UN Night 2018, held on October 4, was a great success. It involved not only 27 dances showcasing the culture of countries across the world but also 29 stalls raising awareness and funds for numerous Global Concerns.
Global Concerns is the College’s Service programme beyond Singapore. It is student-run and led and focuses on a wide variety of activities and projects which reflect a range of global development challenges, ranging from children’s issues, environmental problems, education and health concerns, and empowerment challenges. Global Concerns include Akanksha GC, Leaf GC, The Island Foundation GC and Tabitha GC among others.
Each Global Concerns group that participates in UN Night prepares promotional advertising about their GC as well as supplies of merchandise or food to fund the cause for which they are advocating. A significant amount of planning was done well before the actual event, such as pricing, procuring stock, setting booths and more.
UN Night is one of the biggest fundraising opportunities for GCs, as well as a good way to spread awareness for their causes. Student-run stalls, selling merchandise, food and drinks, were set up in the Tent Plaza, reflecting the diversity of the UWCSEA community. UN Night also gave students a great opportunity to collaborate and gain a deeper understanding of their GC, learning through spreading awareness about their causes at the stalls. Audience members had a chance to walk around and purchase items, learning more about different cultures and causes while supporting various GCs. Although the total revenue from UN Night is still being tallied, GC stalls typically raise between $100-1500 for their causes.
Food stalls have always been a major part of UN Night and this year was no different. Several students stepped up to arrange food, reserve stalls and ensure a profit for their GC. Every stall had a different approach. Some had all the food donated while some bought some items and got donations from parents. However, sustainability was never out of sight. Almost no disposable containers were used and food waste was also minimal. Leaf GC visited and graded the stalls on the basis of their sustainability measures. Though the gradings haven’t been published, the stalls did treat us to lip-smacking food, from empanadas to curries, and bruschetta to kimchi and the sales helped raise funds for the worthy causes.
Beyond the glamour of the costumes and thumping music of the dance performances, there is much to find in UN Night that supports the UWC mission. Sustainability, raising awareness of important global causes, and students collaborating across the College, all make the night a fundamental part of UWCSEA.