In Youth 4 Global Goals: The Series Season 2, sponsored by PwC, 10 young people went across the globe on an AIESEC Global Volunteer experience to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Read the story of Egor Bahin from Russia, who went to Mexico to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.
Look around. How do you see the planet on which you live and how can you help to make it a better place? Looking around myself and seeing mountains of garbage, carbon emissions and pollution of rivers, this is the question I have been asking myself since childhood. Perhaps this also determined the choice of my volunteer project for sustainable development goal: 13 Climate action.
People throw trash onto the streets every day, just like this happens everywhere on our planet. People simply don’t see the obvious result of their actions.
As part of my project, I was giving environmental workshops for children in high schools and colleges. Arriving in Los Mochis, Mexico I saw that there was a big problem with garbage in the city. People throw trash onto the streets every day, just like this happens everywhere on our planet. People simply don’t see the obvious result of their actions. This made me even more motivated to giving the workshops, as I saw how much focus on this is needed in the city. It gave me the inspiration to build my workshops around that. I tried to convey that the responsibility for what is happening around us lies on each of us, and that absolutely everyone can begin to change something in the outside world. We came up with daily activities that everyone can do to save our planet with small projects that the children could implement to help overcome the problem with garbage. I realized what an enormous role education can play in a person’s life if it’s built around key values and awareness. As a result of my project, I saw the energy of my students who wanted to do something and change the situation, and for me this was the greatest importance.
I understood for myself that even if one person from the audience starts to change something in his life, that can have a huge wave impact on the world.
Next to my project, there was another event that tested the strength of not only me, but all the people who live in Los Mochis. On the 5th week of my stay in Mexico, the largest flood in 55 years in this region happened because of massive rains. For 2 days, many families were left without everything. These days I worked in the center for evacuees, where I helped sort clothes, feed people, unload cars with essential things. From childhood I didn’t stay aside and I constantly asked myself a question – what else can I do for people here? I was haunted by one thought – “I am from the largest country – Russia, and I make a tiny contribution”. And then one evening I got the idea – to ask for help from my friends and relatives. Having described the situation in which the residents of Los Mochis found themselves, I asked them to help financially in order to buy essential goods for those who were left without everything. In just 2 days I managed to collect 500 dollars, and at that moment I was extremely proud of my country and for the people I know and who did not stand aside!
With this money, we bought 60 simple school kits for children and 60 sets of food and essential goods, which we distributed in a small village near Los Mochis. Is it a lot? Of course, no…. On the scale of that situation, I helped the units. But it was for these children and families that I changed something, and it already made sense. Imagine if every person on the planet made the life of others a little better. In whatever world we live in now. At that moment, I realized for myself that it is absolutely not important to whom you help, Mexicans or Russians. First of all you help people and this is the most important thing. No matter where you are, you can always make the world around you and the lives of people around you a little better. In this I found one of the main meanings.
No matter where you are, you can always make the world around you and the lives of people around you a little better.
Now I have returned to Russia and it is very hard for me, because in Mexico I have left part of my soul. I found a second home there, I met amazing people who I can confidently call friends. Most importantly, I revised many moments of my life, I became more confident in my actions and now I can find a way out of absolutely any situation. And if you still think about participating in a volunteer project, I suggest looking at my story again, putting all your doubts and fears aside and taking a step towards your change. I am sure that you will return from the project completely different! Go for it!
Would you like to know more about my journey? Have a look at Youth 4 Global Goals: The Series! Would you like to live an experience like mine as well and create an impact for the Sustainable Development Goals? Sign up and become a Global Volunteer yourself!6