By Justin Park
In a world that is increasingly interconnected, bridging the gaps between nations, cultures and perspectives has become a paramount goal. At the forefront of this transformative journey, students at SALT International School set out to exemplify the essence of unity, communication and understanding. Going beyond the confines of conventional education, SALT students embraced an all-inclusive approach that nurtures not just academic excellence, but also the development of ethical values on route to becoming global citizens.
The driving force behind the student’s motivation was the Quality Life Education Project (QLEP), a creative initiative that empowers students to harness their diverse talents and expertise. The QLEP series is created by the students and takes an innovative approach by using a webtoon series to educate the masses about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It targets a wide range of age groups, from elementary students to young adults, with cute characters and engaging content that is easy to understand yet challenging enough to all age groups.
The webtoon features four vibrant characters, each representing a distinct personality type specific to the four Myers-Briggs Type Indicators , designed to resonate with readers from all walks of life. Through their engaging adventures, the series draws people into the cause for the greater good, inspiring them to contribute in their own unique ways – all for the prosperity of the world and people.
The webtoon’s content delves into critical global issues, from equality and gender to the environment and clean energy, and even the pressing need for peace, justice and strong international partnerships. In pursuit of authenticity, the students immerse themselves in research, diligently learning about different societies, backgrounds and ethical values across the globe. This process encourages them to gain a profound appreciation for diverse perspectives, even if they don’t entirely align with their own.
One remarkable aspect of the QLEP initiative is its ability to shed light on complex and controversial topics. For instance, students explore the concept of arranged marriage, a subject that may initially seem perplexing and divisive. However, through the QLEP’s unique approach, students delve into historical contexts and reasons behind such practices. They develop a thoughtful and compassionate perspective, recognising the importance of understanding before passing judgement. Armed with empathy and critical thinking skills, they actively seek ways to raise awareness and support those most affected by these traditions, fostering genuine progress.
Beyond being a delightful webtoon series, the QLEP also serves as a practical guide for developing individual ethical values. By emphasising the significance of safeguarding our world and nurturing ourselves, the initiative touches hearts, motivating readers to take action for positive change. This compelling blend of storytelling and empowerment has catalysed real projects within the SALT School community. For instance, students teach English to single-parent families, promoting unity and support among diverse backgrounds. Additionally, a non-profit market system operates to raise funds for a long-term scholarship programme benefiting students in Rwanda, equipping them with essential skills for a brighter future.
To achieve these extraordinary feats, the students operate like a mini corporation, divided into four dynamic departments:
- Research team: serving as the information bank for sustainability, this team conducts extensive research on global issues and current events
- Scenario team: infusing humour and purpose, this team transforms research findings into captivating storyboards that educate and entertain simultaneously
- Illustration team: responsible for bringing the webtoon’s characters and world to life, this team ensures a visually engaging and appealing experience for readers
- Management team: overseeing the project’s progress and outreach, this team takes charge of networking with the global community to disseminate the content’s powerful message.
The QLEP initiative not only cultivates global citizenship but also encourages continuous growth and evolution. As our world transforms, so does the content and impact of the initiative. This vibrant and dynamic approach ensures that there is always room for new recruits to join, learn and take action. Constantly attuned to feedback, review and guidance, the QLEP team adapts to trends, fine-tunes its content and expands its outreach to touch more lives worldwide. The students are constantly researching current issues and trends of the world to relate the QLEP characters in their approach to sustainability, including, but not limited to, the war in Ukraine, global warming and issues surrounding North Korea.
In a testament to its global reach, the QLEP team embarked on a recent project to translate the webtoon series into various languages. This step allows the initiative to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds and nations, amplifying its message of unity and understanding across borders.
SALT’s QLEP initiative is a rallying call for educators, youth and international schools on a global scale. By fusing education with creativity, empathy and action, SALT sets a remarkable example of how learning can transcend textbooks and lead to positive change in the world.
As more young minds become ambassadors of ethical values and champions of sustainability, the future of our planet grows brighter, promising a more just, equitable and compassionate society for generations to come. After all, it is our task to embrace the transformative power of education for a better world.