28 Sep, 2018
10 : 00
Worldwide conservation charity Roots & Shoots has enlisted the help of Beijing international schools to spread the word of China’s ivory ban. We talk to Year 13 students Deborah Qu and Chloe Sandifer-Stech about their involvement with the project – and how Yew Chung International School of Beijing is leading the way in the pledge against ivory.
Please introduce yourselves
We are Deborah and Chloe in Year 13 – both originally from the United States. This year, we added a new Sustainability role to Student Council which we are both closely involved with. One of our main responsibilities is to manage the school’s Roots & Shoots initiative.
Please explain the Elephant Guardian Project
On the 31st December last year, China passed a nationwide ban on the sale of ivory and all its factories and retailers were shut down. Roots & Shoots are trying to spread the word by asking people to pledge online that they will never consume ivory. The more people who pledge, the more elephants will be saved!
To encourage everyone to get involved, Roots & Shoots have turned collecting pledges into a competition. They have given seven schools in Beijing their own QR code, and the school which collects the most pledges by 25th October will win 5,000 RMB for their own Roots & Shoots initiatives.
How did you hear about the project?
Ms Wario invited Roots & Shoots into school. They gave a presentation to us about the project, and we thought it would be a good way to kick-start the Roots & Shoots activities for the year.
What is your role in the project?
We have stuck posters around school with the QR codes and encouraged people to sign up – but actually everyone has played a part in spreading the word. It’s been quite easy to get people involved, especially when they hear it’s a competition!
How have students and staff reacted to this project?
The reaction has been really positive. Teachers, parents, students have all signed and our friends have been sharing the QR code in all their WeChat groups. At the moment, YCIS Beijing is in 3rd place with 900 signatures so we’ve got to keep trying! The competition doesn’t finish for another month.
Do you have any other ideas for sustainability projects this year?
We want to help reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles, so we are thinking of creating reusable water bottles that students can keep. We are going to design the bottles for each house – in house colours and maybe with the house animal mascot too.
How can other YCIS Beijing students get involved with charity?
There are lots of ways to get involved. The school organises charity events during the year which everyone can take part in, like the Christmas Bazaar and GCD. Also, lots of local charities visit the school for the Scondary CAS fair. That’s a good way to get involved and manage your own charity projects.
Please help YCIS Beijing get even more signatures by scanning the QR code below. Let’s spread the word never to buy ivory… and hopefully win 5,000 RMB for school charity projects while we’re at it!