Kindergarten students visited the United Nations on Monday, February 25, 2018. Upon arrival, everyone gathered under the portraits of former United Nations Secretary-Generals and learned that the United Nations was founded in 1945 to prevent world war and keep peace among nations.
As a group the boys discussed what might be necessary for people not to go to war. Their list included resources, such as food, water, homes, and medicine, as well as education and equality. The boys learned that 193 countries are part of the United Nations and that over 40,000 people work for the United Nations worldwide, all of whom are doing their part to create peace and to protect human rights.
The boys divided into three groups, and each group embarked on a tour with an educational guide. One of the first stops was outside of the Security Council, which was in session. The boys learned about the structure of the council, with five permanent members and ten rotating members. Their educational guides also introduced the Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals to the boys. These goals would transform our world for the better and include goals of no poverty, zero hunger, quality education, and climate action, among others. The boys enjoyed guessing which goal was represented by each colorful image.
Other highlights included seeing a mosaic celebrating the “golden rule” (a phrase that the boys recognized) and trying on a blue helmet and pretending to be a peacekeeper. The boys also enjoyed visiting the General Assembly of the United Nations. They learned that this was the room where all of the 193 nations gathered to decide important matters. They thought it was quite fair that each nation was given one vote. The boys compared the General Assembly to Friday assemblies at school when everyone in the school gathers as a community.
After the tours, the boys were treated to a special lunch at the Mission of the United Arab Emirates. As they feasted on delicious food, they enjoyed a special presentation from UNICEF. They particularly enjoyed watching a video called The World’s Largest Lesson, which introduces the Sustainable Development Goals to children through a colorful animation. This initiative challenges everyone to complete three global goals by 2030: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and tackle climate change. The boys also enjoyed taking turns using a microphone to answer questions about specific things they could do to make sure there is enough clean water for everyone and to make sure that everyone is treated equally.
St. Bernard’s extends their thanks to Lana N., Omar H., and the staff of the Mission of United Arab Emirates for generously arranging the tours and for providing a delicious lunch for all of the students and chaperones. They saw to every detail and created a memorable day for everyone. The trip made an impression on the boys, and they have continued to talk about their adventurous day at the United Nations throughout the week.