Here in the village of Mwaya, Charlie 4 volunteers are all motivated to become Global Citizens. A Global Citizen is someone who is engaged in the world and eager to help change things for the better. They identify with an emerging world community and take actions to encourage a worldwide responsibility for the protection of local environments and livelihoods. The 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, aimed to ending extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030, are good guidelines for Global Citizens to work towards.
To Mya McKnight from Charlie 4, a global citizen is a anyone who tries to influence things to make a world a better place. “A person who tries to use their influence to make things better” she says
The ICS programme continues after volunteers get home from their placement with the ‘Action at Home’ scheme. Action at home is an opportunity for volunteers to become active citizens within their own communities and to focus on, and spread awareness, about issues that they are passionate. Members of Charlie 4 have come up with lots of fun and unique ideas for their Action at Home and are excited about continuing their work in their own communities when they leave Mwaya Village.
Some of the Charlie 4 volunteers want their Action at Home activities to be on education, with many of the Tanzanian volunteers focusing on access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues. Freddy is going to host a weekly local radio program, and Hassan, Baraka, Amri, Nassoro and Jack are going to teach their local primary and secondary schools. Kat is conducting a social media campaign with short films to draw attention to female genital mutilation (FGM) in Manchester.
To Ben Hunter, Charlie 4 member, says that a “Global Citizen is someone that actively creates change within their community and communities across the world”
Another area that Charlie 4 volunteers are focusing on is environmental sustainability. Shaun and Mya live by beaches and want to organise beach clean-up events to make the beaches safer for sea life, birds and people. Deforestation is an issue in some parts of Tanzania, so Rehema is organising a forestation operation called ‘Panda Mti’ in the Lukata village in the Mbeya region. Tayyib wants to reduce his personal carbon footprint by cycling instead of using cars for transport. This connects to Ebrina Fleet’s thoughts on what makes a global citizen. He says a global citizen is someone “Caring about global issues and trying your hardest to fix them”
Homelessness is a big concern for Ben, Ebrima, Bhuvana and Mya so they are planning to raise awareness in their local areas by organising charity concerts, writing articles for local newspapers and conducting action days with fundraising stalls and forums for the homeless to share their thoughts.
“A Global Citizen is responsible for each and everything done in the world” – Nassoro Mlanga, Charlie 4
By working towards the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and using world awareness days like the Global Environment Day, motivated people can help change the things for the better. Charlie 4 volunteers have many ideas that will hopefully have positive impacts with their local communities and our project in Mwaya village has already had a positive influence in this community.
Bhuvana Sudarshan from Charlie 4 concludes the day by arguing that a global citizen is “a person who respects other cultures and nationalities and plays an active role in society”
What do you think of Charlie 4 thoughts on what makes a global citizen? Are you a global citizen?