Hanna Dudich Impact Story (Ukraine)

“SIMA Films are a powerful tool not only for developing listening and speaking skills and vocabulary, but also a great way to develop students' global competence, empathy and leadership skills.”

— Hanna Dudich, SIMA Academy Teach Award Winner 2020

Hanna Dudich is an educator who teaches English as a second language (ESL) at Taras Shevchenko Himnazia High-School in Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine. She picked the films Nature Needs You and The Ark to awaken collaboration skills, community action, and empathy. After watching the films with her students, Dudich implemented three SIMA lesson plans: The Advocate, The VR/360 Producer, and Virtual Exchange. These lessons led students to develop an advocacy campaign about local animal shelters that culminated in a charity marathon with local council members, military and police officers. The students produced a 360 video from the perspective of a shelter dog to harness the power of immersive storytelling. The video won the local youth media competition in Ukraine and was screened at various international conferences addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to that, the students participated in a virtual exchange with Dr. Jane Goodall, the world-renowned scientist and environmentalist. She empowered the students to care about our planet and take action to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment.

How do you use SIMA Academy films?

As an English teacher, I use SIMA films to develop my students’ language skills, and also to start class discussion and motivate learners to become change agents. I aim to develop students’ global competence, soft skills, teach them to live successfully in a diverse, globalized and rapidly changing world and raise active and responsible citizens. 

After watching “Nature Needs You” my students were inspired by the story of Australians protecting nature by working with their communities. This documentary motivated us to look for solutions of our local environmental problem – a huge number of stray dogs and cats in city streets and inefficient, poorly financed animal shelters. Locals blame city authorities, but very few people stop to think what every one of us can do to sort out this problem. Supported by the class tutor, Ms. Ivashura students have started a campaign to raise awareness of the general public about responsible pet ownership and problems of the local shelter. After watching “The Ark”, a 360 video about the endangered white rhinos, we understood the power of immersive storytelling and decided to use it in our campaign.

How did you utilize SIMA Academy’s lesson plans?

Through the SIMA lesson plan “The Producer: My World 360 Challenge” I introduced my students to 360 media production. The learners’ script won a 360 media production kit from the Digital Promise Global. With it students made a 360 video showing the world through the eyes of a shelter dog. We believe that immersive video can convey feelings and emotions in a really powerful way. We disseminated our video in YouTube and social networks addressing a bigger audience, especially the youth, who find internet videos really engaging. Our video won the local youth media competition and was included in the MyWorld360 playlist and will be shown at various international conferences addressing SDGs. 

To add global dimension and further inspiration, I used a Skype in the classroom resource from Microsoft and connected my students with Dr. Jane Goodall, the world-renowned scientist and environmentalist. She empowered students to care about our planet and take action to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment. The students’ campaign continued with a charity dog show for the shelter animals. Children partnered with the local pet shops who provided food and grooming for the shelter dogs. Our next step was a charity marathon. 

What social impact did your students create in your community?

Students together with teachers, parents, local city council members, military and police officers and representatives of local NGOs ran to raise money for several charity organizations, among which was the local animal shelter. As the result of the students’ campaign, 9000 hrivnas were raised and donated to the needs of the animal shelter. People were inspired and motivated to take action. This project became the national winner of the Design for Change campaign. As a result, the students took part in the international “I Can” children’s global summit in Rome, where together with children from 100 countries they learned to design projects around SDGs, find real solutions and create real impact.