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Emma Xu on starting the WLSA Project 17 Club

WLSA Project 17 Club activities / Courtesy of Emma Xu

The following post is a participant reflection by Emma Xu, Project 17's Shanghai Regional Director.

In August 2022, I joined Project 17, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established by Thea Dai and Wendy Wen whom I met while participating in the Stanford e-China and China Scholars Program. I started the WLSA Project 17 Club at my school, WLSA Shanghai Academy, after realizing the concern for humanity expressed in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations and the duty I had as a youth in the future of society. To realize the issues the society is currently facing, connect them to their duties, and attempt to make some beneficial changes, I wish to mobilize more people.

Members of the WLSA Project 17 club will first become familiar with the 17 United Nations World Sustainable Development Goals before taking part in its global seminars in November and February. Members will also choose one of the 17 SDGS that most interests them and conduct a thorough investigation of the SDG subject in partnership with the local community or a particular area. Students who select Clean Water and Sanitation, for instance, can speak with and interview water treatment plants in Shanghai to gain a deeper knowledge and then create a survey report on the community's challenges with water purification. Members have the option of participating in social activities and writing survey reports either alone or with peers who have similar interests. To draw more people's attention to this issue, the member survey report can be submitted to the international conference organizer and published once it has been accepted, or it can be posted on relevant public accounts like Project 17.

The club has always aimed to foster dialogue and raise awareness of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations. As high school students, we may not have the power to fundamentally alter the way that society is built, how things are done, or some long-standing issues that have been resolved over time; but what we can do is to be aware of these issues, to comprehend them, and to sincerely communicate with more people about them, thereby raising public awareness and perhaps even affecting some changes. When our attempts to improve society become a grain of sand, more of us will gradually gather into a mountain that protects everything below. When our efforts to improve society become a drop of water, more of us will gradually converge into a river, bringing sweetness to the parched countryside.

Project 17 will hold four international seminars a year, and anyone is welcome to join us and add a brick to a better world.

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