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  • Writer's pictureIVECA Center

Exploring Global Issues Locally: A Journey of Collaboration between Tunisia and South Korea

IVECA, a dynamic platform fostering global connections through virtual exchanges, has once again ignited the flame of collaboration. This time, students from Gyeongshin High School in Daegu, South Korea, and the International School of Tunis in Tunis, Tunisia, embarked on a transformative journey from October to December, exploring solutions to locally observed global challenges (“glocal” issues) through the lens of volunteerism.

In this immersive experience, students delved into major global challenges inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their mission was clear: research global challenges tied to their chosen SDG, connect these issues to their local communities and present their findings creatively. Korean students chose to look into the status of SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities, SDG 8 on Decent Work and Employment, SDG 3 on Health and Wellbeing, and SDG 14 on Life Below Water. Tunisian students, given their Mediterranean location, focused entirely on SDG 14, addressing the different facets of the problem, such as ocean acidification, abyssal pollution, and the water crisis.

During the Live Class, students turned awareness into action. Returning to the “glocal” issues they explored earlier, each group crafted grassroots initiatives to address challenges locally. To address inequalities, Korean students proposed a program that would allow people to experience life through the lens of people with disabilities to raise awareness about the issue. To address SDG 8, specifically related to foreign workers, students built a volunteer program aimed at raising awareness about the issue and creating campaigns advocating for the prohibition of discrimination. Tackling health inequality, another group created a program where medical volunteers visit marginalized areas to provide healthcare and information. Finally, to tackle marine pollution,  students suggested a campaign for waste sorting, highlighting the important classifications of waste.

To address the water shortage crisis, Tunisian students proposed a water desalination program that aims to raise funds for the implementation of additional facilities locally and worldwide. Another group shared a program aimed at raising awareness about practical ways to preserve water. To address the ocean acidification issue, Tunisian students created “Oceansavers Collective” an organization that would raise awareness about reducing our carbon dioxide footprint and would plant trees with their collected funds to reduce the PH levels of our seas. Finally, while presenting on abyssal pollution, students created a program that contributed to the removal of debris through beach cleanups, cleanup dives, and submarine drone usage.

As the session drew to a close, heartfelt farewell messages echoed the impact of this cross-cultural collaboration. Tunisian students expressed gratitude for the rich experience that taught them about social and environmental issues and the importance of partnerships and diverse perspectives. “It taught us about social and environmental issues that both countries are going through. Through the different tasks we've learned the importance of partnerships, and how the exchange of opinions and an external point of view is important for one's work,” they added. Korean students reflected on the eye-opening experience of connecting with global peers and recognizing the shared responsibility for solving common problems, “through this, we agreed that the world is united and that we are all responsible for global problems to be solved.” 

The Live Class not only showcased these initiatives but also celebrated cultural diversity. Tunisian students shared the art of preparing a traditional appetizer known as “brik,” and Korean students infused their virtual space with the energy of a K-pop dance performance.

The Live Class between Tunisian and Korean students demonstrated the power of virtual exchanges between the presentations, discussions, and performances. The impact on students extends beyond the tangible outcomes of projects. It's a profound shift in mindset, a growth that permeates different aspects of their lives. It's a realization that global problems demand collective solutions, and through platforms like IVECA, they are not just students but global citizens ready to participate in solving the world's challenges. IVECA continues to be a beacon, connecting students across borders, fostering understanding, and sowing the seeds of a better, more interconnected world.



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