mun impact zone: hut building
In preparing for the MUN Impact Zone at our school's MUN conference (CHEMUN), we decided to build a hut similar to those that many poor families in Chennai live in. Our aim of recreating a real hut was to allow delegates and advisors participating in our CHEMUN conference to experience the lifestyle of impoverished communities in India in order to raise their awareness and further their understanding of the issue. SDG1, No Poverty, is very relevant in India.
With the help of local builders as well as some of our school's students, we successfully built our hut with wood poles, natural fiber ropes, and dried woven coconut tree fronds. Within the hut, we included the SDG 1 indicators and targets for visitors to learn more about poverty from a global standpoint. After CHEMUN, we composted the fronds and the ropes. The school uses the compost materials for the community garden. We also donated the wooden poles to the Adventure Activities class for reuse.
Sam's note from supervising the MUN Impact Zone during CHEMUN:
I shared information about SDG 1 (eradication of poverty) and why it was necessary for us to solve the issue. I also distributed Impact badges and stickers so that MUN impact can spread worldwide.
A common question I received from student delegate was “What is MUN impact?”. I was happy to hear that question because it gave me an opportunity to persuade students to be interested in MUN impact. After I explained to them about what we are, the student delegates were able to relate themselves to a similar activity they have participated before. Some delegates approached me to get our badges, but most of them were more excited than me to share their personal experience about how they gave an impact to their surrounding community. From the stories I heard from delegates I have never met before, I felt a strong connection with them. We discussed possible future plans we could develop together. The Robert College advisors were especially willing to collaborate with MUN impact to initiate SDG 16, hoping to solve war and refugee issues in Turkey.
On the third day, I gave a tour around the Impact Zone to some of the students from our local school reach out program. The local students were interested in the Impact hut. I was very delighted to see them read the information charts in English even though they were not native English speakers. What was surprising to me was their interest in solving the issue of poverty. As the local students were already aware of the slum areas in Chennai, they were able to suggest possible solutions to eradicate poverty. One example that they provided was implementing quality education.
At the end of the conference, I was surprised by how each delegate, regardless of their nationality, had the will to improve their surrounding communities. I learned from the people I’ve met that even a small action to solve the problem matters. For every success story, it was always the small action to solve an issue that created the bigger solution. And thus, I was thankful for all the delegates who provided MUN Impact club with millions of possible ideas we could work on in the future.