Following the COBIS GSL World Catalyst, students were invited to carry out an independent challenge to address an issue that they feel passionate about in their community. Find out more below about some of the fantastic projects our 2021 participants carried out.
- Christmas Presents for Hope Orphanage
- Afghanistan Crisis Support
- Importance of Education: Book Donations
- Raising Awareness about Food Wastage
- Organising Donations for an Orphanage
- Rio Tinto Mines
- Raising Funds and Awareness
- Help the Environment - TikTok Challenge
- Poverty Awareness Programme
- Beach Clean-up Initiative
Alba, 12 years old, British School of St Petersburg (Russia)
"As the head student in the British School of St. Petersburg I encouraged the student council to have a charity week at school to raise awareness of children who haven't had the privilege of parents supporting them. The charity week from 15-19th November included a movie afternoon, bake sale, teacher v student sport competition and and art and craft morning. It cost 500 rubles/6.1 Euro to participate.
After this week we had raised a total of 33,010 Ruble (397 Euros). Moreover thanks to one of the parents at school who is the coach of SKA hockey team, my own dad, Mr.Pascual and Mr.Manos (coach and team manager of Zenit basketball team), I was able to get a signet hockey, basketball and football T-Shirt, which I later on auctioned at the end of our Christmas school performance. Thanks to the winners of the auction we were able to raise 156000 Ruble (1,876 Euros) to add to the amount, giving us a total amount of 189,000 Rubles (2,273 Euros) raised. With this money we were able to fill 40 shoe-box X-mas present to donate to the orphanage for children aged 3 to 15. Each box was filled with 8-10 presents or necessities for the orphans. The rest of the money was also donated to the orphanage."
Carolina, 18 years old, The British School of Milan (Italy)
"Me and my friend, who also attended the COBIS GSL course, were particularly appalled when we learnt about the ongoing Afghanistan Crisis. Therefore, we decided to use the COBIS challenge as an opportunity to initiate a project to raise funds for the civilians. After researching multiple organisations, we selected UNICEF as our chosen charity because of it’s aim to provide sanitation and shelter to those in need. We raised money by organizing a non-uniform day at school, where each student was asked to donate €2 and wear a white shirt to symbolise our desire for peace. We were delighted to raise over €500, an achievement we are immensely proud of. What I was mostly happy about was the incredible rate of participation we received from students and staff: all willing to contribute to our cause. Other than raising funds, this event created a strong sense of unity amongst all students and staff!"
Isabel, 17 years old, The British School of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
"I paired up with my friend and we started the challenge together. Affected by the situation in Afghanistan, we were inspired to raise awareness about literacy rates and access to education, specifically for girls. We drew up an action plan and have already consulted with the head teachers in our school and we will start the collection of books in January. We hope to collect a range of books such as novels and be able to send it off to our charity (Books Beyond Borders) which will distribute them across Asia and Africa to schools and orphanages who are in need of books. We also hope to raise enough money support the schools so they can buy textbooks and other necessities.
Additionally, we set up an Instagram account for our school where we kept our students informed about current affairs. We aim to raise awareness on the positive impact education and literacy can have not only on the economy but also the individual and support those in countries where they lack the opportunity."
Jonáš, 14 years old, Park Lane International School (Czech Republic)
"After moving to a new campus of my school, I discovered that at lunch, the amount of food which was wasted everyday was massive. I decided that this problem was a great one to raise awareness about. I met with the deputy head of secondary and we discussed what could be done to achieve my goal. I created a poster which sums up the idea of food wasting and gets people thinking that a reliable source of food is not the same for everyone. From what I have seen in the last week, I think that the bin with all the waste wasn't as full as always, which was great to see."
Julia, 14 years old, Children's International School (Nigeria)
"My school has a volunteer club so I chose to work with them to donate toys to a local orphanage as my Global Social Leadership project. I have been volunteering as a part of my school's volunteer club for some time now but Global Social Leadership gave me the confidence to try to lead a project. Over the course of the last school term, volt club collected donations for a local orphanage but after those donations were given to said orphanage we found that we still had donations from previous drives in storage so I asked to be put in charge of washing and organising the donation as well as helping find a new orphanage to give the donations to. In the end, we had many bags full of clean clothes shoes and toys to donate to those in need."
Mattia, 13 years old, PRIMA International School Belgrade (Serbia)
"My goal with this challenge was not to raise money for a cause, but to raise awareness for plans made by an Anglo-Australian mining company called Rio Tinto, to dig out lithium mines in Western Serbia. This mine would be the biggest in Europe, but it would be extremely harmful to the environment, due to the amount of water it would use. One of the biggest concerns is that it would irreversibly damage the soil in Serbia's bread basket.
I noticed that as I went on with the challenge, on my social media feed, I kept on noticing more and more posts about the river, while I'm not sure to what extent I'm responsible for that, I promoted my blog on the topic through my social media to an audience of roughly 300 people in 3 languages (English, Serbian, Italian)."
Read Mattia's blog here.
Michaela, 13 years old, St Catherine's British School (Greece)
"Firstly, I collaborated with the Make A Wish Foundation, an organisation which grants wishes to those in need. Leading up to Christmas, I sold the stars they sent me for 2 euros. Every morning, I would go to each form and sell them. The stars were displayed in a tree at my school. All the children wrote wishes for the Make A Wish children, which were handed back to the foundation. To support and advertise my sale I made 2 posters and a video. I made over 200 euros doing this.
Secondly, in order to raise awareness for cancer, I sold raffle tickets for 2 euros each, making a profit of 50 euros overall.
Lastly, I made a website where I published 2 articles (one in Greek and the other in English), about education inequality."
Nina, 13 years old, PRIMA International School Belgrade (Serbia)
"For my COBIS project, I made an account on TikTok called GoGreenBelgrade, where I made a two week challenge. Every day for two weeks I would post a simple daily task for my followers to complete, in order to help the environment! The challenge would gradually get a bit harder. An example of a challenge I gave would be to cut your shower down to five minutes today. From this two week challenge, I am hoping that my daily tasks have became habits to people who participated!"
Check our Nina's GoGreenBelgrade TikTok account here.
Student at Children's International School (Nigeria)
"Often, going home along a few streets, I see lots of young children on the road who are homeless, out of school and have to hawk and wash cars to try to make money. The sad predicament that they are stuck in has always inspired me and it especially did so for this project. I decided to organize posters at school and put them around the school to raise awareness for poverty and promote donations to foundations and charities which aided my cause. I created these posters through the website Canva and also made a website along with it using Wix. After creating these, I got permission from my head of year to hang posters in classrooms and in corridors around my school. I laminated my posters and also made an announcement on loudspeaker to promote the cause. Through this I was able to raise awareness to the issue and brought attention to a serious issue. I hope the impact of the campaign will run deeper with more people donating to charities which concern the cause and help out children like the ones I see on my way to school."
Paula, 16 years old, British School of Gran Canaria (Spain)
"WHY DID I CHOOSE THIS CHALLENGE?
First of all, I live in an island, called Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands and so beaches have always been a part of my day-to-day life. Even though beaches are maintained and cleaned by the city council employees, there are always coastal areas, which do not form part of the public beaches, where all kinds of garbage accumulate due to human action: from people not cleaning after themselves, to objects being washed up. This is the reason why I wanted to take action and clean up a coast that I knew needed it. And so, I got down to work.
WHAT WERE MY FIRST STEPS?
Once I decided where to clean, which was “La Restinga” beach, in the city of “Telde” on the east of the island, I had to ask for an authorization from the city council. Then I started to recruit the clean-up team, which included family and friends who were all as passionate for nature as me, including my little sister and cousins of same age. After that, I bought supplies such as garbage bags, thick gloves and most importantly, food for the whole morning! I also made identity badges to make us feel more like a true team. Lastly, I prayed for clear skies and no rain.
THE DAY FINALLY ARRIVED!
We began cleaning from 10am to 2pm, wearing gloves and two garbage bags each. But we quickly had to go and get more as there was more rubbish than expected. In pairs, we covered the whole length of the coast and, even though it was exhaustive, we made a great difference.
I decided to send this adventure to a local digital newspaper in order to promote this initiative to other young people. Days after I received an environmental volunteering certificate as a recognition from the city council of Telde.
I have always had a passion for nature, and I believe that we, as humans, can live in harmony with it. But our first step is to make amends. We cannot let nature suffer because of us."
Read the newspaper article about Paula's beach clean-up initiative here.