Serena Shamji – my experience at the NAE-UNICEF Summit 2024

In the last seven days, I had the experience of a lifetime with the privilege of representing SISD as a student delegate in the NAE UNICEF Summit in Houston, Texas. I had the opportunity of forming new friendships, connections and networking with a diverse community of student delegates from all around the world and gained wholesome skills that I can utilize.

I was able to improve my current life skills through the range of workshops that were exclusively given to us by the heads of UNICEF and the wonderful Social Impact Team. I will take advantage of what I learned and apply my newly improved skills and knowledge of Sustainable Development Goals and Convention on the Rights of the Child. Furthermore, the workshops promoted embracing individuality by showcasing concepts on personal values and leadership, building dialogue skills, refresher on the SDG’s, child-friendly cities, the power of data, systems thinking, advocacy skills, one-minute solutions, SDGs in Action, recapturing your why and an inclusive language workshop too.

We also had a trip to the British International School of Houston, where the Social Impact Grants and public speaking workshops was introduced to us. Inspiring presentations of peer led talks were shared by many students, regarding social impact projects that have been conducted at different Nord Anglia schools internationally. Moreover, the Capstone event took place on our last day where we created presentations about raising awareness to global issues and found potential solutions to apply in our own school communities, in hopes of using them locally, regionally and internationally in the long run.

Enlightening excursions took place throughout the week, where we went to the cinema, spent an evening bowling and dinner and roaming around the POST Market with a beautiful rooftop view of skyscrapers in the city. We also had an educational visit to the Museum of Natural Sciences, where the system of energy in Houston was shown to us through a scavenger hunt and a presentation given by an expert. In addition, we had volunteer work at the Houston Food Bank, in which we spent a few hours committing to varying jobs such as preparing boxes of packaged food to feed thousands of families, recycling cardboard boxes, cleaning the cartons, transporting the packaged and emptied boxes and more.

I am truly grateful to the heads of UNICEF, the social impact team and SISD for providing me with the opportunity of being a student delegate to represent our school and be a part of this new experience as SISD’s first participation in the NAE UNICEF Summit. It’s an experience that has allowed me to thrive significantly as an individual and has motivated me to take action due to social impact being one of my many passions. I would like to showcase the lessons I’ve learned, the knowledge I now have and actions I would like to take and share it with the rest of our school community, hoping to influence them in positive ways. 

I would be using these skills, lessons and knowledge in my favor to pave a path for my future where I can contribute to making changes in the world and influence others around me to take action on the SDG’s and CRC’s, promoting our community to flourish personally, socially and educationally.

SISD is proudly part of the Nord Anglia Education family.

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