Frieda & the SDGs

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!

About the book

Frieda and the SDGs is a children’s story book produced by the United Nations Information Centre Windhoek. The  aim of the book is to create awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals among young children. It is a starting point to create a dialogue and set the foundation concept about the SDGs using pictures and a relatable character for young children. It is intended to simplify the goals, increasing understanding and encouraging ownership.

About the story

Frieda goes on an exciting adventure learning about the Sustainable Development Goals. She learns that although she is young, she can bring about change. She expands her vocabulary and goes to exciting places as she travels learning about the 17 Goals.

Story telling as educational tool

Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals is a valuable tool for teachers to prepare Namibian children to take action for their future, said Anthea Basson, the UNIC Windhoek head. “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,” added Basson.

  • Storytelling is about engagement, using the power of words to create empathy, loyalty and aspiration.
  • By telling stories based on solid evidence, we can win over hearts and minds and encourage grassroot level engagement in pursuit of internationally agreed standards and norms
  • The book provides a comprehensive list of issues for children to promote achievement of each of the 17 SDGs.
  • Great solutions for the world’s challenges can come from anywhere, even children. With the indispensable support of teachers and parents, the character Frieda addresses meaningful ways to transform three critical areas: ending poverty, helping society and preserving the environment

About Frieda 

Frieda is a young Namibian girl who embarks on an adventure learning about the SDGs. She learns that although she is a child, she too can help to make the world a better place. Along the way Frieda meets new people and learns new words.

Who is Frieda

  • She is enthusiastic, adventurous and curious. She has big, bright eyes, a big smile and a curly hair. Everything about Frieda is bold and cheerful.
  • She is  dynamic, energetic and a positive role model. Everything about Frieda incorporates the goals.
  • Frieda captures the spirit of Namibians, but is relatable across cultures, her personality needs to inspire and radiate curiosity toward the SDGs.
  • Frieda can be seen as an education advocate who is trying to look for innovative ways to teach her peers and to develop global awareness in them.

Key messages from the book

  •  The universal message is that we are all needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
  •  Although Frieda is young, she like every child on earth, has the ability to bring about change.
  • The book introduces new vocabulary, allowing children to learn new words.
  • The United Nations is partnering with communities to bring about change.
  • The importance of storytelling and inculcating a reading culture among young children.
  •  Knowing about the SDGs is just the first step, taking action is the next.

Target audience

  • Young children aged 3 – 11
  • The book is for young children to be read by parents and teachers and is a starting point for a very important conversation we should have with children, the future generation.

Compilation of artwork

The illustrations and design were done by a Namibian woman, Nelett Loubser, owner of a local graphic design agency. Nelett cleverly 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. Loubser was instrumental in bringing to life UNIC’s vision of the main character – Frieda, a curious Namibian girl, who is eager to change the world. Frieda’s bright eyes, curly hair and excitement to learn and meet new people make her a relatable character to children from all walks of life.

“I wanted to create a character that is memorable, relatable and a symbol of all the positive things the SDGs hope to achieve. Frieda connects the hopes and aspirations of the SDGs to the hearts and minds of young children,” explains Nelett.

About the Goals

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.