A week in Geneva (for work experience at the UN) wasn’t enough, but at the same time it was more than enough to open my my eyes to a future that could be possible and to make me realise how much I love what I’m doing right now and how valuable the words that we write, although they may not seem that at the time, are.
In terms of resources and what I learnt, I wanted to write things down that I could put into a blog post – a few websites or videos to inspire you to take charge of a topic of your interest. At the International Labour Organisation we were introduced to a programme called SCREAM to help young people educate themselves about the atrocity that is child labour and to do so in a way that works its way into the curriculum. Child labour is a huge issue but as a result of reading about the programme you might want to get involved some way and have your say regarding the programme in your school or college.
One of the most influential videos I saw was regarding plastic. Engaging, yet with a hugely important message of how we can stop using single use plastics to such the degree that we are now. In fact, it was what we can do regarding plastics and pollution that had the biggest impact on what I’m going to commit to in my everyday activities.
Set up by the WHO, the website Breathelife is both fascinating and emotive. You can play about with searching different places in the world to find out how safe the level of air pollution is there but the essential message is clear. It was shocking to read that air pollution kills 7 million people a year but that is the reality of climate change and pollution on our planet. There are various pledges you can sign on the website as a citizen or a health professional and brochures to help inform you on why we need to reduce air pollution which would consequently reduce the death toll per annum.
A topic of conversation that individuals can act upon, climate change is a subject that I think I learnt more about over the week and it just drilled in the importance of what needs to be done. It is the one thing that I’m going to try and change in my daily habits and hopefully I’ll be able to share posts in the future about plastic reduction but I’m not of a level where I feel I can give you enough information. Bethany from Curly and Wordy wrote a great article about why she failed plastic free July and I agree that as an ethical consumer I do feel the pressure regarding other sustainable goods that I buy, not just fashion. It is about the small changes that will lead to bigger ones and whilst I’m not sure I’ll be trying to live plastic free for a month soon, I am going to make a conscious effort to reduce my plastic consumption and I may try and write a blog post at the end of the year with the implemented changes to my routine.
A stunning city with equally stunning prices, I can only thank Lidl for its produce and resurrecting what could have been a huge dent in my bank account. For all its extortionate prices, Geneva makes up for it in looks and the lake by night is the perfect date night setting (and it’s free after 8pm!!!) There were films every night by the lake but we just sat and talked and tried not to get our phones stolen (it does so happen that Geneva is a pretty safe space so this shouldn’t be a problem). The things we did opened up my eyes on what changes need to be seen in the world but the city taught me that there is so many great people out there that are making them already and I’ve learnt new things about who I am as well.
To Jasmine, who is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, one of the kindest and may I say a fabulous photographer (does this mean an outfit post coming soon???). To Sophie, whose Youtube channel ‘Sophloaf’ is coming to a device near you soon. To Ezme who is destined to be one of the best diplomats the world has to offer. Likewise to Anya, but if that doesn’t work out then the Olympics will have to be a mediocre second choice 😉 To Lauren, Anya, Simran, Lily, Aliza, Bethany and Phoebe – you guys were the best and I promised you’d get a shout out right? If we’re meant to be the next generation of people running for such incredible organisations then I think the world is in safe hands… unless it involves choosing a caption for Instagram.
My week in Geneva taught me that you can be anyone you want to be, to choose what you love and thanks to the city having free transport, you can go further in life than you thought you could.
lots of love, eleanor xx