100 Acts of Global Citizenship
How can committed yet busy citizens of the world take action on an issue they are passionate about?
At the Melton Foundation, a more than 25-year old organization devoted to making global citizenship tangible, we know that “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”, as Howard Zinn said. But we also know that many people, though they have the will to take action, often lack the path and the time. This is why Melton Fellows and global citizens around the world are leading the way by doing small, achievable acts in their community that make a tangible difference on an issue their communities are facing - because changing the world can begin with small Acts of Global Citizenship.
Here are the results: #100Acts and more!
Click here to let us know about your Act of Global Citizenship!
Addressing Air Pollution in Metropolitan cities
Air pollution is a global issue. Many developing and developed countries face acute levels of air pollution. A major portion of air pollution is caused by autobiles. Numerous poisonous gases are also emitted, leading to an increase in global warming. Countries are constantly trying to keep the air clean leading to pleasant living conditions. Shreeguro addressed this issue by working with students, working adults and retired professionals. He adds, "Each section of the community had to be addressed differently. The students and young adults were more responsive to the environmental damage, the working adults to the cost cutting trick and the retired professionals to the peaceful environment that could be created. The conversation had to revolve around their specific needs, as I convinced them to change their practices to grow into a sustainable community. I approached the community at traffic signals where I interacted with them, and spread awareness regarding the emissions from our vehicles and how we could contribute to global change by switching off our vehicle engines at the red light. My Act of Global Citizenship reached an approximate of 50 people. I collaborated with a local organisation - The Karnataka Civil Defense, and a friend. The Act was well received by the public and seeing the engines being switched off gave a sense of satisfaction. I also reached a point where the neighbouring cars were switching off their engines without me approaching them."
Climate change and Araucaria
Patricio Díaz Sandoval
Patricio Díaz Sandoval built his Act of Global Citizenship around climate change, primarily addressing the death of the araucaria, a thousand-year-old tree from southern America. The death of this tree species is directly related to the increase in temperature due to climate change, as well as to other factors such as forest fires, drought, deforestation and the commercialization of its seeds.
Patricio worked with the girls in children's home of the "To Love" Foundation, to raise awareness and take action on this issue. He added, "I structured my global act in three steps
- INFORMATION: Contextualization phase through a brief talk about the relationship between the effects of climate change in Araucaria.
- SYNTHESIS: Reflection phase where the girls brainstormed what they can do to take care of the Araucaria and other trees.
- ACTION: Practical phase in which we carry out a workshop with recycled materials, such as pants and juice boxes. Creating cases, wallets, and gloves, in this way we put into practice what we have learned."
The big problems are almost always multifactorial, and when this happens it is a good opportunity to contextualize the "action phase" to a problem that is related to the community, so in this way that will be significant learning, which also improves the participation of the community during the global act.
Possibilities for children with special needs
Pranav C Kumar
Pranav has been passionate about empowering children with special needs for a long time and used his Act of Global Citizenship to produce local impact in this issue. He observes,"The western world has more opportunities for those with special needs, and their integration into the society; whereas in India, it is a totally different situation. We usually don't observe anyone who has special needs as active parts of the society, they are secluded and confined to their homes. If there is even a slight improvement here in India compared to the west, I would feel extremely happy."
Pranav interviewed the head of a special needs' school (Tom And Jerry Nursery & Special School - A Unit of JDC SPARSHA Educational Trust) in Bangalore and learnt about how there is significant transformation among these children when they're in conducive environements. He also interviewed a few teachers, and then interacted with about 10-12 children with special needs. Pranav adds, "As it became evident that I must first understand the background, then the process, and then the post education intricacies of children with special needs, I had to talk to the teachers involved with them. I gained detailed insights on the same. As stated earlier, I have been aware of the difficulties of integrating children with special needs, from so many examples narrated by my mother, and wanted to learn more, and cause awareness about the community. This was my main motivation."
Sanitation and Water Purity Awareness
There are a lot of congested settlements in Bangalore where there are a lot of poor people living in poor conditions. This is reflected in a lack of resources, mainly clean water supply because there is usually a single tap for an entire settlement which can be used only for a few hours a day. The 6th Sustainable Development Goal is ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Smaran, who decided to tie his Act of Global Citizenship to SDG 6, shared, "My passion has always been sustainability in communities and I have always held a strong belief that people, especially children in India lack the right education and awareness at the grassroots level about water purity and water borne diseases. Doing my act helped me educate these children on precautions they can take and maybe even pass on in their community."
Smaran collaborated with the local Rotaract to be a part of their program "I-Teach". He added, "iTeach involves students volunteering to go to local municipal schools to teach children basic academic subjects. I decided to facilitate my act as one of their sessions which also provided an extra-curricular learning experience for the children, and asked a few volunteers to join me. We taught batches of students of 8 to 10 children as the classrooms were not suited for a bigger volume of students. The school has now decided to have "health and hygiene" taught to students as a part of their curriculum on a permanent basis."
Addressing poor plastic waste management
Major Takudzwa Kadonzvo
Plastic waste management is a big issue all over the world. People are currently working to find better ways to handle plastic waste. In Ghana and other parts of the world a good chunk of the plastic waste ends up in water bodies like rivers, lakes and oceans; thereby posing danger to aquatic life. In other cases, the plastics are burnt and they release toxic compounds which have an adverse impact on the global climate.
Major shared that he has always lived in places where people practiced poor plastic management, but the extent of the problem in Ghana was overwhelming. There are empty plastic water bottles, sachets and plastic bags littering almost all parts of the capital, Accra. Apparently, the supply of plastics does not seem to be dying out since they are produced locally. This only means that he will be seeing more and more plastic waste mismanagement if he did not try and take action against it. He added, "I am an Engineering student. The main reason why I chose this career path is because I want to solve problems through design and making skills. Major engaged the Berekuso, Ayim and Bola communities in, Accra, Ghana in a clean-up activity and led awareness raising sessions. He describes his act as follows: "In Berekuso and Ayim we had direct contact with the village leaders and teachers. These people helped us to organize the people and students that we were targeting. I worked with the African Transformers in Ayim and we taught the pupils in the local school craft skills using plastic waste. On the Borla Beach clean-up I partnered with Ahote, African Transformers and the Ashesi Leo Club. In all, 55 people took part in the Borla Beach clean-up activity. The participants included students from Ashesi University, 45 of which were members of the Ashesi Leo club and others from the African Transformers and the Ahote Sanitation Project. On the day, a number of children who were playing at the beach joined us in the clean-up activity."
Connecting rural children to opportunities
Kudakwashe Faith Nhanga
After paying visits to a few schools, especially one in Kitase, a village close to Ashesi, Kuda says she began to realize just how underdeveloped the schools are. She adds, "As a student who is on scholarship, I understand that I could not have gotten to where I am by my own efforts; I needed someone to support and bolster me. Thus, likewise, it is also important that when we have a platform, we also do our parts in supporting others so that there are no children who have potential and can make a tangible difference in the world, who will not be able to reach their fullest potential due of lack of resources." Kuda tied her Act of Global Citizenship beautifully with her observations. She shared, "We engaged the communities of Berekuso and Kitase in the build-up to the act. The act eventually took place in Kwabenya at a junior high school there. Through the Mentor's Network, an Ashesi student-led organization, we taught the children in Kitase during weekends, and from this, we managed to develop metor-mentee relationships. And we also paid visits to Sambel Academy and explained to them our vision and they also added their input. My ultimate motivation was to communicate with the students, and hopefully inspire them in some way. We asked the students to write down answers to questions like 'What do you want to be when you grow up?', 'How will you achieve that?', 'What are the challenges you think you may face along the way?', 'What university do you want to attend?'. The responses we had from these questions made me realize that dreams that these students harbour, and I realized that rather than them simply relating with me, I could see pieces of myself, my dreams and my drive in them. They have big dreams, and I hope that they will achieve them."
Disarming Gender stereotypes
Gender stereotype is a global issue and it may give rise to gender discrimination. Jiang Yi observed that female university students were sometimes told that it is a better choice to choose a stable job to strike a balance between family and career. Meanwhile, the male students are confronted with stereotypes as well, which require them to be brave and adventurous. Through her Act, Yi engaged the students in Zhejiang University, especially the students' association and a team taking part in a business competition, by publishing an article on WeChat (reaching 600+ readers) and organised an offline activity to discussion repercussions of such stereotypes. She also published an interview with the leader of one of the students' association concerning female development.
Breaking Myths in Science
Fabiola Jovita Norambuena Vergara
Countries that have not been able to develop in the area of science do not worry about investing too much in the training of students who are interested in this area, since they know that monetarily there will be no significant retribution. This is very noticeable when the gap in the training of students from underdeveloped and developed countries is observed. And this is even worse at the local level, where schools that simply do not have the money to hire full-time teachers have an even worse level of education. Jovita relates this problem directly to the principle of equality in education (SDG 4: Education). Jovita organised a two day workshop with a talk about the latest Nobel prizes in physics, experiments and discussion sessions that explained to students the benefits of studying practical physical engineering. The workshop was attended by close to 20 students and 7 collaborators.
Voice of Women: A Civic Dinner
Beryl Nana Ama Akuffo-Kwapong
Beryl Nana Ama, Senior Fellow from Ghana, organised a civic dinner (a group that brings people together over food for conversations that matter) with a few colleagues from her workplace. Beryl shared,"I am passionate about dismantling the patriarchy, empowering women and encouraging conversation. My interest in creating connections drove me to apply these methods in carrying out my Act of Global Citizenship". Addressing gender equaity and empowerment, Beryl said using a 'conversation guide' was unexpectedly stimulating. It was a safe space where everyone was sharing their thoughts and opinions freely. Being able to talk about someone who considers himself "anti-feminist" and having him recognize what feminism is all about was a milestone.
Sparking Discussions About Global Issues
Pranav Bijapur, a Melton Fellow from India, decided to make a difference by raising more awareness about globa issues, especially inequality. His Act of Global Citizenship took place in Bangalore (India), engaging young working professionals and centered around creating a framework which would encourage healthy discussion about global issues.
Pranav shares, "We were able to start a book club that is for discussions on books as well as big issues. We are planning a monthly meet up in and around Bangalore and expecting the number to hit 15 people next time. I found it surprising that so many people in my immediate friend circle enthusiastically agreed to the idea, and that some people even wanted to join by Skype for the first meet up. I'm excited that this is my first Act that sorts of doesn't end with the Act itself and I'm really looking forward to watching this grow."
Bringing Ancestral Knowledge To Children
Camila Huecho, a Melton Fellow from Chile, addressed the issue of Mapuche culture's general absence in the Chilean narrative for children.
Camila shares: "Mapuche narratives are generally forgotten or ignored in my community. In my city, there are very few schools teaching the Mapuche language or history, for instance. It is important, for every community in the world, to recognize their history, the people and the things that still form part of what you are and the context you live in."
She worked with The Epew Rüpü Foundation to make illustrated online storybooks: "We managed to release six illustrated Mapuche storybooks online, in three languages (Mapudungun, Spanish, and English), create connections with ancestral knowledge in our community, and also create a wide engaging community around our social media."
Conquering Conversation Taboos
Melton Fellows From Jena
Female sexuality is, in our view, an important and pressing social (taboo-) topic. We have experienced in our surroundings and our circle of friends that lots of people don't talk openly about their sexuality. It seems there is a general lack of conversation and knowledge about female sexuality and female sexual satisfaction. These taboo topics often remain behind a socially constructed wall of silence and shame even if sexuality itself is a basic topic for human life. Meanwhile paradoxically, the media is becoming more and more sexualized with exaggerated views and images that often create false sexual ideals. Furthermore, many women locally (ourselves partly included) did not know that female ejaculations existed. We were shocked when presented with our own ignorance and the social ignorance around us concerning these topics including a lack of female sex education in school, in universities, and throughout western society. We became convinced that it is necessary to open conversations about female sexuality and that by exchanging our knowledge and experiences with each other in daily conversations, it is possible to break the taboos on these topics in society.
Approaching this issue from a global context, we noticed that topics related to female sexuality are seen and treated differently in different cultural societies around the world. In some places and cultures, it is possible to talk comparatively openly about (female) sexuality, in others less. In some cultures, there is basic sex education part of education in school- in others not. In some cultures, female ejaculation is well known, maybe even seen as "sacred water", in others the knowledge about female ejaculation has almost disappeared or was for hundreds of years socially oppressed. Because we are interested in all these cultural differences we invited the public to a discussion and exchange of personal experiences about how these topics are seen in different cultural societies around the world. The amount of participants exceeded our expectation with over 50 people. We were able to not only make impact regarding the topic of female ejaculation, but also provide a safe space for participants to share and exchange without pressure or judgement.
“We consider it important that women around the world can experience a satisfying and self-determined sexuality and that women and men are well educated about the female body and female sexuality. Furthermore, we consider it a socially oppressed topic and we are therefore passionate to open the conversation and overcome taboos.” ~ Isabel jaki, Melton Fellow
Taking The Stigma Out of Mental Health
Melton Fellows In Accra
In the past, mental health in Ghana has been a seldom-discussed topic, it makes people uncomfortable. Currently, there is an estimated treatment gap of 98%; meaning that, for every 100 people suffering a mental illness, only 2 are likely to access treatment; this data does not keep in mind the number of unreported cases. According to the Executive Director of the Mental Health Authority, the doctor-to-patient ratio within the mental health setting of Ghana is 1 : 1.7 million.
For university students, there are unique pressures regarding performance and in light of recent cultural shifts in discussing mental health among youth. Melton Fellows at Ashesi University College (Ghana) set the ground work for students at their campus to build and maintain relationships between students and the mental health resources available on campus.
Making Modern Slavery Visible
Melton Fellows in Temuco
According to antislavery.org Modern Slavery is an invisible world issue, most people are not aware that slavery is still happening and that we contribute to keep it by doing something as simple as buying new clothes made by modern slavery victims.
Slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. Slavery continues today and harms people in every country in the world.
Women forced into prostitution. People forced to work in agriculture, domestic work and factories. Children in sweatshops producing goods sold globally. Entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts. Girls forced to marry older men.
There are estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery around the world, including:
- 10 million children
- 24.9 million people in forced labour
- 15.4 million people in forced marriage
- 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation
Fellows took this issue to the streets of Temuco where the concept of 'Modern Slavery' I almost never discussed. "People in Temuco are not aware that slavery is still happening in the world or even in Chile. This issue is not discuss or even consider mostly because most people believe is something that we left behind years ago. After the GCC in Ghana, where we were able to see that the treatment that slaves recieved years ago in this part of the world, and knowing that modern slavery is still happening. We decided that the least we could do was make our community aware about this issue, as a first step."
Fellows set up an information stand and visitors could partipate by reading or listening the information. Also, participants could take the test "Slavery foot print" to find out the number of slaves that 'worked' for them through their everyday purchases. Once the test was completed, fellows offered gifts to participants from ressponsible manufacturers.
"We plan to do a second version of this act during the year."
Being a Mentor
Melton Fellow Shi Haizhou is passionate about education and interacting with children. Three times a year he visits an elementary school in Lishui, a rural village in China, together with his Melton colleagues. He felt that going there only three times is too little to support their kids in their development, but the villages is located far away from Hangzhou so it is hard to go there more often.
Using Social Media helped him to mentor a child also from the distance. He is in constant exchange with one kid and enjoys his curiosity and the eagerness to learn more. Like this, Haizhou managed to extend the impact beyond the physical visits and to create a special bond of personal connection.
Disconnect to Get Connected in Life
“Smartphones help us connect to each other globally, but they also make us easily distracted, which has profound and lasting influence on ourselves and the world.” Melton Fellow Xuan Hejun noticed how much he and his friends are addicted to their smartphones and how he is distracted by his.
Together with some friends he organized a day trip, and everyone committed to not use their smartphones during this day. “After this experience we felt relieved and more connected than ever”, says Hejun. He also presented his experience in his class. There, he connected more than 85 people to the notion of smartphone addiction so they too could start to rethink about their actions and thinking on this issue. Hejun wants to continue spreading awareness on the topic and helping people to control their minds and actions.
Spreading the word and inspiring action
For many years the Melton Campus at Zhejiang University, China has worked on an education project to support children in Lishui, a small village in a rural area. Melton Fellow Jiang Zhentao loves this project and wanted more students at his university to learn about the activities they do with the children and inspire them to take similar actions.
He used the WeChat platform of Zhejiang University to tell his story with this education project. “While writing my article I was memorizing and reminiscing every moment of our time spent with those children, and I put my real emotions in my article. I believe my true passions for the children and for education really touched my audience.” After publishing the article, many students got in touch with him to see how they can contribute to the project. Zhentao hopes that they will join him in their next visit to Lishui.
All I want for Christmas is a Recycled Handmade Gift
Christmas has become an excuse for massive consumption, resource depletion and waste. Melton Fellow Alexandra Kruppa set an example for a more sustainable way by offering a workshop to create recycled handmade christmas gifts. The primary materials were donated leftovers from a hardware store, which would usually go to waste.
The activity met two goals. Alexandra raised awareness among the hardware workers, the 8 participants and the recipients of gifts about consumption habits and how Christmas consumption requires a lot of resources such as energy, water, raw materials and is often related to human exploitation. The workshop inspired creativity as participants shared ideas and collectively created different kinds of Christmas gifts.
Close Your Eyes to Look Beyond Stereotypes
“Biases and stereotypes often cause friction between socio-ethnic groups on campus and prevent people from these different groups to seek friendships, conversations and mentorship,” says Melton Fellow Akshath Karanam about his experience at BMS Campus in Bangalore, India. Feeling strongly passionate about countering stereotypes and building trust, Akshath together with Melton Fellow Tito Magero designed an activity called Blindfolded Conversations and implemented it with participants during the conference Samagra 2017.
Participants were blindfolded and paired with people they didn't know. They then had to answer predesigned questions. The activity was a huge success as people conveyed their thoughts and opinions without the fear of being judged. Akshaths biggest take-away is the necessity of framing the questions right. ”We did not want to make people uncomfortable with the questions, yet we had to make the questions deep enough for them to introspect and talk about.”
What It Means to Commute in Bangalore
Ranjini Rao HS
Melton Fellow Ranjini Rao HS commutes daily to college and faces a lot of issues because the facilities provided are not up to the mark. “Every day is a misguided adventure in Bangalore, the sight of the deeply dented potholes whose lives span more than an average human being. It’s enough to get anyone seething with anger and writhing with pain for the hospitals are filled with patients showing spinal compression fractures. Not a day goes by without the death or serious injury of a commuter being reported on presumably the poshest areas in town.”
Ranjinis first step to address that was to collect stories of other commuters to gain a better understanding of the situation. She used personal conversations and an anonymous survey to collect her data. Based on the results she drafted an open letter to the authorities in Bangalore and spread the word on Social Media.
A Tea Party With Stories From Africa
Melton Fellow Zhou Ziqi is passionate about Intercultural communication. After the Global Citizenship Conference 2017 in Ghana she realized that there are many African students at her university in China, but she knew little about them and their countries. She was curious to hear the stories of her African fellow students at her university in China. Her experience of having travelled recently with the Melton Foundation to Ghana helped her to connect with the African students and start the conversation. She found 3 students willing to share their stories with a wider audience.
Ziqi organized a tea party at the university cafeteria. Local students learned directly from their fellow students about the different African realities. This made them rethink their image on Africa and broadened their minds.
I am a Feminist
“I’m a feminist”, Melton Fellow Valentina Farías says proudly. The reaction she receives are not always positive, as there is a misconception of the true meaning behind those four words. She often finds herself explaining that feminism doesn’t mean the supremacy of women over men, but equality for all gender.
“I believe that if people could really understand the goal of feminism, they would join this cause and we could make the change that is needed.” With this said she started a social media campaign by promoting well selected explanatory videos on feminism. It was crucial for her to choose the right videos to make the campaign compelling and to bring the right message across.
Unfolding Kenya's Political Situation
The current political situation following the nullified election in Kenya is alarming. Melton Fellow Tito Magero is from Kenya but studies with many other Kenyan students at Ashesi University in Ghana. Many of his peers remain in silent about the turmoil and hold the fear that engaging in political discussions could result in misunderstanding and mistrust.. Tito decided to break the silence. Tito, together with his lecturer Kajsa Adu Hallberg, moderated a lunch discussion about the underlying issues that led to the turmoil seen in Kenya.
The activity provided a safe space to get people with opposing views to talk to each other in a respectful and trustful manner. It was key that Tito provided some background information to create a common ground for discussions. As a follow-up, he plans to continue working on political discussions that are relevant to what is happening around the world.
Tech For Social Good
“Technology is a scalable way to have long term impact on communities” says Melton Fellow Pranav Bijapur, an electronics engineering student. He wondered how he could share his passion with his peers and motivate them to work together on a project that combines technology and social impact. He had facilitated some workshops on technical topics before, so he decided to use the format to find like-minded people interested in the topic.
The workshop was only the beginning of Pranav’s plan. He is excited that 10 out of 15 of his workshop participants committed to work on a longer project starting in January 2018. Pranav will mentor the team and is looking forward to the learning journey and the outcome of his team.
Getting To Know the Female Body
Most people shy away whenever the topic about female reproductive system comes up. Ladies hardly know even the basics about their bodies. Melton Fellow Pearl Gemegah felt like someone would have to create this awareness. So she collaborated with some students to organize a FAQ session on reproductive health and a team of ladies to put up posters all around her university with interesting facts about the female reproductive system.
“The info-graphics around the school campus have started up conversations, and people have come up to me asking for more information. I felt great about sharing the things I had learned over the years with people around me, and I plan on holding more info sessions as the weeks go by.”
Why Care About Corporate Social Responsibility?
While interning with a billion dollar company in one of the country's most expensive cities, Melton Fellow Joshua Williams recognized how often he saw a homeless person during his commute to and from work. So he collaborated with an intern in the CSR department to use corporate funds and provide 50 homeless people at a shelter with food.
Based on this experience he started analyzing reports of companies and selected those that take an initiative on global issues. To share his new findings he partnered with the Center for Career & Professional Development of his university to raise awareness on Corporate Social Responsibility and to present to Juniors and graduating students those companies that commit to maintaining a reputable CSR workforce. He hopes to influence more young people to offer their skills to philanthropic companies that positively impact the community.
Equity in Education
“Education is the key to developing an equal world on many levels, to even power structures between countries and social classes, through empowering the potential in all children who will be our future”, says Melton Fellow Isabel Jaki. In her studies, she learned about the impact that education can have, especially for people from marginalized backgrounds.
Recently she learned about an initiative in her town that matches children from low-income families with volunteers. As part of her Act of Global Citizenship she signed up for being a tutor to a child and offering support with homework, studying for tests and getting to know future possibilities. This act is not going to be a "one-time get-together", but a longer time commitment. From now on, Isabel will meet with the child for one hour every week in the next months.
Starting With Those Who Are Closest To You...
“I care about health and nature and how we are taking care of the earth. I care about people too and all of these things tie into what sustainability is all about” says Melton Fellow Henrika Amoafo. Recently she had watched quite a few health and sustainability documentaries that had impacted her in so many different ways and she wanted to engage others on sustainability, too. During the Global Citizenship Conference in Ghana she started to realize that it really is the smallest acts, decisions and choices we make that will eventually have a big ripple effect. Starting small is not less meaningful than starting a big movement. So she decided to start with her own family. Henrika convinced her family members to watch with her “Before the Flood” by Leonardo DiCaprio and to discuss it afterwards. “ I really do think that this is a step in the right direction and that impacting those closest to us in small ways is how to change the world --one issue at a time.“
Stop the Hate
Melton Fellow Destiny Tucker has always been very passionate about preventing bullying, especially in high school and colleges where many students are most susceptible to bullying. She believes that if students learn more about the effects of bullying, the methods of intervening, everyone is one step closer to preventing it from happening in the first place.
Destiny organized an awareness campaign at Dillard University and online to promote bystander awareness and openly discuss and learn more about bullying. 50 students joined her activity at Dillard and almost all members of student government pledged online not to be bystanders. She plans to get the message out to greater heights and get more students engaged in spreading awareness on bullying and being a bystander.
Same Place - Different Perspective
Agbogbloshie, a small district in Ghana close to its capital Accra, is known as the world’s largest e-waste dump site. But it is not only a place where e-waste from all over the world is dumped. People live with and from the waste. It is a microeconomy that feeds a large informal sector. Melton Fellow Cynthia Muhonja together with her friends initiated the Agbogblo.Shine initiative. Unlike other social foundations and government agencies that have been working in this community the Agbogblo.Shine initiative combines both community engagement and innovation and is actively engaged in repurposing the waste in this community in order to create a circular economy where nothing is wasted. They draw their energy from the lives led by the people who dwell in this community. Together they hope to create a system that not only creates employment for the youths in this community but also mitigates the environmental pollution that occurs in this area.
“There are so many things that we have done at Agbogbloshie, however I chose the different perspective video as my #100Act because the video painted a different picture of the problem that we are trying to solve. The waste in this community is a result of activities of tech companies and their consumers around the globe. I believe it’s high time we highlight their externalities and how they affect the poor in our societies”. Watch the video here. Watch the video here.
Can a Person be Spiritual and Homosexual?
Melton Fellow Kwabena Ankrah is a Christian and has witnessed in multiple occasions the ostracization of people who are viewed to be gay. Especially in highly religious societies such as Ghana there is a conflicting relationship between religion and sexuality and the problem of stigmatization and marginalization of queer people. This particular issue has caused him to leave many churches in protest of their actions against queer people. He felt the need to create more awareness on the issue.
Thus, he organized a series of talks at Ashesi Campus on sensitive and forbidden topics. The event was so successful that participants barely fit into the classroom. The event helped to demystify certain erroneous perceptions on the issue of homosexuality and to create a safe and bold platform for students to freely speak about their beliefs and personal struggles without being antagonized or victimized afterwards for doing so. He continued the conversation on Social Media. This act brought in a lot of positive feedback, especially on Ashesi's campus, but it also brought in a lot of negative and hostile feedback, especially on Facebook. The topic continues to be sensitive but Kwabena has been bold enough to start a more open conversation.
Stories from Ghana
During an internship in Ghana, Melton Fellow Carolin Burau got to know so many smart, interesting and active people with visions, ideas and projects. She felt the need to make their voices heard. Especially, she wanted to share their stories in Germany to draw a different pictures of Africans: ”A lot of Germans think about Africa as a country and see Africans as people ‘in need’ because this is what media and fundraising campaigns suggest.”
She encouraged five Ghanaians to share their stories, which she promoted on her blog Stories From Ghana. Their stories brought out critical voices on the inequalities and discrimination in the world. “Development is not good because it destroys nature and for me God is nature.” This was a key sentence for Caro as she realized how global structures destroy people’s deepest beliefs. The whole experience motivated her to continue with the project beyond her Act.
Camila Huecho, Constanza Garces
“Child abuse is more frequent than we believe and emotional marks sometimes silence very important stories that need to be heard”. Melton Fellows Camila Huecho and Constanza Garces from Chile encouraged 70 people to anonymously share their experience and stories through a survey.
The results of these surveys were so powerful and strong that they decided to start sketching up a blog project, called Voz de Melisa (Melisa's Voice) and to continue working on it. “First, we wanted to work more with quantitive information, but when we started to interview people, we realized that the often unheard voices of the victims are way more powerful than any hard data.” The Act of Global Citizenship got lots of support and many more response than expected. Camila and Constanza also got e-mails from people with no relation to the issue, who were thankful to learn about the topic and the unexpected and major presence of this problems in their community.
What Helps Me To Stay Healthy?
Chile’s population is becoming more obese and the number of people affected by diseases related to unhealthy lifestyle is increasing. “How can I motivate myself and others for a healthier lifestyle?” was the question that motivated Melton Fellow and medical student Andy Fuentes for her Act of Global Citizenship.
With the support of other Melton Fellows, she selected brochures on healthy lifestyle and went with them to the Chef Gastronomic Festival in Temuco. Andy approached random visitors and engaged them in a conversation on healthy lifestyle. She used the brochures to reinforce her message. She talked to over 20 visitors. They thanked her for her time and the explanation. “Some of them said that they have never been told that their lifestyle can affect their health in such a great way.” Andy enjoyed answering specific questions on how they can prevent illnesses such as by improved eating habits and sport.
Changing Perspectives on Africa
Melton Fellow Alex Seltmann was tired of hearing unreflected, racist and sexist comments from family members. Especially their image of African countries and African people, which is distorted by German media’s focus on poverty and wildlife. His trip to Ghana inspired him to do something against it .“Even though it was not easy, I really was eager to share my experiences and try my best to break some stereotypes and maybe give some food for thought.”
At a family birthday party he took the opportunity to share with 28 family members his experiences in Ghana using storytelling with photos and videos. He started with impressions from his travels (nature as a starting point) and ended with the consequences of climate change in the Ada region and the former slave castle in Cape Coast. There, he included small quotes of befriended Melton Fellows from Ghana, India and China about their impressions and thoughts. This led to further discussions and an entry point for further conversations between Alex and his family.
More Tolerance Through Intercultural Exposure
Melton Fellow Alana Ingram loves traveling and learning from and about other cultures. “I believe that you can not blindly hate people once you get to know their culture.” For her, studying abroad is the perfect way to be exposed to other cultures and to become more tolerant.
Alana went to all the departments of her university to learn about all different exchange programs. She put together this information and created a booth at Dillard University. To make it more attractive for students to come to her booth she decorated it with souvenirs from her travels with the Melton Foundation. Over 30 students got interested and signed up to receive more information. More importantly she used the booth to get into conversation with the students and to learn about their motivation and interest to go abroad.
Providing a Platform for Victims of Cyber Bullying
“Since this had happened to me as well, I knew how hard it is to raise your voice against it”, says Sanchita Vishwa after successfully implementing an awareness campaign on online harassment and bullying. With the advent of social media and internet across the globe, cyber bullying is becoming increasingly common. Since it is an act of power and aggression, cyber bullying exists Regardless of area of origin. Sanchita became aware that not only she but a lot of her classmates were victims of cyber bullying. She encouraged six of them to share their thoughts on online harassment on a chart paper and to share it on Facebook.
“Being able to provide a platform for victims of cyber bullying to talk about their experiences and for people to share their knowledge of the topic made me feel empowered and passionate about bringing out positive change on how we use social media and how it influences the world around us.” Having mutual experiences with feeling stigmatised by being bullied online, this Act of Global Citizenship resulted in the formation of a support group that provides a space to heal together.
More Diversity in the Open Source Community
Melton Fellow Vladimir Fomene is very passionate about technology and how it can be used to empower communities. He is an advocate for open source software projects. “We have very few people in Africa involved in open source organizations because they do not know about these opportunities.” he says. The 100Acts Program gave him the impulse needed to organize a workshop to teach people how to volunteer for open source software projects.
The workshop took place at Ashesi University and focused on three points: value of contributing to open source software, how to contribute to an open source software project and how to build an online reputation. Vladimir’s aim is to bring more diversity into the open source community. He is looking forward to seeing the projects of his participants.
Raising Young Leaders
As a sustainable social change practitioner and a global citizen, Bitebo Gogo is passionate about empowering young people to reach their full potential, use their influence for good and make a positive difference in the world. In this spirit, Bitebo held a leadership series followed by a session on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 16 young people at KIR Foundation Inclusive Community Centre, in Port-Harcourt in Nigeria. “Young people today, especially in Nigeria that has one of the highest youth populations, face significant challenges in creating a bright future for themselves. Many of the global challenges to development are particularly relevant to the youth. Creating awareness about the SDGs among young people is one of the ways that I can raise young leaders to use their influence for positive change.”
The objective of the activity was to support peer educators to further promote the SDGs and the role of young people in their circles. Bitebo used storytelling to give examples of outstanding young people that used their potential for good. She gave the participants tangible tips for how they can become changemakers and committed them to use their social media platform not only for recreational activities but to get informed and inform about global issues.
Inspiring Rebel Girls in Temuco
Ana Camila Vergara
“I want them to realize that anything is possible if they have enough nerve and work hard.” says Ana Camila, when asked why she chose to design a hands-on storytelling activity for a group of girls in Temuco, Chile. After reading Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls, they talked about how important it is for girls to have female role models to look up to. Then, they drew and painted the characters they found most inspirational. A key moment for Ana Camila was when she read the story about Joan Jett and one of the girls realized that women can be rock stars, too. “I could see in her eyes that something clicked inside, and afterwards she has been asking my brothers to play guitar while she sings because she really wants to be a rock star.”
For Ana Camila, it was clear that her Act of Global Citizenship had impacted the girls. And, the activity helped her develop the ability to tell stories to young kids in a simple yet powerful way. What’s even better: this simple act was only the beginning. One of the girl’s teachers loved the idea so much that she invited Ana Camila to do a similar activity at her school by the end of the year.
Mental Health for All
Melton Fellows in New Orleans
Melton Fellows at DU in New Orleans (USA) want the world to know that seeking mental health care is not just something that "crazy" people do, and that having a mental illness does not have any bearing on your worth as an individual. They gathered Dillard students together to learn from mental health professionals, in order to bring help directly to Dillard students.
Gardening to Shape the Public Sphere
Melton Fellows in Jena
Fellows at FSU Jena (Germany) wanted to build awareness for possibilities to garden in urban spaces. They created an open space for planting one’s own herbs and flowers, and prepared and distributed seed balls to spread them in the city of Jena. They feel that such activities empower citizens to shape the public sphere by integrating green spaces within urban areas.
Stress Relief To Deepen Bonds
Melton Fellows in Accra
In order to promote mental health awareness, Melton Fellows at Ashesi (Ghana) visited a botanical garden and participated in a ropes course. Their goal was to relieve themselves of stress and create a stronger working bond.
Promoting Intercultural Exchange
Melton Fellows in Temuco
Melton Fellows at UFRO in Temuco (Chile) organized a barbecue for foreign students in order to celebrate diversity. They shared about 'the Chilean way of life' and explored similarities and differences together with their international guests. During the activity, they confirmed once that having a different culture is not an obstacle to friendship.
Standing Up for Your Cause
Melton Fellows in Hangzhou
Adapting techniques from performance art, Melton Fellows at Zhejiang University (China) staged an action called “Stand Up for Your Cause”. They carried papers with certain topics on them in public spaces, and engaged passersby in conversation about their initiative. With the initiative, the Fellows spread awareness about causes they are passionate about. Also, they hope to have inspired others to follow the example and stand up for their causes, too.
Conversation around African LGBT+ issues
Beryl Nana Ama Akuffo-Kwapong
Wishing to deconstruct and kick start a conversation around African LGBT+ issues, Beryl held a discussion about sexualities in pre-colonial ‘Africa’ during her “Africa in International Affairs” class at Ashesi University. Beryl and two other classmates, Pearl Abbam and Yvette Umatari, used photos to interact and educate their classmates. Beryl wishes to thank her professor, Evelyn Amponsah.
Celebrating Diversity Over Dinner
Ruth Felicitas Hartl
To reduce prejudices about people from other cultures, Feli invited friends from different backgrounds and cultures who are studying or working in Germany. Everybody brought something to share for a dinner together. They also shared their favorite music, discussed languages and dialects and even learnt some Arabic.
Hashtags To Reduce Disposable Tableware
To reduce the use of disposable tableware, Jiaxiu ran social media campaign. She created two hashtags: #NeedNoDisposable calls for the use of reusable tableware and #MeForGreen encourages restaurant owners to ask whether customers need disposable tableware with their take-out. Jiaxiu promoted the name of the restaurants that showed their support for the campaign.
Teaching Economics To Empower Rural Women
To advance the economic empowerment of Chinese women in rural areas, Shuning taught them basic financial knowledge like accounting and investment. She researched micro loans in rural China and shared her knowledge in a free online class. Shuning believes that free online course which target rural women can significantly help improve their lives.
Unchaining Gender Stereotpyes In Kids
At a community center in Buenos Aires, Lena held an activity for children about gender neutrality. When being shown specific objects or concepts painted on cards, the children identified many of them as "typical" for boys or girls. Lena then talked about their choices, reflected about the gender label for these object, and made the children realize that the function of an object or concept is what really matters.
Podcasts To Unfold Root Causes
In order to understand the underlying causes of terrorism, how to create a more inclusive society, and how to stop terrorism at an individual level, Vladimir interviewed students to get their opinion on the issue. He then started a weekly podcast show on social media to share his findings.
Human Library For Intercultural Understanding
To help build a bridge of intercultural communication between Chinese students and overseas students, Ziqi created a “human library” at her university’s cafeteria. She gathered students from over 10 countries and they "read" each other like a book in order to learn and be open-minded to other cultures.
Designing Awareness For Disability
To raise children's awareness about disability, Hanyu integrated the topic of Caring for Disability into an art class lesson at Zhucun Primary School, Lishui, Zhejiang, China. She divided the class of 36 students into nine groups and asked each group to explore the topic and designed a poster that reflect their insights.
Interviews To Raise Awareness About Depression
Ana Camila Vergara
To raise awareness about how stress, depression and anxiety works, Ana Camila conducted interviews between the stress and depression expert Alon Chen and different Chilean media (TV and newspaper) at a national conference. She learned more about how to explain the issues to the population and hopes to continue to spread awareness.
Changing Attitudes Towards Male Sexuality
To learn more about the perceptions of male students with regards to the importance of male sexual health education at the university level, Tito distributed questionnaires and conducte face to face interviews at Ashesi University in Ghana. Tito is hoping to change attitudes and overcome a lack of willingness to talk about male sexual health.
Challenging Gender-Role Classification
To sensitize people on how gender-role classification plays a part in our lives and to understand how our lives are similar, Sabelo held face-to-face and online discussions in Ghana that involved a group of five, peer-peer sharing and know-your-friend-games.
Supporting A Healthy Lifestyle
To help address the increasing rate of obesity in his city, Chen Tao is helping the people around him lower their mass fat rate to 15% before 2018. He goes to the gym with them every other day and they jog together at night.
Campaigning For Welfare Of Zoo Animals
To promote the welfare of animals held at the Beijing Zoo, Hejun interviewed managers of the zoo and researched online papers and press releases. He encourages visitors to campaign for better living conditions for the animals.
Building Confidence Through English Training
To encourage Mexican students to pursue a higher level of English, as well as confidence in speaking and writing, Oscar held lessons at Dillard University to practice talking, story writing, speaking and diction pronunciation in English.
Dressing Up Against Gender Stereotypes
Alex decided to take a German saying to heart: you are what you wear / clothes make the wo/man. To help break stereotypes, he wore earrings and a female top. The idea behind the act: no matter what your regular clothing choices, get out of your comfort zone and try something different.
Researching Native American Ancestry
Aamina wanted to encourage students at her university in New Orleans to research their Native American ancestry. She wrote an essay about her journey to inspire her fellow students to learn about their Native American ancestry. She emailed the essay to every student at Dillard University, and hopes to inspire others to learn about their heritage.
Tackling Violence Against Children Through Arts
Camila wanted to raise awareness about child abuse and to explain the causes and consequences of normalizing violence against children. After conducting interviews to gather experiences and opinions, she created a small illustrated analysis and reflection.
Click here to See her "Ilustrated Reflection" that she posted on Facebook.
Promoting Healthy Lifestyle
Esteban wanted to teach a friend about healthy eating habits and physical activities. He taught him about the basis of a healthy diet, calculating and showing macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), eliminating sugars, and changing processed food to natural and local products. Over three months they tracked all his meals and his friend began to play sports.
Pledging To Stop Violence On Campus
Destiny wanted to help stop violence on various college campuses, including bullying, harassment or gun violence. Moved by the pleas by parents of the victims of a mass shooting in the United States, Destiny gathered friends and peers at Dillard University. They all pledged not to be a bystander to violence.
Building Awareness About Mental Illnesses
Dian wanted to generate discussions about mental illnesses such as depression. She invited friends and acquaintances to take an online depression test, shared information about the disorder, and identified herself as a resource for help. Dian hopes to continue to be an ally in relieving stress and anxiety; and finding ways to prevent and deal with depression.
Creating Awareness Of Sanitation And Community Health
Pearl wanted to inspire students in Mallam-Accra, Ghana to help keep their community clean. She distributed posters about sanitation to classes at a primary school. A talk was also given to create awareness of sanitation and how they can individually better the sanitary conditions of their school and community as a whole.
Encouraging Local Community To Recycle
Joaquín Martínez Dal Santo
Joaquin wanted to encourage people in Temuco, Chile to classify their home waste and take it to recycling points. He passed out 50 self-made flyers door to door in his neighborhood, and when possible give a little talk about recycling to encourage people to commit themselves to waste management and recycling.
Reducing Consumption Through Upcycled Gifts Christmas
Charlotte challenged friends and family not to buy Christmas presents, but rather to recycle or “upcycle” gifts. She wanted to remind people that they can reuse 'old' things or transform them into something new. In an effort to reduce consumption, she encouraged friends to buy as little as possible and find inspiration for gifts in the things they already have.
Reducing Harassment At Work
At his workplace in Oregon, Joshua encouraged coworkers to refrain from harassment, specifically sexual harassment, and educated them about how their actions can relate to global citizenship. His coworkers pledged to maintain a sense of professionalism and better their sense of respect and responsibility as a 2017 resolution.
Educating Community About Privacy Protection
To raise people's awareness about keeping personal information safe, Jiawen designed a useful gadget to help cover the personal information on express packages. She also distributed flyers with information on the topic. Jiawen is now looking for sponsor to help her scale the project.
Creating Awarness About Modern Slavery
Kwabena Twumasi Ankrah
To create awareness about, and help fight, modern day slavery in and around his community, Kwabena designed a publicity campaign at Ashesi University in Ghana. He displayed the “Ancestral Project,” which depicts 1200 human heads made of clay to represent heads of slaves shipped off during the era of legal slavery, and to highlight its continuing existence.
Building Self-Esteem To Empower Youth
Cynthia wished to improve the economic well-being of youth in remote areas of the Berekuso community in Ghana. In order to equip the youth with necessary skills that will enable them to think highly of themselves and identify ways pf improving their lives, she mentored them in goal setting and set a timeline for future meetings.
Gender Stereotypes and Sexism
Zhentao wanted to raise awareness about gender stereotypes and sexism, and to motivate students at his university to act to change the status quo. During a presentation to students at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, Zhentao discussed the liberating power of feminism and invited everyone to be involved in the fight for a united world.
Making LGBT Community Visible
In an effort to normalize LGBT community members and encouraging LGBT activists, Ashita filmed a distance interview of an LGBT activist and three journalists, then screened it at BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore, India. She feels it is important to engage with LGBT activists rather than just conduct awareness drives, to hear about the struggle firsthand.
Speaking Up For Sexual Minorities
In order to address the exclusion of sexual minorities and to build support for them in mainstream society, Haizhou organized a discussion forum about the LGBT community at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. He hopes to build more momentum around this issue and inspire further action among the student community.
Rethinking Prejudices About Poor & Rich
To reduce prejudices against poor and rich in Germany, Carolin designed cards with prejudices about the poor or orich on one side and facts and statistics from institutions on the other. She distributed them to passersby in Jena, Germany, held a conversation with them, and encouraged people to pass along the card to help fight prejudices.
The Value of Languages
Alana visited a fourth-grade classroom and used games to spur interest in learning a second language. She moved the students from no interest in foreign languages to an understanding of their value. They learned a few words in Spanish from a native speaker and all expressed interest in speaking a foreign language.
Take the Street against Street Harassment
Valentina created awareness about street harassment in Temuco, Chile by handing out leaflets with information about the topic and starting discussions that allowed people to express why they are against street harassment. She then asked them to write down their thoughts and opinions. She hopes this act will help prevent street harassment.
Say NO to Food Wast
In Munich, Matthias aimed to bring awareness about food waste reduction by participating in a food sharing fair-share point, where anybody can take or give food that would otherwise go to waste. Since over 1/3 of produced food is wasted, Matthias encourages global citizens no to throw away food!
Bring Broken Glass to Life
Mandeep connected art with the concept of DIY Recycling. He picked up broken glass at roadside dumps and construction sites, in an attempt to breathe life into discared waste. A crystal creature rose out of the glass heap and he chronicled its story in a poem. Read more here.
Teaching Skills for Life
Sabreesh wanted to teach underprivileged school children in Bangalore, India about life skills not usually taught in the classroom. He and other Melton Fellows visited a school they’ve been working with for 1.5 years to teach a one-hour lesson in creative writing, engaging student to read a lesson and write a story.
Tackling Mediocrity in the Education System
Sparking Reflection about Gender Stereotypes
Constanza wanted to raise awareness about gender stereotypes in Temuco, Chile and have local residents reflect on the topic. After researching the topic and watching documentaries related to gender stereotypes, and holding conversations with people close to her about the topic, Constanza hung posters in and around her college campus that attack gender stereotypes.
Stories against Online Harassment
To raise awareness and start a discussion about online harassment, Pranav, with the help of a friend, designed and printed five different posters with stories of online harassment, and hung them around his university campus in Bangalore, India. Pranav hopes that people passing by will read about the experiences and write their own.
Debunking Myths around Menstruation
Sanchita wrote a blog about menstruation in order to reduce misconceptions and stigma, fight taboo, and provide a platform for people working towards debunking myths around menstruation. As part of her research, she interviewed people of different ages and sourced related social media pages that work to alleviate gender inequality in all spheres of life.
Bridging Cultures on Religious Holiday
In Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Verena Sturm celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah together by attending midnight mass as well as Hannukah festivities. She wanted to learn more about the different traditions and costumes related to the holiday as well as the religion, in order to bridge cultures and bring people of different religions together.
Fighting Everyday Gender Inequality
In order to fight gender inequality in Temuco, Chile, and worldwide, Andrea created a video about how everyday language can perpetuate gender discrimination. She shared it on social media to create awareness and make people aware of the issue. She hopes to prevent myths from spreading in our language and minds.
Building Civic Courage
Isabel organized a Civic Courage training with trainers from Trainernetzwerk Zivilcourage e.V. in Jena, Germany. She wanted to empower a group of 15 people to intervene in social situations that require civic courage (e.g. discrimination, verbal and corporal violence). The participants can serve as multipliers of civic courage by teaching other people and perhaps starting further projects.
Challenging Rape Culture through 'Misogynoir'
Taniyah organized a symposium called Misogynoir in which six speakers from diverse backgrounds spoke at Dillard University about rape culture and its global effects on black women. Taniyah wants people to recognize that sexuality is about consent and autonomy, and that people do not get to commodify others for personal gain.
Changing Perceptions of Mental Illness
In and around Ashesi University (Ghana), Henrika held conversations with different people regarding their perception of and experiences with mental illness, in an effort to shed a bit more light on a topic that is rarely spoken about in Ghana. She hopes this is a first step in changing perceptions of mental illness.
Building Confidence through Language Skills
In Mumbia, Akshath held a workshop to improve children’s writing skills. The workshop focused on literary skill development, creative writing, written form of communication as an important skill to have, and improving writing skills in general. Akshath hopes to make children more confident in their writing and overall language skills.
Fashion Exchange for Sustainability
Alexandra organized a fashion exchange party for students at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. Her aim was to promote sustainability, show alternatives to buying clothes, and provide an opportunity to collect and donate clothes to the German Red Cross.
Reproductive health education in Sri Lanka
To spread awareness about reproductive health education and open the conversation about taboo topics such as puberty and menstruation, Neli organized an interactive workshop at Peradeniya University in Sri Lanka. "
Empowering girls with tech & science!
Vladimir wanted to empower young people, especially girls, with technology skills. He organized a workshop for junior high students at Christ the King International College in Accra which included teamwork activities, a graphic design session and scratch programming session. "Many more girls are interested in going for technology, but they are not introduced to these things early on," Vladimir says. "The kids taught me a great lesson; you can do great things if you are no longer afraid to explore."
Learning about eco-friendly farming
Xiaozhuo worked with Dilmun Student Organic Farm, a farm is run by students of Cornell University which satisfies the daily vegetable needs of about 30 families through a CSA model. In addition to volunteering at the farm – harvesting radishes, beets, scallions, zucchini and more – she also engaged more students to start volunteering at the farm, and held activities like pickle-making on campus and attracted dozens of students to know more about farming and reflect on their own lifestyle. Consumers need to enhance ' practices, which are generally greener and promotes food sovereignty of the community."
Raising awareness of sexuality
Beryl Nana Ama Akuffo-Kwapong
Beryl, along with a team of other girls, staged the Vagina Monologues at Ashesi University for the first time. Speeches on sexuality, gender-based violence and abuse were given to educate and inform the audience on the scope of issues concerning sexuality in general with a skewed focus on women. Beryl says, "we should be deliberate about our fight against sexual violence. We should not sit still until abusers are brought to book and punished for their actions."
Welcoming refugees at home
To address the problematic situation for refugees in Germany, to get to know a foreign culture directly and intimately, and to welcome refugees and make them feel comfortable within their new social environment, Leo organized a welcome dinner at his home in Jena for three Syrian refugees. "We find it necessary to show such examples of solidarity and warmth towards people who have lost their homes and identities," Leo says. "We are all human beings and if we try hard, we can establish a global community that respects the rights and needs of every individual."
Teaching human values to children
To instill good values and habits in children, Sabreesh taught a class at Kamala Nehru Paatashala, a school for underprivileged children in Bangalore, on values like Respect,Trustworthiness, Fairness, Responsibility and Citizenship. He taught using stories and gave them examples. Sabreesh says, "The kids, even though they're so young, expressed viewpoints I had never thought of. Their statements surprised me and I felt happy that the kids I teach are smart and think of things in unique ways."
Improve education through books
To improve the operation of the recently inaugurated Mañuco School library, which was donated by the Melton Foundation, Natalia organized a training by a professional librarian on how to borrow books properly, how they should be classified, and how to facilitate the library in an appropriate manner. "Using our small networks, we can generate powerful and important impacts in a community or region, even in your neighborhood – you just need a little bit of motivation, energy and obviously, to contribute."
Reduce cafeteria food waste
Oluseun enlightened Dillard University students about the amount of food wasted as a result of the use of trays, and encouraged them to refrain from utilizing trays. She estimated this could will help reduce the amount of food wasted in the cafeteria by 1,000 pounds weekly. She spoke at the Toyota Green Initiative event at Dillard University, and worked with the catering service Sodexo in educating students about the negative impact of the food wasting, gathering about 50 pledges.
Designing Healthy Eating Experiences
Aobo worked with a design team at the University of Pennsylvania to design a special leaf-shaped plate that encourages kids to select multiple dishes rather than single, and with appropriate portions. The team worked with the cooking team at Comegys Elementary School in West Philadelphia to produce healthy, balanced meals to be served in the plates. The final plate and accompanying branding scheme will achieve the project goal of working with a younger generation of community members to promote healthy eating in the community.
Teaching kids to think globally
Aamina's goal was to teach the students in my class how to promote global citizenship. Together with Melton Fellow Olivia Ingram, Aamina taught a 4th grade class at Craig Elementary in New Orleans about the different global issues we address in the Melton Foundation. They then helped the children create posters with drawings and fun slogans that promote global citizenship. The posters were displayed in the hallway next to the principal's office.
One day without slavery
To raise awareness about the issue of modern day slavery, Julian tried to live one day without using or consuming products that included slave labour and posted about his experiences on Facebook. He analyzed everything he did/ate/consumed throughout the day. Julian also provided help for people to understand their own slavery footprint. "In the current environment it is (almost) impossible to live without benefitting from slavery," Julian says. There is no system in place for us to be certain that we are not sustaining this system. But it is important to educate ourselves as much as possible so that we can, over time, reduce our impact."
Stories for Gender Equality
To create awareness about gender equality and bring this idea to our everyday life, Claudia started to share photographs and impressions from people she knows who give their opinions about gender equality on Facebook and Instagram. "Gender equality may be, for some people, a difficult concept to use on a daily basis," she says. So by telling stories/opinions/impressions from people I know (mainly friends), I'd like that those who are not interested on this issue or do not know anything about it, could start to visualize and discuss it among their comunities."
Networking & global citizenship for better education
Raise awareness of the educational system
Maya used bulletin boards to post info that gave the college campus an idea of how the differences in public education effected the community. The poster also advertised a discussion that would take place on campus. "Areas that are deemed low-income face what almost seem like insurmountable odds when it comes to educational support. The resources, the finances and what seems to be a genuine concern for the students leave much to be desired," she said. "I was surprised to learn how passionate people were and the ways they felt the system could be improved."
Helping underprivileged minorities learn
share knowledge and opportunities with students of an underprivileged religious minority school in Bangalore, Mourya donated many students who are curious to learn about the various opportunities that small actions,
Promoting better use of personal vehicles
Nidhi J. R.
In order to help reduce air pollution and increase awareness on better practices for vehicle owners, Nidhi designed, printed and distributed flyers on the issue around the BMS campus and to business owners. "A high percentage of Indians across the country use personal means of transport like cars and two wheelers that run on precious fossil fuel," Nidhi says. "I realized that everybody wants to help, but only needs somebody to direct them into taking action. The shop owners were very willing to allow the flyers and also promised to ensure that their customers would read them. They also pledged to use the public transport more."
Sustainable living on campus
To remind students of some little actions they could take to live more sustainable lives on Ashesi's Campus, Nana Kwame engaged students on campus around a sustainable living recommendations infographic he created. "I want the world to know that living more sustainable lives does not necessarily mean taking monumental leaps in self-deprivation," Nana said. "Rather, taking little actions and correcting little unsustainable behaviors can aggregate to create monumental changes."
Raise awareness of fair trade & human trafficking
Francisco Andaur & Constanza Manosalva
Francisco & Constanza wanted to get an overall picture on the knowledge of fair trade and human trafficking among the students of the University of La Frontera, and then provide information to raise awareness and start introducing the topics. They first developed a survey for UFRO students at the University of La Frontera to asses their knowledge on the issues. Then, they created posters with the survey results and more information to help raise students' awareness. "I would like people to know that their daily purchasing decisions have an impact. If we are aware of this issue we can make positive contributions," Constanza said.
Books that inspire change!
To read powerful books, discuss about different issues which the books are adressing, and exchange and understand other perspectives, Verena started a book club at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. The group votes on a book that addresses an important issue, and Verena sends discussion questions to be considered during the reading. "Literature is a powerful tool, as well as the richness of different perspectives within the Melton foundation," Verena says.
Educate women on reproductive health
To address the issue of the lack of education that women receive about their own reproductive systems, Ayanna created an Instagram account, researched and posted information on female reproductive rights and education of women. "I would like the world to know that there is no reason to be afraid of learning about yourself and what your body holds," she said.
Sustainable, fair fashion
To promote the reuse of clothes as well as raise awareness for sustainable and fair clothing brands, Marleen invited friends and colleagues to join her for an afternoon of exchanging clothes, having some tea and nice conversations. She also prepared a list of sustainable and fair brands for different types of clothing as well as shops selling those in Munich. "Everyone of us has clothes that we do not use anymore - a clothes swap party is an easy way to find a new owner for the pieces and that the same time also be the lucky one who receives something new which is not just a random shirt bought somewhere but, from now on, is also connected with the memory of a wonderful afternoon with friends!
Home gardening against climate change!
To help people grow a portion of their own food, thereby reducing reliance on large supply chains, Paritosh held a viewing party of "24 Hours of Climate Reality" along with small workshop on possible plants that are beneficial for home gardening and sources for buying simple supplies. "Home gardening is the first step to reduce our dependance on the global supply chain. This can help us reduce farming waste and distribute the load on the land. It is also the best way for us to know the source of our food."
Nutrition & exercise education
To promote education in nutrition and physical activity among college students, Da held a series of workshops in Zhejiang University raising awareness of how good nutrition and exercise can improve their lives.
Promoting confidence and self-acceptance
Ana Camila Vergara
To Create a "Body Positive" environment, promoting confidence and self-acceptance at the Universidad de La Frontera community in Temuco – especially among women – Ana Camila made pamphlets and posters with different Body-Positive mantras, hanging around the different UFRO campuses, and created a hashtag for people to upload their pictures. "In a world that seems to be determined to create a specific ideal of what a body should look like, where people get messages from society and the media about how they should look like, I want people to know that they don't have to look a certain way, that every body is perfect in its own way."
To conscientize people of the various groups, boxes and categories they put themselves and others in, and to help them take the extra step in getting to know the 'other' beyond whatever pre-held assumptions, Sabelo prepared a stand and presentation on stereotypes and how we easily form them. He created a "share sheet" asking people to share who they are and what stereotype about them they want to deconstruct. "Stereotypes are not always false, neither are they always negative nor only about minorities," Sabelo says. "It's easier for any one of us to stand from afar and come up with conclusions about people based on some assumptions, but its also way easier to make the effort and start the conversation."
Empathy & equality for people with Down Syndrome
In order to become more familiar with the struggles of those with Down Syndrome and to help them better integrate into society, Hanyu assisted with painting classes at the YMCA art center in Singapore, and also participated in the Purple Parade, which raises awareness for those with special needs. "Compassion never equals to equality and respect. It was really important to provide them with same opportunities to stand on public stage and do something involving their efforts," Hanyu said. "Before we decide to "help" a certain group of people, we have to get close enough to them. We should not only give them material support, but also full respect by encouraging them to step outside shelters and do some work they are able to."
Yoga for Mental Health
Esteban Torres Baier
Esteban offered several yoga sessions in Temuco's general hospital to people with different kinds of mental disorders. "Everybody can help with simple things to others and have an impact," Esteban says. "All of us should have the opportunity to try new and different things, no matter the conditions."
Swap clothes, reduce consumption
Charlotte invited friends to her home for a clothes swap party, to encourage reusing clothes instead of buying new ones. "Exchanging clothes you don't use anymore is a great way to reduce your own consumption and help others do the same. It also creates awareness about our wasteful lifestyle and how we could change it," Charlotte says.
Promoting organic farming
Akshay took a group of around 30 students to the ERA Organic State centre in Bangalore to meet with the founder of the Green Path Eco Hotels, Dr. Jayaram H. R.. The students spoke to him about the benefits of organic foods and its drawbacks and challenges. The session was followed by a trip to the Sukrushi organic farm to observe the practices in use and to continue the goal of sustainability through a reforestation drive. The group planted 60 saplings in total of various varieties.
Buy coffee, do good
Song and his team are raising funds for public welfare projects by designing a special menu in the coffee house of their department at Zhejiang University. The goal is to raise awareness on campus to care for vulnerable people and promote social projects in a creative way. Customers could "order" a project from the special menu and pay for it together with their order. "We can attach extra value to any activity," Song says.
Promoting genuine human connection
Javiera Muñoz Mardones
In order to generate awareness about diversity and human actions and to connect people, Javiera planned two activities that made participants reflect on how difficult it is to communicate in a way that takes them away from their comfort zone. The first one was a treasure hunt with an imaginary map, and the second was a pub visit in which the group had to communicate with others using just sign language. "I would like to encourage more people to challange themselves in order to get connected with different people and to reflect about how they can become more human," Javiera said.
Ditch the plastic bottle at Ashesi!
Tito Lulu Magero
challenged the Ashesi University community to consume tap water, convincing them that the tap water available on campus is just as safe as bottled water. He put up challenge sheets on campus for the Ashesi community to pledge to try out tap and dispenser water for 24 hours. Tito says, "Plastic waste production is not a company or industry problem. Instead, it is a people problem. Our individual use and disposal of the same create the huge mess we see around us."
Art against unfair labor in fashion
Diana wanted to raise awareness about fair textile production, consumption behavior, and modern slavery, and to get people to think about their own influence when buying clothes. She created an art installation at her university cafeteria in Germany showing the true price of clothes. Small posters gave facts about the issues and questions for people think about like "who picked the cotton for my T-shirt?" She also informed people about an event on the topic. "The situation does not only concern people far away; it is as close to us as it can be," Diana says. "I would like people to think about where their clothes come from and which stores they are supporting, if they really need everything they buy and what everyone can do to make a change."
Simple ways to be sustainable
To show students that they don't need to take drastic and complicated measures to be sustainable, Maryanne gave students a list of sustainable options, such as turning off and unplugging their computers when not in use, taking shorter showers, brushing without running water, and opting to be trayless in the cafeteria. She then challenged them to implement one of the options into their daily lives for at least two weeks. "There are little things we can do each day that will add up to make a difference," Maryanne says. "Anyone can be sustainable; you just have to be knowledgeable of your surroundings."
End Food Waste!
Eva set up a shelf in her residence hall's fridge for the food they want to share with each other. She also installed a small cupboard for other things they want to give away. She believes every shared living arrangement should have a dedicated space for community food because "it creates a nice feeling to share, even it's just leftovers."
Empowering Changemakers in Santiago
May gave a workshop on Human-Centered Design methods to leaders and volunteers of Fundación Betesda, an NGO that works with recyclers and people living in the streets of Santiago and runs a school for adults in a slum in the city's metropolitan region. Her goal was to train and give them access to current methods for social project financing.
Valuing Higher Education
To encourage high school students to pursue higher education in the form of university attendance after graduation, Aaliyah held a workshop at a public high school in New Orleans to communicate the importance of university attendance to students who had decided to go directly into the workforce.
Promoting Sustainability / Changing Lifestyles
David held a workshop at Friedrich Schiller University composed of eight students from Asia, Africa and Europe. Participants were led into conversations about environmental sustainability, which culminated in ideas about future actions such as social media awareness, conscious shopping via sustainable options, and reduction in the amount of resources used in their daily lives.
Temuco Para Todos
Francisco wanted to raise awareness around the importance of road safety. He created a Facebook campaign, “Temuco para todos,” about road safety and respect between the different users of the street like drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The campaign consists of infographs with facts about the topic addressed.
Deal With It: Global Citizenship
At a meeting of the Foreign Language Association, Zhi moderated a discussion around interacting with foreigners and the idea of global citizenship. more than 20 students participated. Zhi talked about Melton Foundation, and the way it promotes global citizenship. Participants are looking forward to the Global Citizenship Conference in September.
Let's Bike to Work!
Maryanne wanted to implement environmental sustainability through biking or walking to work. She lives 30 minutes away from work and has gotten a couple of students in the Houston area to join her in biking to work or to their university. She hopes to connect with Melton bikers in Boston and start a movement!
Supporting New Orleans Literacy
Maya wanted to raise awareness about and help support literacy among children aged 7 to 13 in New Orleans. She gave out information to fellow Dillard University students on literacy statistics and where they could volunteer. She also led a small number of college students in a tutoring exercise at a local library.
Healthy Living At Home
Claudia wanted to promote a healthier lifestyle in her family. She held discussions and placed posters about eating well, using a bicycle, and reducing energy use. Her family has given up soda and now drinks water. Claudia told us that even if it seems difficult, it is possible to change your lifestyle at home.
Education for the World
Sun Yan was a volunteer teacher at an impoverished school in Baiji, Anhui Province, China teaching students how to write their name on a blackboard. She considers this an act of global citizenship because education plays a pivotal role in all countries around the world.
No más al abuso
Caro held a discussion with her students to raise awareness about street harassment. Despite not previously knowing about the subject, her students were so inspired that one of them built the No más al abuso group on Facebook. They shared information and photos, Caro wrote a blog, and everyone started discussions with peers and family.
Free Hugs in Bangalore
Maria Therese Mathew
Maria wanted various parts of society to interact with each other as they would with their friends or equals. She wanted people to look at others that they would normally look down on and see them as another human being, so she organized a free hugs campaign!
Healthy Living for Children
Jiaxiu Song 宋佳修
Jiaxiu and two friends went to two primary schools to talk about healthy ideas and explain them to students from grade 2 and grade 5. Themes included No Smoking in Public Space and Less Fireworks during Spring Festival. They then designed posters and brought the children to a supermarket to spread the ideas they learnt.
7 Days, 7 Opinions
Ria interviewed different individuals on the issue of moral policing in India and posted their opinions on Facebook. She wants to start a discussion on the various aspects of moral policing; delving into the past, present and future, unearthing the young Indian's reservations and aspirations.
Positive Actions in Community
For one month, Natalia challenged friends on Facebook to take positive actions in their community and share the results. To quote one of her friends: A person all the way in Chile causing a group of Indians to clean up their neighbourhood park with just a status update? This is definitely Global Citizenship!
Healthy Eating: Hairy Crabs!
Xiaozhuo Wen 温潇卓
In order to combat false information about the health benefits of hairy crabs in Hangzhou’s West Lake, Xiaozhuo conducted experiments and will publicize the results on West Lake Nutrition of WeChat Public Platform, and elsewhere. She hopes that customers can better understand what they are buying and “they can get what they mean to get!”
Stand Up Against Sexism
Reducing Waste in Guilin
Hanwen Xiong 熊含雯
Hanwen’s hometown of Guilin, China is a famous tourism destination, but she noticed tourists throwing away paper guidebooks. Hanwen and friends spent an afternoon talking to about 100 tourists, encouraging them to take the guidebook back to reception to support recycling and reduce waste. Many of them agreed to make it a habit during their later travel.
Healthy Living: Urban Garden!
Constanza made an urban garden in Temuco, Chile. She believes urban gardens help us be at peace with ourselves and aware of how important it is to take care of our health. Constanza asked us, “if we don't have health, how we will develop optimally in the other aspects of our lives?”
Chinese Students Go Global
Yandi Shen 沈彦迪
Yandi started a workshop to help middle school students with their applications to study abroad. He feels this is an act of global citizenship because it helps students cultivate their global vision, learn what it is like to be in a foreign country, and how to blend in.
Local Farmers, Local Food
Verena decided, along with her flatmate, that she no longer wanted to support food produced by industry that contains pesticides and is imported from around the world. They signed up for an organic vegetable box brought from a small, organic farm 20 km away. Verena feels it’s important to support local farmers.
Comunidad frente al Cáncer
Francisca is raising awareness about skin cancer in Temuco, Chile. She created pamphlets to hand out to local residents, as well as a Facebook page. She talked to them about prevention, ways to help the cause, and their rights as patients. She’s had such positive feedback that she’s planning to do more events around Temuco.
Pitching in for Cleanup
Following his participation in a local cleanup drive in Bangalore, Akshay went back to the shopping complex a few weeks later to observe what changes the activity had made. It was a vast improvement, and some of the shopkeepers were even using their own dustbins to do their part.
Garbage Classification in Hangzhou
Shuning Lu 陆舒宁
Shuning and team handed out pamphlets in Hangzhou, China to persuade more people to separate garbage and encourage recycling. She thinks that, “garbage is misplaced treasure. China has large consumption of resources, only when we put garbage in the right place can China and the whole world develop in a more sustainable way.”
More Than Just Dessert
Javiera organized a bake sale whose profits benefit Fundaction Teleton, which helps to rehabilitate children with disabilities who live in Chile. Javiera has seen Teleton's marvelous care first-hand through volunteering, and she wanted to raise awareness about the children’s needs and the Foundation’s work.
Oscar is fighting stereotypes and starting discussions about race through social media, in his classes, and in daily interactions. As Oscar puts it, “I decided to be the voice for those who are too afraid or don’t want to be judged by others for speaking up about what they believe in.”
Yinzhen is promoting sustainability in Boston by riding a bicycle and persuading his friends to do the same. He finds the work challenging due to Boston’s harsh winters, but as he put it, “Riding bicycles can help people keep fit and it's good for the environment. Besides, it looks really cool."
Untold Stories: Transgender People
Sonali Keshwa Murti
Sonali met Kumari, a local "hijra" in Bangalore, and was able to share Kumari's story with 40,000 residents in Bangalore through an interview article in The Urban Post. Sonali hopes this act will motivate others to take a small step towards preventing discrimination of transgender people in Bangalore and around the world.
Homemakers Need Internet, Too!
Nidhi J. R.
Nidhi taught homemakers in Bangalore the basics of internet usage in order to address their lack of tech use. As Nidhi puts it, “they are just as keen as the rest of us to learn new handicrafts on YouTube and see their grandkids on Skype without help from anyone else.”
Dogs are Global Citizens, too!
Esteban Torres Baier
Esteban is raising awareness about dogs treatment in Temuco, Chile, educating citizens about how to treat dogs and handing out plastic bags to dog owners to pick up their dog's droppings. Esteban hopes his Act will raise awareness about the treatment and protection of animals and wildlife, especially in urban areas.
Design for Social Problems
Hanyu Gong 龚涵雨
Hanyu held a workshop for students from various majors at Zhejiang University in order to share the concept and process of design thinking. She hopes participants learned that everyone can be a social designer and figure out solutions for social problems, while thinking from different social perspectives.
Zero Waste Challenge
Juli, Neli, Eva, Marleen and Nina decided to live one month (one week for Marleen) without producing waste (especially plastic waste). They wanted to inspire others to reduce waste and help them find ways to do so while integrating those ideas into their everyday lives. They created a blog and shared their experiences on Facebook.
Preserving the Natural World
Gaurav discovered a lot of garbage while on a hike to Coorg, India. Wanting to promote recycling, he gathered about 80% of the rubbish and deposited it at a recycling bin back in his hometown of Bangalore. Gaurav hopes to contribute towards efforts to preserve as much of the natural world as possible.
Changing Ideas on Thought Leadership
Sartaj wrote articles on Medium in order to discuss globally relevant issues (such as the sharing economy and the role of regulators) from a non-western perspective. He hopes that we can recognize the lack of materials on thought leadership which don’t fit a mainstream view, and engage in authentic conversations for change.
Justice and Education in Mexico
Ricardo made a presentation at Kottbusser Platz, Berlin, on what is behind the disappearance of 43 Mexican students this year. He also hosted webinars and radio and tv appearances. He wanted to share his experiences beyond what is heard on the news, while also promoting a campaign against a security collaboration between Germany and Mexico.
Dangers of Cyber Bullying
Aamina wanted to reach out to students in New Orleans about the realities of cyber bulling. She launched the Facebook campaign Leave Me Alone I'm At Home, which talks about the dangers of cyber bulling. She posted photos that contained facts about cyber bullying and opened a discussion about an instance of cyber bullying.
Africa Is Not One Country
Divya built a website to enable users to learn where all 54 African countries are located on the continent. She learned the geography herself while creating the website. Divya hopes it inspires people to come up with their own ways to know the world outside theirs.
Gapminder - Test your ignorance
To change the world, we need to know our biases. That’s why Markus created an ignorance survey and a related website. Within three days, 75 people took the survey; most scored much worse than random answers. Says a participant: “I am glad the world is better than I thought it is.”
Developing Financial Literacy Early
Oluseun made videos to present to high school and college students in New Orleans on the benefits of early financial literacy so they can achieve financial prosperity. The videos discuss financial terms, plus advantages of saving and budgeting at a young age. Olu feels that early financial literacy is very important and often ignored.
Choices in Childbirth
Judit wanted to educate her social media contacts about safe and empowering choices in childbirth. She created a webpage with readings, videos and web-references about different practices and choices women can and can't make. She posted it on Facebook and tweeted it, encouraging her friends to pass on the information.
What? Water! What else?
Hari created 12 posters about water conservation and posted them on Facebook so his friends could become aware of simple ways to reduce their water footprint. Hari told us, “it's amazing how much we don't know about things that affect our life. I personally learnt so much about water conservation.”
Click here to see and share the posters on Facebook - and to use them for your work!
Building civic awareness in schools
At the government school in Bangalore, Mourya organized talks on basic computer knowledge and the need for personal hygiene. Around 50 people attended. Mourya found that many people around him were eager to lend support once he showed them a tangible way to serve the public.
In order to promoted an eco-friendly Diwali, Sabreesh put up blank posters at BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore, India. Almost 300 students participated with ideas to avoid noise and air pollution, writing slogans like "The Earth has enough problems already. Avoid crackers” or a drawing of a dog saying “Save me from loud noises”.
Global Citizenship and Youth
Oluseun celebrated "UN Day 2014," at Dillard University in New Orleans on October 24, which had a theme of "Global Citizenship and Youth." She placed materials from the UN Foundation on every table in the university’s cafeteria. The outcome: Olu has found collaborators who will help her celebrate UN Day 2015 in grand style.
Informal City: New York
Micah took photos of the informal economy (sidewalk sales!) in his New York neighborhood of Hamilton Heights, and posted blog posts about the informal economy in New York. He hopes to start a conversation about the future of the Informal City in the Global North and the Global South.
48 Hour Juice Fast
Jiangyang Zhang 张江扬
For 48 hours, Jiangyang drank smoothies made from only vegetable and fruits, such as kale, celery, tomatoes, strawberry, and carrots. Kevin told us that one third of what we eat keeps us alive, the other two third keeps our doctors alive. He wants his Act to promote healthy living lifestyles.
Convince Family To Recycle
Karla always wanted to take action against climate change. While still in school, she decided to start with the most immediate sphere of influence – her family. During a discussion over dinner, she convinced her family to start recycling. Today, Karla has made a career out of her passion.
Click here to read more.
Photo Exhibit on Haiti
Olaf traveled from Germany to Haiti to teach young men to repair motorcycles. Before his trip, he fundraised in Germany to pay for spare parts and mechanic lessons for the Haitian students. On his return, he held a photo exhibit at his workplace to “bring back” Haiti to Germany.
Want to read more? Click here
Mobilize Students For Climate
One Bottle For Life
Concerned about our planet’s survival, Eva is adapting her food habits to be more eco-friendly. The first step she made not only helps reduced the amount of plastic in the world, but also saves her money and finds her new friends: she bought herself a steel bottle! No more plastic water bottles, just "one bottle for life".
Read the whole story here.
Many People, Many Desires
The only time Ria saw transgender people was at traffic lights, panhandling – a symptom of being shunned by society. Curious about what it means to be LGBT in India, she decided to invite the students of her university and members from the LGBT community to and eye-opening session at her university.
Read the whole story here.