At the beginning of this academic year (2019-2020), the Positive Change Initiative recruited student ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A group of driven students will take the lead in their own projects to bring each of the SDGs to life.
Annelies Buist and Mandy de Jong have given two talks on the SDGs to elementary school children (aged 8-10) in Maasluis, Rotterdam. Mandy and Annelies rediscovered the creativity and open-mindedness of children and are hopeful that they were able to inspire and motivate them to make a difference.
Maren Siegert has a goal to make RSM’s resources for student well-being more visible and accessible. She has completed an inventory of the resources available and is working on a hub that will store it all. Her project spans the entire Erasmus university and she hopes to create a student-friendly and inclusive space that will serve as a physical place for discussion. With anxiety becoming more common, her project is extremely timely and vital for campus.
Kasper Kupperman and Jacob Hietink, both ambassadors for SDG 15: Life on Land, are broadcasting the value of planting trees. They co-founded The Green Branch Company (their website is still ‘in bud’) to partner with organisations to invest in land restoration and reforestation projects in Porto Grande, Brazil. Kasper is meeting their farmers and stakeholders in Porto Grande, as they lay the foundation of their project. Jacob has just returned and will connect their projects to companies who want to take the most recent steps in becoming a sustainable frontrunner. The Green Branch brings a new awareness and knowledge of agroforestry to Brazil together with students of Wageningen University and are working with a data company to measure tree growth and carbon capture.
Making an impact
As the advocate for their SDG, students decide in what way their efforts will take shape, be it raising awareness through blogging, raising funds, events, or establishing collaborations, as long as they create local impact. They are encouraged to work with each other as well as alumni, and to make the most out of their initiatives throughout the year.
The Positive Change Initiative will support the students through organizing events and offering brainstorm opportunities.