Despite the early start of a 4am meet up at school to fly to Milan for the 2015 Euro Global Issues Network conference, our students were excited to be representing our Seeds of Growth project.
Inspired by the GIN conference in Luxembourg last year, Halcyon GIN club wanted to emulate the model of having a project that would be hands-on and local (not just fundraising or raising awareness), as well as sustainable and with the potential to grow.
One of our GIN club members, Nate Stumpff, applied for funding from an organisation he met at a TedxTeen talk in London called Think Big. He was successful and the money was used to start Seeds of Growth. Seeds of Growth has started in the garden of an elderly residents' home in Paddington. The aim is to grow fresh vegetables for the benefit of the residents, as the elderly are at a high risk of malnutrition. There is the added bonus of being able to interact with the residents, many of whom are lonely and love meeting our students.
You can see their work at http://nstumpff55.wix.com/seeds-of-growth
Our students gave two fantastic interactive presentations at the Euro Global Issues Network conference to show what we are doing at Halcyon, which we are going to show to the rest of the school in assembly on 16 April. We also heard some inspiring talks from other schools on topics including women's rights, censorship in Russia, sanitation and refugees. All of these talks show how young people are taking action. We also heard from some impressive keynote speakers who are working on sustainable projects such as smokeless cooking tablets made from compressed wood to reduce lung diseases, labour and wood use and toilets in areas where open defecation is the norm, increasing water borne diseases. We are hoping to have yet another of the speakers to open our forthcoming MUN conference, but we will keep that one a secret for now.
Here is a glowing write-up of the conference by one of the keynote speakers, who founded the organisation Everyday Ambassador, Kate Otto. If you look in the back row of the photo, you will see our students.