Tanith Harding, Head of International Projects for the RoundTable Global Legacy Project, describes the great opportunity for students and schools to make a difference – and develop self-belief and leadership abilities in young people
How can we empower our students to be responsible for change in the world? To help them understand that age is just a number and enable them to empower others?
It’s a question that RoundTable Global Legacy Project have been asking since 2012 – and the reason that we are so excited to have created an opportunity to do just this for our Global Youth Awards 2019. For the last seven years we have been seeking out young people who refuse to be told that they are too young to make an impact. Seeing young people demonstrating against climate change and other important topics is a sign of change. They want to make an impact and are refusing to leave it in the hands of the politicians and governments to do it for them.
An example: Kids Against Plastic
Amy and Ella Meek, winners of our Environmental Rejuvenation Award for Most Imaginative Project 2018, are an inspiring example of the change that can be made when you decide to make a diﬀerence. At 15 and 13, these remarkable sisters are the founders of Kids Against Plastic, a charity set up by kids for kids, to raise awareness and understanding of the problems caused by plastic misuse. Inspired by the UN’s global goals after finding out about the negative eﬀect single-use plastic is having on the environment, they launched this campaign with the aim of educating others and stimulating action. Inspired in turn by the passion and purpose of these two young women, TEDx got in touch and the two were able to add their names to the list of inspiring TED talkers and expand their reach to even more people. Their latest initiative is child-led Plastic Clever Schools, which plans to empower other young people to become change-makers and lead their own schools towards a ‘plastic clever’ future.
Since winning our award in September, Amy and Ella have been finding out the benefits of joining our global network and the opportunities that have arisen from becoming a Global Youth Ambassador for 12 months (part of the prize package). Amy updates us: “Ella and I have gained a lot from being Global Youth Ambassadors this year. Since working with an excellent mentor after receiving our award (and prize package), we have had the opportunity to speak at the Danone Waters international conference in London, and have been supported and given tips on public speaking and how to work with larger companies such as Danone. The RoundTable Shine programme has also helped me to develop as an individual; in my self-belief and leadership capabilities.” Find out more about Kids Against Plastic and register your school to join the revolution here.
Youth Awards: the opportunity
The Global Youth Awards 2019 will be run in six diﬀerent countries and are an opportunity for young people aged 11-17 to be recognised for the impressive things that they are doing to create change. We want to inspire schools to create projects that can then be registered for the awards. It could be an environmental project, educating or empowering others or working on a community project that will create lasting change. It may be that you are already involved in a project in your school for which you want to raise awareness and see your pupils rewarded for the work they have put in. Entries can be as individuals, small groups, year groups or even as a whole school.
Registration is really simple, only takes five minutes and will automatically qualify for free entry to the UK awards which will be held in London in September 2019. With 3,408 secondary schools and 2,297 independent schools in the UK alone, imagine the change that could happen if each school committed to just one project!
If you are interested in finding out more about the awards you can download the pack included on the blog with ideas and case studies. Visit the website to register an existing project. Or watch the video from last year’s UK event.