My Experience with UNICEF's Activism Training

For one of my weeks of work experience I took part in a UNICEF workshop, here's how it went: Monday: On Monday, we were to meet up in the first floor of the Ombudsman for Children's office where UNICEF had booked one of the floors so we could have somewhere to talk. I walked in and there were a few people sitting at a table I sat with them and we quickly started talking. I didn't know anyone there but it was good because it encouraged me to make friends with new people. There was lots of food UNICEF had supplied us with, which was great. We then went into this room where the people from UNICEF informed us about the Global Goals and which were the most important ones for Ireland. We then had a small walking debate where we discussed which goals we believed to be the most important. Afterwards we were asked to pick one of the three goals which they would be discussing during the day. I picked climate change and was informed about how bad it actually was currently and how Ireland didn't have a plan and didn't intend to come up with one until 2017, which meant we wouldn't achieve our 2020 goals. I made friends with somebody called Raphael and we decided we would work together for the rest of the week. We had pizza for lunch and then afterwards we spent the rest of the day coming up with ways we could help spread the word about climate change that week. We were told about a lot of events we could go to during the week which would help spread the word.

I loved Monday, it was so much fun, I made loads of friends and it made me realise I could make a difference. Tuesday: On Monday, we were informed about how we could go to an event being held at the Buswells hotel hosted by stop climate chaos. Raphael and I headed into the hotel and were lead into a room where we were separated into where we live. This was because the TD's that were coming wanted to talk to people from their areas. The organization was very prepared and had planned what areas we were supposed to cover. We informed them about three simple steps they could take to help change the country, which were: for the TD's to come up with a plan for an affordable way of getting solar energy, for the TD's to divest in fossil fuel companies and for them to invest more money in public transport and bike routes (obviously some parts of this have been achieved but they wanted it to be focused on a lot more). For the most part the TD's were very cooperative. Raphael and I were the two youngest people there, this meant that everyone was very interested to hear about what we had to say which was great. I felt like my opinion mattered, which was very important because it gave me the confidence to construct good arguments. It was a fun day and I actually felt like we made a difference. Wednesday: On Wednesday, I wrote a speech and helped make a PowerPoint that Raphael and I would use on Thursday in his school. Thursday: On Thursday, I went to Raphael's school. all of the teachers seemed very friendly and eager to have me in. We were giving our speech to a group of 3rd years because they were learning about climate change in geography. They were very interested to learn about what we had been doing over the last week and at the end we told them about what they could do to help stop climate change. I felt great after the talk and it seemed to go down very well. I would recommend this work experience to anyone, I felt so independent the entire time,

knowing that I could take the experience in any direction I wanted.

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