UNICEF Day for Change

Some of you may remember that as part of my fundraising I celebrated the UNICEF Day for Change by with working with my old school, Newton Primary, and Belle, a returned Honduras volunteer. As part of a Global Citizenship award that volunteers can receive as part of a year abroad with Project Trust, you have to celebrate an international day and I’ve known from the start that I wanted to take the UNICEF Day for Change with me all the way to Honduras.

And last week, that’s exactly what I did! With only 45 minutes with each class at a time, I decided to take a whole week. Each class had two lessons – one that looked at differences between Scotland and Honduras and another that concentrated on ways we can look after the world – with the overall focus being on the concept and ideals of Global Citizenship.

Teaching first grade about the Scottish flag

With 1st-3rd grade we used an inflatable globe to figure out where Scotland is and just how far away it is from Honduras. Next we learnt about all of Scotland’s emblems, like the flag, national animal, bird, flower and tree. We were able to use our knowledge of colours in English to help us describe the flag but the kids were shocked when none of the animals they know in English were right and even more shocked when I told them that the national animal of Scotland is a unicorn! I bet there’s a few people reading this that didn’t know that either!

First grade working hard
Juan colouring his Honduran flag

Each 1st and 2nd grader then got two little bits of paper each, one for the Scottish flag and one for the Honduran flag so we could make some bunting out of our flags! With 3rd grade, we did something a little different. I had brought with me some packs of cut outs of little girls and little boys. With a little modification, the girls were ready to be drawn into the traditional Honduran dresses and the boys were ready to wear some kilts. It was great to see the care and creativity that went into the design of the dresses and especially the kilts. There were no cries of outrage from the boys in the class about the fact that they had to draw boys in skirts either – in fact they were all clamoring to get one!

Oscar from 1st grade
Jamie, my host sister
Karen from 1st grade
Third grade with their amazing drawings

With 4th-6th grade we ramped it up a bit. As well as looking at the flag and emblems, we talked about school, hobbies and home life and even threw in a bit of ceilidh dancing! 

For their second lesson we looked at the problems that our planet faces. Together we came up with superheroes that could combat these issues and we had some great ideas! My favourite was hypnosis that could make everyone friends so there were no more wars but we also had laser eyes to destroy rubbish and the power to breathe in dirty air and breathe out clean air to deal with air pollution. But unfortunately these superheroes don’t exist so instead we had a think about all the ways we can save the planet instead.

Gay Gordon-ing it out

Sharing this day with the kids was so much fun – it gave me a chance to talk about home to every single class, break into even more of a sweat than usual while ceilidh dancing and pretend to be a superhero (at least for 45 minutes!). We covered some very important topics that the students showed some brilliant consciousness of. They are aware that they have to be part of the worldwide effort to save this planet and I hope they will take that with them into their futures and try and share what they know to be true.

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