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Engaging Youth In The Sustainable Development Goals

We’ve heard a lot about the young people led climate change protests and the young lady who inspired them, Greta Thunberg.

I’m so proud of these young people.Even though they've been skipping school, and no I wouldn’t encourage this behavior in general, sometimes, just sometimes something needs to be done for people to listen.There are so many other examples of young people doing things and this gives me so much hope.The Youth of TodayThere are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 - 24. This is the largest generation of youth in history, with close to 90% of them living in the developing world. And it is predicted that they will number about 1.9 billion by 2030.That means that if they are provided with the right education, tools and support, they can be the drivers of change.Change that needs to come very soon. 2030 isn’t that far away, and failure to meet the UN Sustainable Development (SDG) targets will be laid at this generation’s door.Therefore one of the legacies of the UN SDGs needs to be that we empower the young people to continue the fight.And, it is our collective responsibility to provide them with opportunities and support to do so.Developing 21st Century SkillsSaving the planet takes time.And the ambitious goals of protecting the planet and ending poverty by 2030 is not going to be easy.The youth of today are more socially aware and connected than any of the previous generations.They are natural creative thinkers who if given the right tools and support, can come up with ways to make much needed changes.Harnessing and developing their critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills is critical if they are going to be the agents of change.But it’s not just the responsibility of our youth.We all need to get on board.Taking ActionSchools need to take a whole school approach to integrating the SDGs into their curriculum.It is possible and should be done.The SDGs can be integrated into all areas of school life, from pastoral care, extra curricular activities to school events.Engaging youth in personalised project based learning activities that explore these goals is where we should start.We don’t even need to look that far to see a working examples in action.The Republic of Ireland are paving the way in introducing SDGs into the curriculum, and are seen as a leader in involving young people in national SDG processes and decision-making opportunities.Schools with the support of parents can lead in communities, supporting young people’s actions and helping them be agents of change.We need to show them what’s possible as well as show them what action looks like so they can take action for meaningful change.Everyone should have the chance of decent work in prosperous economy, live in a society that is fair, just and within the Earth’s limits.It is by working together to the deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals in schools, in our communities and in our homes that we can address some of the biggest challenges of our time.

Makematic have developed a series of 80 short films for young people at both primary and secondary levels.

These short animations and live action videos not only explain the goals but show young people how others their age are getting involved and making an impact in their communities.

We are working with local government, non-profit and commercial CSR initiatives to support the distribution of these kits to classrooms, community organisations and kitchen tables across the UK.

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