On Monday 1st of October, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) visited Windhoek International School (WIS), to facilitate dialogue on Sustainable Development Goal#1- No poverty. The team elaborated on SDG 1 and engaged with the youngsters to hear their ideas on possible action points.
The school hosts an engaging activity called ‘Make the world a better place’, headed by Ms Veena Nambiar, with the aim of making her students aware of the urgency in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to motivate them to do something to improve Namibia’s chances of achieving the SDG’s. The students, aged between 6 and 11, will attend the SDG sessions until the end of the school year in December, with the goal of taking visible action and contributing to efforts to end poverty. The activity was initiated in September, and was a proactive idea by the founder Ms. Nambiar.
The UNIC team provided a brief overview of the SDGs, reinforced understanding and the interactions between goals and targets, which, is crucial to making the SDGs work. Youth will be critical agents of change in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Africa’s large youth population presents a complex problem that requires strategic investments in education, health, energy, skills, economic reforms and good governance. At a time when sub-Saharan Africa is going through significant changes in economic, social and political, technological and environmental frontiers, some youth across Africa are being left out.
The teaching placed significant focus on SDG#1 stating that ten people in developing regions are still living with their families on less than the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day, and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount.
Windhoek International students voiced their opinions and thoughts on poverty. Highlighting factors of poverty and in the same vein provided solutions to gradual eradication. Students also participated in an ‘inequality exercise’ where they were put into different positions in the room but asked to do the exact same task, namely throwing a piece of paper in a bin. The exercise was a success in visualising inequality and encourage discussion to devise an action plan. The students proposed to organize fundraisers, engage with disadvantaged communities, donate belongings they no longer need, and develop new ideas to take action. UNIC Windhoek provided support material like a poster and supports the activity in pursuit of engaging youth on SDGs and popularising the goals at all levels in society.