The first Focus Week of the year at UWCD was dedicated to sustainability: the environmental issues are one of the most important global problems today, especially in developing countries like Armenia, and students of Sustainability CAS and staff decided to organise creative and exciting activities to raise awareness about these issues within the community.
Each day started with a challenge every student was supposed to take. It included being a vegetarian for a day, finishing all the food on your plate, spending one hour without electricity and many more. Thus, students were trying to contribute to the green future of our planet. Apart from that, the Sustainability CAS members organised daily entertaining and educational activities aimed at engaging the entire college community.
The Focus Week was opened by a movie screening at the college library about environmental issues, pollution problems and sustainability.
On Tuesday, one of DP2 students Giacomo from Italy presented a very interesting, yet alarming talk about the disastrous impact of Mafia, the illegal group of people operating in his home country, on the environment. The “The Land of Fires” presentation was dedicated to a certain Mafia group called CAMORRA, an Italian crime-syndicate, whose activities mainly involve disposing various types of hazardous waste in illegal landfills or simply on the streets. Some of this waste is buried or burned, polluting the air and the soil. Nuclear waste is dumped under agricultural lands. Currently, these territories are banned from being used in agriculture purposes, but people ignore the ban and sell these products on national and international markets. As a result, the cancer rate (mainly, liver cancer) is extremely high in this region.
Following, one of our teachers Marianne held a presentation about the connection between Economy and Environmental issues. The presentation then continued in an active discussion on how UWC Dilijan College can become more sustainable.
Thursday was dedicated to the presentation by “SunChild”, an organisation that strives to raise youth’s environmental awareness by implementing modern technologies and addressing the environmental issues using media tools. Also, they have created the first privately protected area in the South Caucasus called “Caucasus Wildlife Refuge”, which is a popular venue for fields trips of UWCD Biology students.
On Friday Global Politics teacher Jaime held a talk at the Café #2 talking about Anthropocentricism and explaining how the geologists were trying to declare the times we are living in as a new era, even though the existence of humans started only a few thousand years ago.
The week was concluded with several exciting workshops and activities planned by the college community, teaching how to recycle and reuse some materials. This Focus Week was very valuable for students: it made us think about the sustainable future of our world. We started thinking about how to save our planet and keep it undamaged and green, without any pollution and destruction.
Article by Vaja, UWCD’18