On Friday, November 16 five students represented the TASIS Service Learning community at a Global Issues Network (GIN) Regional Summit in Zurich. Within 20 minutes of arriving I saw the greatest example of the way one person can change the world.
Filmmaker Jeremy Gilley is also founder of the non-profit organization Peace One Day. Mr. Gilley started the organization with a simple thought: What if one day a year, there was peace? This crazy idea eventually turned into a global effort to get countries and communities to lay down their weapons on September 21 every year. He told us that one of the greatest achievements of his life was last year, when even the Taliban agreed to one day of ceasefire. All of this started from one person with one crazy idea.
What followed were many new experiences. We role-played as refugees crawling on the ground to make it to freedom. We listened to other students speak about their school’s service learning programs and the opportunities they have to make a difference.
Throughout the whole conference I noticed one major theme: passion. These students are extremely passionate about the service they give to their communities. They are inspired and proud of the work they do. This reinforced my commitment to the Service Learning Board’s mission of creating a passionate community around Service Learning at TASIS.
From my experience at this conference I have a greater understanding of what our Service Learning program needs, and of the power that one person has to change the world. Watching these passionate individuals has made me believe that it is possible one day to hear a TASIS student say, “I can’t wait to go to Service Learning!”
The program for the conference can be downloaded here: Zurich Area GIN Summit 2012
— Written by Gavin Muenzberg ‘14
TASIS students pose with Sophal Ear, a Cambodian refugee and Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School, after listening to his address at the conference. Listen to Sophal Ear's TED talk Escaping the Kymer Rouge