Greta Thunbergs in the making | Daily News


Greta Thunbergs in the making

Galle International College Head Boy Ruben Jansen and Head Girl Yndia Ming Yan Rausis
Galle International College Head Boy Ruben Jansen and Head Girl Yndia Ming Yan Rausis

There are those who dream of fighting injustice and those who dream things that never were. Some abandon those dreams while Galle International College, Galle, Head Boy Ruben Jansen and Head Girl Yndia Ming Yan Rausis ask why not? Perfect Prefects features these leaders who do not turn their heads when they see the law flouted.

Head Girl Yndia Ming-Yan Rausis is a climate change champion, a champion of the earth and a champion of environmental change. According to Washington Post - Populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have declined by 60 per cent since 1970. Seals, whales, dolphins, seabirds, fish, crabs and many other animals are dying and becoming sick because of this plastic. In 2014, an estimated 15 to 51 trillion microplastic particles were floating in the world’s oceans, weighing between 93,000 and 236,000 tons. In the last twenty years, over 50,000 orangutans have died through deforestation. The Sumatran tiger, Sun Bear, Pygmy Elephant, and proboscis Monkey all face extinction because of deforestation

Global warming

“One of my main problems with this planet is the number of animals that are getting killed by our doings, mostly from plastic, deforestation or global warming. Having to witness all these innocent creatures dying due to plastic or disappearing due to habitat loss is heartbreaking and revolting. If I could make a difference in society, I would make a change to the amount of plastic produced. Firstly, I would create a ban on plastic bags in supermarkets and factories, I would decrease the amount of plastic used for pointless packaging too. If I had the chance, I would create a special day every month for people to pick up litter on beaches or the path,” explained Rausis.

Not only is she a champion of mother nature, but her heart also bleeds for humans as well. Finding a home for us somewhere in the Universe is something she is passionate about. The universe has its secrets and for her such knowledge is absolutely necessary for our survival.

“One of my dreams in life is to be able to find a new planet for everyone to live on. I would like to be able to look up at space, and maybe find some new sort of life form that may simply be a small insect type of creature rather than a stereotypical alien. They might be able to inform us about tons of new aspects of life that we never knew about,” pointed out Rausis.

Greta Thunberg is one of the most charismatic and brilliant teenagers in this world. The impact she has made is truly incredible. At age 15, she started spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on climate change. Greta Thunberg was Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and the youngest Time Person of the Year; inclusion in the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2019) and two consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019 and 2020).

People’s attention

“A leader in the present day that I admire is Greta Thunberg. She is a confident and inspiring young girl which many people look up to, she is desperately trying to gain people’s attention and make them focus on the environment. She has all the characteristics of a great leader which has obviously brought her ahead in life. She also has a beautiful way with words which does shock everybody. I too would like to be able to grab peoples’ attention and direct it somewhere different. I also wish that our society will pay more attention to issues such as racism, homophobia and women’s rights. There is a lot of room for improvement,” added Rausis.

Rausis’ message to a youngster who would like to become a leader is – above all be confident and resilient. You must have the courage to make your own decisions. You must be honest and have good communication with others. Try to always have a positive attitude when it comes to difficult or challenging tasks. And most importantly have a good sense of humour.

Her outside interests are playing football and dancing. She is keen on doing sports and engages in sports whenever she has the time. In addition, she runs her own fitness club at school for students. She also states that she enjoys reading horror books and watching horror movies.

Different thinking

“The antagonist’s behaviour intrigues me and makes me wonder why some people think so differently. Furthermore, trying to comprehend why these sociopaths and psychopaths behave the way they do, is something that fascinates me,” said Rausis.

Head Boy Ruben Jansen, is saddened by the fact that there are hatred and conflict in the world we live in. We label ourselves and forget the fact that we are all human beings. We have so much in common. Then why do we fight and kill each other? What is it supposed to achieve?

“I would like to change the way people perceive other races. In today’s world discrimination is a terrible impediment to achieving peace, happiness, growth and development. Sadly, I don’t think there will ever be an end to it. Working together rather than against each other can help us in so many ways,” explained Jansen.

Like the Head Girl, he too feels that plastic in countries should be banned as it greatly contributes to ecosystem loss and land pollution. Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of many people. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

Mass of plastics

Plastic trash is found in the guts of more than 90 per cent of the world’s sea birds, in the stomachs of more than half of the world’s sea turtles. It’s predicted that, by 2050, the mass of plastic in the world’s oceans will exceed the mass of all the fish that live there.

“When it comes to leadership, I would say be confident and believe in yourself. Try and express your opinions calmly rather than arrogantly. People around you will probably listen more and as a result, feel more comfortable expressing their own views.

It will also show that you know what it’s like to be a leader and people will look up to you for that. A good leader is someone who understands other people’s needs and makes other people feel secure around him or her. He or she gives his/her followers a sense of assurance,” added Jansen.

His dream from a very young age has been to become a professional football player but says that as the years have rolled on it seems more unlikely each year. He also takes an interest in other sports and has many other interests.

“I enjoy sports a lot, so most of my outside interests are related to sports -Football, Swimming, Surfing and Basketball. I love music and because of this passion I play the guitar and piano. I mainly listen to older music rather than modern music. I prefer it because I have always grown up around it. My dad plays most of the songs on piano or guitar and both my parents have exposed me to many genres from that era which I thoroughly enjoy. I have learnt how to play the guitar as most of the songs I listen to are played on the guitar. Because I played so much football at such a young age, I grew up admiring many football players. One of them stood out the most, his name was Carles Puyol. He was a Spanish football player that made over 100 appearances for Spain. One of the reasons why I looked up to him was because of his mentality, he always supported everyone in his team and never saw himself as the best,” pointed out Jansen.

Inculcating confidence

He added that in many ways before he came to Galle International College, his character had already been formed. However, Galle International College enabled him to discover different aspects of his character that he had not realized. It has allowed him to gain an understanding of different cultures and how to interact with people from a different background.

Both head boy and girl agreed that Galle International College has built up their confidence while inculcating in them proper values. They have become responsible for young individuals who are bold and intelligent. For this, they thank their principal and their teachers who have guided them. 

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