Teaspoons of Change at ISS

Article by Nikola Hughes

Over the past 15 years, d’Arcy Lunn has travelled to over 80 countries in an effort to expand his learning and to try and make the world a better place. On September 17th-18th, d’Arcy Lunn paid a visit to ISS and told grade 10 students about his life experiences and what it means to be a global citizen.

Lunn shared that “there is no such thing as a right path in life: there are just lots of different ones.” He gave the example of his own, and how after spending his whole childhood living in Australia, at 18 he moved to Japan to work in a bakery. This gave him the confidence and freedom to believe that he could do anything he wanted to, and inspired him to continue travelling and exploring different parts of the world.

Lunn first realized his passion for wanting to end world poverty and to improve environmental and social standards around the world when he was travelling in Kyrgyzstan. He was staying with some university teachers who were earning a total salary of 40 U.S. dollars a month. He was taken aback by the vast difference in salary compared to him being paid $40 an hour in Korea when he was working as a teacher. This inspired him to start working towards making the difference smaller.

Since then Lunn has become involved in multiple foundations, such as Live Below the Line, which spreads awareness about extreme poverty and encourages people to challenge themselves to live on $1.50 a day for 5 days. He has also set up two foundations himself: Happy, Simply, which urges people to live a more simple and eco-friendly lifestyle; and Teaspoons of Change, which is an advocacy and global awareness project which promotes making small personal changes in daily life to create a positive change in the world, little by little. d’Arcy has also worked with multiple charities and other organizations in a range of countries, such as UNICEF.

While talking to the grade 10s, Lunn also discussed the inspiring changes and developments that have been made during his lifetime. In 1981, 52% of the world population lived in poverty, and it has now been reduced to just 18%. The cases of polio have dropped from 388,000 in 1988 to just 36 last year.

He then answered a few questions from students and teachers alike, and offered some words of advice. He said it’s important to not just give a hand out, but a hand up, and to always “try and find ways to do good, better.” He also gave ISS students insight into new ways to consider things we already do: to not just reuse, reduce and recycle, but to also rethink and refuse. He finished off by telling us his definition of a global citizen: Knowing your choices, decisions and actions have an impact on people and the planet.

Lunn’s presentation gave the ISS grade 10 students a lot to think about. It offered perspective on the environmental problems the world faces, as well as the social and economic inequalities. It also gave students ideas on what kind of CAS activities they could become involved in such as Teaspoons of Change, or start up themselves when they enter the Diploma program next year. The students came out of the presentation with a broader perspective on the world and a strong motivation to help become better global citizens.

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