I’ve been meaning to blog for months, so here it goes and sorry for the wait:
Around 2 months ago an amazing club named UW executed an event named Be The Change Movement. I am so thankful and fortunate to be part of such an organization that engages students to take on amazing initiatives. Let me tell you how this realization and this event came into play:
During the Summer of 2011 I pondered about this idea notion of “Be The Change.” For some reason I had an urge to do something, I wanted to make changes in my life. I was tired of just reading and listening about problems that were going around in the world. Instead I wanted to hear solutions. Most of us want a better world, we tell ourselves that we are going to make certain changes in our lifestyle that are for the betterment of society and our own personal lives. Often these aims and aspirations are put on hold and this procrastination is an ongoing re-occurrence in our daily lives. “Be The Change” originated from Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “be the change you wish to see in the world.” As an individual, I believe in the acceptance of other cultures, promotion of peace, being sustainable and environmentally friendly, and continuing to learn. I felt that youth and particularly university students have a critical role in society. We are seen as the future leaders and we also have the ability to inspire future generations. With academic and social pressures, we often get caught up in our own bubble and we feel that it is insignificant to be active and make a difference during this point of our life.
Many of us want to make a difference in the world but how can we do this and can we make this change together? If we want to see this change it must come from ourselves individually but if we all change certain habits together it can have long lasting positive impacts on the environments where we live.
During September I thought that this idea of the “Be The Change Movement” was something that Smart Solutions UW could take on as an initiative. I began to talk to other clubs and services on campus and most of them liked the idea. All that was needed was implementation and getting people involved.
After some organizing we decided that Smart Solutions UW would host ‘Be Change Movement’ and facilitate an environment where students can actively participate in changes they want to see in the world. For the first time ever, an opportunity will be provided for the student body so that they can take action and be the change they wish to see in the world. Smart Solutions would collaborate with other UW clubs and services so that they could showcase some of their initiatives and get students involved. The three themes that took place were sustainability, cultural diversity, and raising awareness. For the sustainability theme we had University of Waterloo Sustainable Projects (UWSP) display some initiatives that their working groups did. This included: eco eats, ACT, and the otesha project. They all did a great job by showing students ways they could get involved and how to become sustainable in their every day lives. For the cultural diversity theme, I thought that this was very important because in Canada we are so fortunate, and often take for granted, the cultural diversity that we have. As a pluralistic society, we meet lots of people from different cultural backgrounds but we often don’t learn about all these cultures. For this theme we had some UW cultural clubs talk about their specific culture and we promoted the Kitchener Waterloo Multi-Cultural Center. The last theme was raising awareness. There are lots of initiatives going around the world that can engage us and broaden our perspective. For instance, how do I write a letter to my local MP? How do I learn about different initiatives that are going around world wide? Engineers Without Boarders showcased their International Aid Transparency Initiative and taught students about the importance of this initiative. We also showcased some of Care 2 Petition and Avaaz‘s causes.
I believe that this event was a great pilot project. It holds to me personally because there are certain standards of change that I want to hold myself accountable to. Part of the reason why I have created this website/blog is so that I can share ideas, store resources, reflect on them, and improve my writing skills.
To see the FB event click here
To see the Be The Change promotional video click here