SDGs: FG targets .5m children in world’s largest awareness raising initiative

SDGs: FG targets .5m children in world’s largest awareness raising initiative

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:33 am

Princess Orelope-Adefulire (middle) during the press conference on the initiative

As world leaders declared the next 10 years as a decade of action for the Global Goals, Nigeria through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs has kicked off a new action in mobilization with the National SDGs Activation Week. This is with the World’s Largest Lesson initiative implemented in Nigeria by DEAN Initiative and other partners is designed to, through 2500 Youth Volunteers teach well over 500,000 Students in 4 Days with specially designed #SDGs Classes.

The formal activation of the World’s Largest Lessons across the country by the Federal Government of Nigeria is an initiative to teach over 500,000 children the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The activation is part of a global campaign to educate children and young people about the SDGs. The initiative will give children both in and out of school the opportunity to take part in a special Nigeria edition of the World’s Largest Lesson, which will stand out as Nigeria’s largest awareness raising initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals and 500,000 children will imagine a new Nigeria and be invited to make it happen.

These lessons, taught by a team of 2500 youth volunteers, will unlock in children a vision for the Nigeria that they wish to live in by 2030, and a Nigeria that has achieved the Sustainable Development Goals. Children will then be asked to consider what they can do to help make this Nigeria a reality.

From October 14th to 17th, the SDGs Activation will take place in the 36 states plus FCT and in 556 LGAs spanning 1,056 Communities and in 1,246 Schools. This initiative is one of boldest and largest countries’ SDGs Campaign globally and its aims to invite children to imagine the Nigeria they want and be part of building it.

The event will peak on Friday 18th October in Abuja with a group of representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education, UN agencies, Civil Society Organisation and led by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs taking part in an event during which children and young people will showcase what they can do for the SDGs and make a simple request to the Federal Ministry of Education to make it possible for all children in Nigeria to understand how they can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and build a sustainable Nigeria for everyone”.

Organised into school clubs and known as Club 17 Africa, the project has been endorsed and supported by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs and the Federal Ministry of Education. Children in schools or out of school community groups and Internally Displaced People camps will learn more about the Goals and develop ideas for community projects. The best of these will be awarded small cash grants to make their projects possible.

While the project has been stimulated and supported by the World’s Largest Lesson, it has been created in Nigeria by three young organisations – The DEAN Initiative, The Center for Development Support Initiatives and Teens Can Code. All of these have a passion to bring education and skills of the 21st Century to children in Nigeria. They are using special materials and resources for teachers including a poster created by Nigerian illustrator, Henry Ezeokeke, a club curriculum created by Dr Mina Ogbanga, and a teacher training course developed as a Facebook Community group by Ayodele Odeogbola.

They have been supported in their efforts by Avanti Communications, UNICEF and UNESCO – all of whom work to support the Allisson Bellwood led World’s Largest Lesson reach children all across the world.

In response to the project’s launch, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs Nigeria described the initiative as part of the strategic efforts to drive the SDGs to all nooks and cranny of the country. She expressed optimism that the commencement of the lesson activation will not only bring the SDGs into the classrooms, but into the communities and homes, to assist the young minds to identify problems and proffer local solutions.
Speaking about the Project Ms Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations said that “children and young people are a critical constituency to the Sustainable Development Goals agenda. They are agents of change, and when they learn about their rights, their environment and their future, they are empowered and equipped with knowledge that can unlock their infinite capacities for the creation of a better world. The World’s Largest Lesson aims to do just that. I invite all children, young people, teachers and leaders in Nigeria to join the initiative and take action. We need you”

Similarly, Kyle Whitehill, CEO of Avanti Communications added that “for 15 years we have worked to launch satellites to deliver broadband into areas where it’s difficult to reach, with the aim of helping people to realise their ambitions by connecting them to a world of opportunity. Education is absolutely fundamental to enabling success and empowering individuals to be more, and, through projects like the World’s Largest Lesson, we can help children to build a better future for their families and communities.”

“World’s Largest Lesson brings the Global Goals to children all over the world and unites them in taking action. Since launch in September 2015, we have reached over 130 countries and impact over 8 million children each year. We believe all children everywhere should have the opportunity to learn about the Global Goals and feel inspired to take action for them. We believe in the power of creativity and that all children can find their own individual way of taking action for the Global Goals.”

World’s Largest Lesson is delivered in partnership with UNICEF, along with many other NGOs, private sector organisations and foundations.

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