Counting the days until the end of the high school practicum programme in an exciting and educational way, the UNIC Team began with a game to awaken the students from the long weekend. On 16 May 2016, the practicum participants played charades based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, officially known as Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This was not only entertaining, but also instructive and the exercise received a positive response from the participants.
This playfulness transitioned into a brief presentation on key information around the SDGs, namely their evolution, the parties involved in their enactment, and lastly the practical implementation on country level. While the students were amazed about the progress that already has been made in the last 15 years, especially in terms of poverty reduction, improved health and improved gender equality, they realized that it is still a long and difficult path to reach peace and prosperity for everyone in our world.
In order to understand the SDGs fully, the students learned the definition of sustainable development, which has defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected and are pertinent for the well-being of individuals and societies. Therefore we cannot just add sustainable development to our current list of things to do but must learn to integrate the concepts into everything that we do.
In order to gain a deeper understanding on the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the goals, practicum participants were divided into groups of three with a task of creating a video on which steps they believe need to be taken to assure a successful realization of one of the SDGs in Namibia. The students showed their creativity and understanding of the subject matter while shooting their film projects and received positive feedback on their work.
Another assignment was given to the participants to draw up a survey on their individual water and carbon footprint. This task was given to raise awareness about environmental sustainability among the student. The results of calculating the footprints were shockingly high, indicating that all students should reconsider their daily habits, such as eating patterns and water usage.