30 August 2018, Windhoek: The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek launched its children’s storybook, Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN Library in Klein Windhoek on Thursday, 30 August 2018.
Speaking at the launch on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Ms Edda Bohn, Programme and Quality Assurance Director said, “The story book is an exciting way to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the message of sustainability resonate with an audience as young as 3 to 11 years of age.”
The Director, together with the Resident Coordinator to Namibia ad interim (a.i.) representative Mr. Bali Mankay Sankoh, World Food Programme Director officially launched the story book with media, teachers, UN colleagues, children and senior government officials.
The story is about a small girl called Frieda who goes on an exciting adventure learning about the SDGs. The book was created by UNIC Windhoek and is an important tool to be used to teach young children about the global goals.
Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals is a valuable tool for teachers to prepare the Namibian boy and girl child to take action for their future. “Frieda’s story is meant to capture the imagination of children and encourage them to bring about positive change starting from when they are small,” says UNIC Windhoek’s Head, Anthea Basson.
UNIC Windhoek will distribute the book to primary schools in Namibia, and it will be a welcome addition to formal and informal school libraries and book corners. The book is supplemented by a useful parent/teacher guide which explains difficult concepts and is aimed at sparking conversations about a sustainable future with children.
Storytelling is an integral part of the all-round development of the child. In pre-primary and primary schools, a large amount of curriculum time is dedicated to storytelling. The story is written in English, and UNIC Windhoek plans to translate in other local languages over the next two years. It is currently being reproduced by UNICs across the globe and is also being translated into the official UN languages at UN Headquarters.
The story of Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals has a universal message – we can all help achieve the SDGs no matter how young or old. Frieda’s mission is to spread the news about the SDGs, she calls for people to be bold and take action!
The illustrations and design were done by a Namibian woman, Nelett Loubser, owner and designer of a local graphic design agency in Namibia. Nelett cleverly and artistically used the SDGs as inspiration for Frieda’s patterned African dresses and she subtly brought in accents of Namibia to give the story a Namibian feel. She was instrumental in bringing to life the vision the Centre had for the creation of the main character – Frieda, a curious Namibian girl, who is eager to change Namibia and the world. Frieda’s bright eyes, curly hair and excitement to learn and make friends make her a relatable character to children from all walks of life.
In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the subsequent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were officially adopted by all 193 United Nations Member States including New Zealand. The SDGs replace the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from January 2016.