It all started in March 2018 when the 4th ESO MUN class started learning about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In April 2018, the class decided to organise a school-wide collection of clothes, toys and books which would then be donated to the charity Caritas in line with SDG 1 - No Poverty. The progress of the collection was posted on MUN Bilbao’s social media and we were then contacted by MUN Impact and invited to become a Partner Club.
In May 2018, five students from the MUN class became the founding members of the Ayalde MUN Impact Partner Club and got to work straight away.
After the success of the first collection, in May 2018 they decided to start a monthly food collection for a local church in Bilbao in line with SDG 2 - Zero Hunger. Each month, two courses are encouraged to bring in certain items of food, which the MUN students then collect and take to the church on the last Friday of the month. This initiative has been very successful and continues to take place.
For the school year 2018-19, Ayalde decided to use the SDGs to decorate the school agendas and SDG 1 was the topic of the Interdisciplinary week in January 2019. In November 2018, the new 4th ESO class started learning about the SDGs.
In October 2018, our Munners travelled to the Royal Russell School conference in Croydon, UK, where our journalist had an article about the SDGs and MUN Impact published in the conference magazine.
At MUN Bilbao 2019, we ran an SDG photo competition and the winners were:
March 2019 saw the club organise an awareness event for SDG 6 - Clean Water. During a school event, they set up information boards about the Thirst Project, which raises money to install drinking wells in Africa, and organised races where people had to carry water over a distance to have an idea of what it feels like to have to fetch water every day.
April was an exciting month. Our SDG pins arrived - they will be available to purchase during the MUN Bilbao conference.
Our Munners travelled to the GimMUN conference in Ptuj, Slovenia where our journalist has an article published in the conference magazine.
Also, our MUN Impact students travelled to New York to speak at the first MUN Impact Summit, which took place in the U.N. Headquarters.
The following day, we attended the MUN Impact workshop, which one of our students was helping to chair.
May 2019 was the beach clean-up for SDG 14 - Life Below Water. In conjunction with another organisation, the students organised a morning rubbish collection of a local beach. The turnout was good and several tonnes of rubbish, including lots of plastic!, was collected.
May was also when our Infant school had their end of course show, which was based around SDGs 12, 13, 14 and 15. Our students made some Information signs and placards.
We finished the school year with two events in June. Firstly, our MUN Director travelled to the UK to speak about MUN Impact at a MUN Advisor conference, hosted by Wycombe Abbey.
And one of our students, Maria Fernandez, was chosen to be the MUN Impact Youth Director for Club Partnerships worldwide for the coming school year.
What will next year bring?
Our MUN Impact Partner Club has grown to thirteen students for this school year and they are already busy planning various activities for October.
To start off, the club organised a solidarity snack bar during one of the school’s weekend family activities, where 25% of the profits were donated to the Thirst Project, which raises money to install clean drinking wells in Africa.
And October 17th is the International Day of Poverty, which links in with SDG 1. Therefore, we decided to organise a 2-week school-wide collection of clothes which we would then donate to charity.
In order to publicise this collection in the primary years, we hosted a fashion show on October 17th in order to encourage the younger students to donate as much as possible. The models wore outfits which they would then donate to the charity.
The students in the MUN Impact team had to organise the logistics of making sure the venue was available, sound equipment and decorations, awareness posters and information emails to parents, speaking with the charity to bring in containers to collect the clothes and a practice run through with the models.
On the day, the fashion show turned out to be very successful and quite a few girls (and teachers) participated, setting a very good example to the rest of the students. Now, all the students are hoping that another fashion show will be held so they can participate as well. In the end, we filled two large cages with bags of clothes for the charity Coopera, which is part of Caritas.
October is also the time of the year for our annual visit to the Royal Russell School MUN conference where our Press student wrote a great article about getting your MUN on the map.
Whilst attending the conference, our students met up with the students from the Santa Margarita Catholic High School in California, who are also a MUN Impact Partner Club, to exchange ideas. We are looking forward to repeating this experience next year!
And finally this month saw the start of our monthly food collections for a local church. October was the turn of Primary 1 and 2 who were asked to donate oil, rice and pasta, and they were very generous.
November has started with five of our students attending a meeting hosted by Deusto University and sponsored by the radio station Cadena SER to push the SDGs in Bizkaia. There were several speakers from the Basque Government, the Town Hall and several commercial organisations who outlined the progress being made in the Basque Country to date. Afterwards, our students mingled and made contacts and were interviewed by Cadena SER.
And the month continues with celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Children’s Rights Convention on 20th November. One of the Primary 6 teachers asked three of our students to help her chair a debate in which her students had to defend two topics - vaccines and immigration. The students had a great capacity for debate and everything worked really well. The Chairs were very impressed by their skills and hope they will become Munners in the future.