GoUNESCO Campus Ambassadors

The GoUNESCO Internship Program (formerly called the GoUNESCO Campus Ambassador/GCA Program) is a global student outreach program with the following objectives –

  1. Engage students in conversations on heritage and culture.
  2. Make heritage more accessible, interesting and fun.

I want to join!

Any student with access to internet – studying any course from anywhere in the world is welcome to participate. Over a period of 6 months (two sessions per year – January through June and July through December), you will learn about heritage around you and from all over the world through experiential and research based tasks. Here’s a brief overview –

GCA I – Pilot Program

The first GoUNESCO Campus Ambassador (GCA) Program was initiated in January 2014. The initial objective was only to make students aware of world heritage. This was achieved by setting up simple tasks and goals for the students to work for. The initial pilot saw participation of more than 80 students from 15 countries.

GCA II

Starting June 2014, GoUNESCO Campus Ambassador Program is a 6 month program with two sessions every year. The goal is to engage more students in heritage by expanding the program to more universities and partner with organizations.
In the 2nd session (June – December 2014), 340 students have enrolled from 280 universities in 30 countries.
Tasks are the mainstay to engage the GCAs. GCAs are required to complete different tasks each aiding in achieving the objectives listed above.

  • Each task is expected to be completed in a fortnight
  • The completion of the tasks is tracked by the coordinators and the GCAs are awarded 100 points for each completed task.
  • GCAs are eligible to receive certificates at the end of the term only if they earn 50% (700) of available points.

Tasks

  1. #gounescoselfie – GCAs were required to visit a heritage location in their city and get a selfie clicked there. They then had to write a brief note about this location and their experience there. This task intended to make them aware of heritage near them. Details here.
  2. WHS research – Each GCA was assigned 1/2 world heritage site, they had to research about this WHS and write an article about it. Article is used loosely here and presentation was left open to interpretation. GCAs created presentations, videos, even animated videos. Details here.
  3. #myunescotrip –  Each GCA had to create a hypothetical 15 day travel itinerary starting from their city and to visit at least 5 world heritage sites. They also had to account for expenses on the trip and make the plan as detailed as possible. This task opened the minds of the GCAs to a trip they could themselves undertake, it threw open various options for travel. Details here.
  4. #findanexpert – As a continuation of task 2, each GCA is to find three experts for any one of the WHS assigned to them. These experts could be historians, archaeologists, travelers or photographers too. In addition, each expert had to be interviewed and his/her perspective noted. Details here.
  5. #whsmovies – GCAs to write about 5 movies which were shot at world heritage sites (anywhere in the world).
  6. ICH research – Each GCA is assigned 1 intangible cultural heritage element, they had to research about this ICH and write an article about it. Article is used loosely here and presentation was left open to interpretation. GCAs created presentations, videos, even animated videos. Details here.
  7. Hometown Culture – GCAs were to list 5 traditions, customs, and festivals unique to their hometown/region.
  8. #whatisheritage – GCAs are to team up and interview people from different walks of life and find out what heritage means to them. A very open ended task which
  9. #wheresmyticket – GCAs collect entry tickets and stamps, coins commemorating world heritage sites.

GCA III

In the 3rd session (Jan – June 2015), we reduced the number of participants to 50 students so we could give more attention to each of them. We used the #gounescoselfie as an entry condition to check the commitment of the applicants. We continued with the task format but increased the offline component in the tasks. In this session, we designated past GCAs as coordinators. The coordinators managed most of the aspects including designing tasks, quality control, approving submissions and updating the leaderboard.

Tasks

  1. #HeritageNominate – GCAs to select five of their friends and nominate them to visit the heritage site where they got their #gounescoselfie at. Also explain how they will convince them to visit this location. Bonus points if the friends actually visit that heritage site individually or all visit together.
  2. #ExploreTheUnexplored – Each GCA assigned a lesser known heritage in their respective cities. GCAs have to visit the assigned site, gather information (historical background, past significance in the past, why it’s being neglected in present), engage with locals, visitors, tourists and ask for their views on what they think about the site, or why anyone should visit it. Output to be articles in their choice of format.
  3. #DiscoverPotentialSites – GCAs to pick a site (or more than one) from the list of potential sites and express why they think it should be nominated to become a World Heritage Sites (WHS). In addition, make a Questionnaire and conduct a survey to know about the views of the people on the status of the potential site chosen by you. Draw conclusions from the survey and depict them on pie charts, bar graphs, tables etc.
  4. #PlaywithHeritage – GCA’s can pick ANY particular heritage site/country and make ANY game out of it – a crossword, puzzle, word search or a word scramble. Extra points to the GCA if he/she solves any other GCA’S puzzle.
  5. #wikipediaGoUNESCO – What should the wikipedia page for GoUNESCO look like? GCAs poured in their thoughts, one of them went ahead and actually created a page too!
  6. #HeritageTrailer – GCAs to pick a site from the list of potential sites to be nominated to become World Heritage Sites (WHS) or any heritage site. Make a 30 second commercial telling others why they should visit that particular place.
  7. #MakeHeritageFun – For the final task, past, current and prospective GCAs were to meet at a designated heritage site in their city and record the site digitally. This activity was simultaneously done in 17 cities across the world.

GCA IV

In the 4th session (July-December 2015), tasks focussed on building stronger connections. Team tasks were given emphasis so GCAs interact among themselves and also influence their friends and family to make them aware of heritage.

Tasks

  1. #HeritageInteract – All the GCA and coordinators to meet at any one of the heritage sites in their city, interact with fellow GCAs and visiting tourists. Discuss about the place, its history and relevance.  Interview tourists on what attracted them there, how was their exploration and why they think it is important for them to visit such sites. The GCA to try and make the interview as interesting and engaging as possible.
  2. #HeritageTales – This task takes GCAs on a journey to explore these tales and myths. GCAs in each city were grouped into a team – each team chose any heritage site in their city, interacted with people there and unearthed stories associated with the site.
  3. #CapturingCulture – GCAs to talk to the artistes or practitioners of intangible culture (oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature), talk to them about the legacy, the importance of the culture in history of civilisation and its current state. GCAs need to include the interview with the artist in an article and their suggestions and ideas on preserving the ICH.
  4. #HeritageOwners – GCAs to select a monument in their city, trace the history of the site and list the various owners of the site since the time it was built. List agencies and stakeholders involved in the management of the site currently. Also mention recent restoration/preservation projects undertaken. GCAs to also speak with authorities at the stakeholder agencies and get their perspectives. Finally comment on the current situation of the monument and suggest steps for improvement.
  5. #ExploreTheUnexplored – Each GCA assigned a lesser known heritage in their respective cities. GCAs have to visit the assigned site, gather information (historical background, past significance in the past, why it’s being neglected in present), engage with locals, visitors, tourists and ask for their views on what they think about the site, or why anyone should visit it. Output to be articles in their choice of format.
  6. #DeliciousHeritage – Celebrating the festive season, GCAs were to describe traditional food items prepared at their homes for festivals. GCAs to share photos, recipes and even videos and submit the task as an individual or team up with friends or GCAs in their city.  In addition to exploring the heritage of food, getting families involved was also an objective of this task.
  7. #ExploringCinema – GCAs were to pick a movie which talked about a social problem, analyze the movie and its relevance today and the problem it talked about. Also talk about the representation of the particular culture in the movie. Is the movie helping Make Heritage Fun?

GIP I

Heeding to requests from non-students who wanted to join our student program, we renamed it to the GoUNESCO Internship Program. This session is seeing the most diverse group of participants – 56 folks from 30 different countries! To increase interaction between the participants in different parts of the world, we grouped them into clusters, each cluster had a coordinator assigned who would track their progress with tasks and provide support. Individual and team tasks are planned such that the participants can learn about heritage around them and heritage from another part of the world!

Tasks

  1. #Builtheritage– Interns were directed to identify the oldest built heritage in their city, research about the site and write an article on it.
  2. #Performingarts– This task introduced the interns to intangible heritage as they were required to an write about a performing art local to their city.
  3. #Playwithheritage– This task was designed to encourage cultural interaction among the interns. The coordinator of each cluster clubbed two interns together. They pair was required to read each others articles from the previous task on performing arts. They were also encouraged to contact each other in order to gain better insight into the performing art covered by their partners. Once the interns had done their research they then prepared a crossword on the performing art covered by their assigned partner.
  4. #Warheritage- The interns were asked to cover a war which took place at least 20 years ago in their region and explore the tangible and intangible legacy and implication it left behind.

 

 

I want to join!

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions – link