In September 2015, world leaders adopted the world’s first ever Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), also known as the Global Goals consisting of 17 goals that are designed to end poverty, halt climate change and fight injustice and inequality. The Global Goals are the biggest attempt in the history of the human kind to make the world a better place. We all have a role to play in making these SDGs a reality. From governments to business and policymakers and youth, we must work together to ensure that we understand what the SDGs are and how we can contribute towards paving the way for more sustainable development worldwide, and especially in our own continent of Africa and country of Cameroon.
Objectives African Youth for the Sustainable Development Goals is a new project that aims to engage youth aged 18-35 across Africa to better understand the SDGs and how they can contribute to the achievements of the SDGs.
Africa is the youngest continent in the world, with the most youth than any other continent. We must tap into this resource and ensure that youth take their rightful place in leading change, creating innovative solutions and paving the way for a sustainable Africa.
In essence, this project aims to:
- Explain what the SDGs are and why they are important, particularly for Africa;
- Encourage African youth to develop their own ways of contributing to sustainable development at the local, national and regional levels.
- Raise-awareness and create a platform for information sharing among youth on the SDGs;
- Engage youth on the SDGs through leadership training activities where youth will learn how to develop and lead their own sustainable development projects that address their city’s, country’s or region’s contexts, priorities and needs.
The added bonus of this project is that it is implemented in various countries in local languages so that youth can truly understand the message and importance of the SDGs. Target Audience The United Nations defines those persons between the ages of 18 and 35 as youth. This project focuses on this age group as the main target audience. Youth are creative and intelligent individuals who want to contribute towards making their society a better place for all, but they need information and knowledge to do so. This project aims to focus on this target audience, as there is a lot of potential in engaging youth who are deciding what to do with their future. Through this project, youth will be exposed to the world of sustainable development and this may lead to their engagement in this field as a career.
This project was created in July 2015 by the Climate-Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), with the in kind support of United Nations Information Centre of UN Department Public Information (DPI), and in collaboration with various organizations including World We Want, Environmental Protection and Development – EPDA Cameroon, Collectif des OSC pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et le Dévelopement Rural.
Training Session 1: Introducing SDGs to African Youth in the local language ensuring youth are equipped to address sustainable development requires a solid understanding of what this is and how the world is collectively addressing sustainable development through the SDGs. This understanding can be accomplished through training of youth on the SDGs.
Participants: This training will involve number of youth TBD by country coordinator( main target persons with disabilities) from rural and urban communities in each CSAYN country.
Training structure: The training day is organized in two parts:- Part I focuses on background information about the SDGs in local languages including braille and sign language What they are and why they are important and the role of youth; and Part II guides youth through developing activities that can contribute to the SDGs.
Part I: Information sharing
- Icebreaker: What does sustainable development mean to you? Share two words that describe sustainable development to you.
- Introduction to the SDGs: Watch video: Bringing the SDGs to life: real change for real people
- Breakdown of the 17 SDGs – quick overview of the themes that they tackle.
- Why are the SDGs important for member state?
Part II: SDGs for our community and member country
- What are the key topics of the SDGs that are relevant to the named country? Select five, e.g. poverty, hunger, education, clean water, affordable energy, and provide context about why named country needs to address these challenges.
- Group work: Each group tackles one of the five challenges. Each group must consist of at least five people.
Ask each group to:
- Develop one main activity they could implement to address their particular SDG issue;
- Develop key messages (for sharing with the traditional and social media) about their particular SDG issue;
- Write a letter to their political leaders (local, national and/or regional) about the importance of implementing the SDGs, particularly their SDG issue that affects Cameroon.
- Sharing findings, conclusions and follow-up activities.
- A solid understanding of what the SDGs are and what they mean for member state
- Proposal for activities that can be implemented nationally to contribute to sustainable development;
- Engaged youth that can use the media (social media and traditional media) to engage their peers on sustainable development;
- Key messages for youth to share with policymakers on the need for the implementation of the SDGs nationally.
Follow up activities
The youth participants must be encouraged to take all the information that is presented to them and use it to develop sustainable development projects or activities that they can implement on a daily basis. The training leaders must act as peer advisors and guide the participants after the training so that the youth feel empowered to take action. Participants are encouraged to further develop their projects, implement them and share their progress with the training leaders from three to six months after the project. Follow up activities can include: raising awareness about the SDGs for the named country on social media and outreach to policymakers, among others