Children achieving the SDGs
“The World’s largest lesson 2017” will start during the week of Sept. 18, the week in which the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015. This year’s plan, which is taking food, sustainability and hunger as its lesson, is part of the initiative entitled “The World Largest Lesson” that started in 2015 in a collaboration between Project Everyone and the UNICEF in order to teach children and connect them with the U.N.’s global plan for a better world translated in the 17 SDGs.
According to the U.N., the world cannot achieve the SDGs if the government, private sector and the civil society of each country do not put the goals as their targets and work to reach them. However, since today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders and they are the world’s future, “The World’s Largest Lesson” came to enhance the idea that the global goals cannot be reached without the children of the world.
In order to try to reach every child in this world, the UNESCO helps in sending letters to its state members’ education ministers in order to adopt the lesson planned to achieve annually.
These letters encourage the Education ministries to promote and implement the annual lesson in their schools which will help in reaching a wider number of students worldwide.
The World Largest Lesson works on linking the children with the yearly planned program, the global goals and the effect it can have on our daily lives.
For instance, this year’s lesson is focusing on Goals “2” Zero Hunger, “3” Good Health & Well-being, “13” Climate Action, “14” Life Below Water and “15” Life on Land through working with the children on their food choice, how it affects the SDGs globally and how something that easy can lead to make a change in the world.
Consequently, one of the suggested activities in this year’s lesson plan is “What’s on my plate?” Which asks students to stop and think about SDGs through analyzing the food they have on their plate by answering five main questions: “How far did my food travel to get to me? Who grew or helped produce my food? What was my food packaged in? How much food am I wasting? Am I making healthy choices?”
This shows how food choice can lead “to healthy eating, reducing wastage, eliminating plastic packaging, sourcing closer to home and checking on the practices of food producers.”
With this year’s project ending during the World’s Children Day on Nov. 20, the participating students will not only gain an understanding of the goals tackled through the lesson and the steps toward achieving them, but they will also be experiencing a change in their norms and a change in the way they live which will contribute the world’s sustainability.
Accordingly, they will also know that in order to reach a better world you need a collective effort from different sides of the globe. Moreover, they will learn that sometimes being an active citizen and taking actions not only help us but also help other people in this world.
Nahla el zibawi Project Coordinator – Outreach and Leadership Academy at the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development.