UNiquely UN Day – Our plans unveiled!

UNIS Hanoi is one of only two UN international schools and as such, our UN Day celebrations provide both a calendar highlight for the community and a focus of learning for our students. Our families and faculty choose UNIS Hanoi because of our connection to the United Nations and our shared vision to be agents of change for a better world. In addition, this year we will be helping the UN celebrate their 75th Anniversary #UN75.

We all know UN Day will be different in the age of COVID – But what will it look like?

A cross-divisional team has reviewed the way in which we celebrate our UNiquely UNIS identity for this special day and how we can amplify the work of the United Nations. We have developed a programme which will both shine a torch on the achievements of our students and challenge our community to reflect on the issues that we must mobilise to solve together. 

Involving our wider community in our plans during the time of COVID is challenging, but we also recognise the importance and power of our UN Day celebrations in uniting our community and will try to include opportunities for parents to join if at all possible. We are grateful to our partnership with the SCO (School Community Organisation) who are also committed to this programme and will be working with us.

UN Day is primarily about celebrating what can be achieved when we work together to find solutions to challenges and ensuring our students find their place in that endeavour. It is about collaboration and understanding what that means for powerful impact in a multicultural world. #StrongerTogether

In 2020 our focus will be three-fold:

  1. Global UN Day: #UN75 celebrationsOctober 24
  2. UNiquely UNIS SDGs WeekNovember 9-15
  3. UNIS UN DayNovember 13

PLEASE NOTE: Our detailed preparations will respect health and safety regulations, developing best practice and our local authority requirements.      

For full details, please read on…

October 24

  • Secondary Student Leaders will visit Service Group partners 
  • Community Service Pop-Ups – Service groups will partner with cafes in Tay Ho to extend advocacy and fundraising for their projects in the community. This will become our Community Connections ‘Service Trail’. We are grateful to the cafes which are partnering with us and you can find the full list on our Community Connections website.
  • Community Service Activity – Trash Pick-Up with Keep Hanoi Clean. This is a high visibility opportunity to role model our community’s commitment to local service. Location details after the break – Mark your calendars!

November 9-15

Students will be exploring the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in classes following their regular schedule throughout the week. Below are some of the highlights emerging for the week’s activities

Our SDGs Week Top 10!

  1. UN Plaza – Explore the World! The flags of the 195 Member and Observer States will be displayed on the School’s central grass courtyard as both a visual representation of global collaboration and a digital exhibition. Our students will be given a map and invited to ‘explore the world’ through the QR codes attached to each flagpole which will link to resources created by our community about the countries. Our students will visit a world created by our community and see the countries through the eyes and experiences of our community. After the break all families will receive an invitation with links to share photographs from their homelands in these ‘Country Scrapbooks’. Together we will create an exhibition and an interactive map of the world accessible both on campus and online! We hope that this will be something all families can have fun helping to create from home and enjoy together.
  2. SDG Walkway – Our giant SDG banners will create a focus on campus to share work from students linked to the SDGs and demonstrate the SDGs in Action in our learning and in our action. This might be through QR codes to digital resources and projects, or with booths, activities and demonstrations led by students during the week. A digital version of this ‘walkway’ will be created online for families to explore together at home and celebrate our student learning. It will be our SDG Walkway online for the year!
  3. UNcomplicated series (UNIS Hanoi) As part of #UN75 the United Nations are sharing interviews with global leaders in a series called UNcomplicated. We are adopting the idea with students interviewing leading experts from the UN in Vietnam, Ambassadors and NGO and Business leaders committed to the UN’s SDGs. The pre-recorded interviews will be broadcast throughout the week and shared with students, families and alumni through social media. The series will reach its climax on UN Day with a live event hosted by our MUN student leaders and broadcast for our community.
  4. Climate Change Film Challenge – Partnering with UNICEF ahead of their World Children’s Day (November 20) we will take part in their national competition for 1 minute films made by children highlighting both concern and action for climate change. This links to our commitment to Teaspoons of Change and our continued work inspired by the Plastic Ocean Netflix documentary.
  5. A Plastic Ocean and Beyond – Award winning documentary director and journalist, Craig Leeson, will continue his work with our students during SDG Week. The Vietnamese subtitles for the Netflix documentary, A Plastic Ocean were created from the collaboration of our Grade 5 students with the international film company in 2018. This year our students will continue their campaign through a community screening of the documentary (organise a watch party!) and take on their next global challenge with the film director and focus on climate change.
  6. UNIS Cultural Collection – Official Launch. Last year Hanoi gallery 54 Traditions donated to UNIS Hanoi more than 200 artefacts from the 54 ethnic groups represented in Vietnam; from 4000 year-old stone axes to 20th ceramics and textiles to create a unique learning resource for our students. With donor support we are creating both an on campus exhibition centre (to be opened in January) and an online exhibition to include community outreach for local and global schools.For SDG Week we will showcase both the artefacts and the work from the Grade 7 and Grade 8 projects in their opening units for this year and donors Mark Rapoport and Nhung Nguyen will officially open the exhibition with a special Grade 7 assembly.
  7. Canteen – A series of special menus are being planned to explore our community and the SDGs through a daily learning experience linked to food. Full details will be shared with the community before SDG Week but here is a sneak preview:
    • Monday – International Day – Menus from three of the 195 member and observer states (selected at random) will be offered.
    • Tuesday – Vegan Day highlighting the impact on climate change, rainforest destruction and ocean pollution from animal agriculture and the power of consumer choice promoted by the United Nations.
    • Wednesday – Vietnamese Banquet celebrating our host country
    • Thursday – Zero Waste Day (Zero Hunger, No Poverty) Let’s make this happen together!
    • Friday – UN Day Family Favourites: A menu voted for by students from the new UNIS SCO Cookbook.
  8. MUN Conference (Saturday November 14) As one of only two United Nations international schools in the world, our student led Model United Nations conference will close the week. The theme for this conference will be Unity in the Face of Crisis featuring a special SDG 5 (Gender Equality) Committee and with a Reform Security Council mirroring ‘real-life’ current reforms being considered.
  9. Me in a Minute: What do our students do to help change the world once they have left UNIS Hanoi? Our alumni share their stories with the community. Our alumni are both ambassadors for the School and can provide a rich mentoring source for our students. This year we are extending our mentoring programme and these mini films will both demonstrate our Mission in action to inspire our students and provide possible connections for projects, university and career research.
  10. (TENTATIVE) International Community Pot Luck Picnic (Sunday November 15) – We are trying hard to make possible a family event at the weekend to allow parents to experience the campus exhibits (Explore the World, SDG Walkway and Cultural Collection) in a socially distanced community event. To be confirmed. 

November 13
(Please note this will be a regular school day and the calendar has been updated. There is NO EARLY DISMISSAL)

As a climax to our UNcomplicated series (see item 3 above) we hope to host a live event featuring a multilateral panel interview with Q&A by our MUN Student Leadership. This event would also serve as the opening ceremony and keynote for our MUN Conference (Saturday November 14) and will be broadcast live for our community.

In the Canteen – UN Day Family Favourites from the new SCO Cookbook and voted for by the students. And Student musical performances will of course provide the the finishing touches to an outstanding week of learning, exploration and celebration! A number of creative collaborations will be unveiled on UN Day. 

Please send any questions or feedback for this new approach for our annual celebrations to Director of Advancement, Emma Silva: doa@unishanoi.org

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