connection with each other being all women and girls, despite our differences.

- Olivia
Bronze & Silver Achiever, Gold Participant​

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