On Saturday 1 September, hundreds of people gathered at the port of Yokohama to say goodbye to the Peace Boat’s 99th Global Voyage, the first to sail in collaboration with the UN SDG Action Campaign. Departing from Yokohama, Japan, on September 1 and returning on December 17, 2018, Peace Boat will visit to 24 ports in 23 countries in 4 months, to mobilize people to take action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In collaboration with the UN SDG Action Campaign, Peace Boat’s Global Voyages will conduct education, advocacy, capacity building and awareness raising for the SDGs.
“Inspiring and engaging everyone to take action is the only way the SDGs will be achieved. Combining the expertise, tools, and creativity of the UN SDG Action Campaign with the reach and the innovative approach of the Peace Boat, will allow us to mobilize more individuals to step forward and join the global movement taking action for the SDGs.” said the Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, Mitchell Toomey. Peace Boat Director and Founder, Yoshioka Tatsuya said “Peace Boat and the UN SDG Action Campaign share common goals. Working together, we will be able to engage more people to achieve the 2030 Agenda“.
Various related events will be held during the voyage, including an event together with the UNDP in Male, the capital of the Maldives, on September 17 and actions as part of the mass mobilization day on the SDGs anniversary o 25 September, the Global Day to #Act4SDGs.
Both entities will join forces in the development of Peace Boat’s educational programming, including Global University and SDG Youth Programmes, through guest educators from the Campaign and partner networks, the global citizen platform MY World and the MY World photo and video stories.
Furthermore, the UN SDG Action Campaign and Peace Boat will collaborate to develop SDG educational and visual content, events and exhibitions to make the SDGs part of the Peace Boat’s Ecoship which will sail as the Flagship for the SDGs and be the platform for Peace Boat’s future voyages.
The United Nations SDG Action Campaign and Peace Boat announced their collaboration through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA, in July.
Last weekend, young german photographers brought the Sustainable Development Goals to life to the over 20,000 visitors at the German Federal Government Open Day in Berlin.
Sustainable Consumption, mental health, unequal opportunities or renewal energy were some of the issues selected by young photographers to portray the need for action on the SDGs in their communities. The photo stories were selected among the imagery created by participants of the Young People Program. This initiative is run by CANON in collaboration with the UN SDG Action Campaign to train students in visual storytelling and photography to have impact on the issues that matter to them and to their communities whilst putting their views on the SDGs on the spotlight. World Press Photographers such as Daniel Etter, Pulitzer Prize in 2016, contributed to both the trainings and the selection processes. The exhibition is both compelling and beautiful and it conveys young people’s priorities within the SDGs.
“The SDGs will only be achieved if we all contribute our part. Through this program, the UN SDG Action Campaign gives young people a voice and an opportunity to get involved in their communities and contribute to create a better world for all.” says Marina Ponti, Head of the Global Campaign Center of the UN SDG Action Campaign
The Young People Program exhibit was part of a number of SDG related activities at the open doors day, bringing the SDGs at the center of the German Chancellery and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) open spaces.
The Open Days of the German government in Berlin this year celebrated the 25th anniversary of German unification. And in regard to the German strive for Sustainability, there was a strong focus on the SDGs. Visitors had the opportunity to look behind the scenes and meet high-profile leaders such as the Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, or Helge Braun, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, participate in workshops and activities, and gain an insight into how the German Government operates.
The Young People Program photo exhibition can be seen in the Berlin and Cologne Central Stations in September as part of the program of IFA and Photokina, international photography gatherings.
Publicado por: Rosario del Pilar Díaz Garavito – The Millennials Movement Founder and CEO
Los océanos ofrecen a la humanidad una infinidad de recursos y beneficios que impactan en la vida de las personas de manera directa o indirecta, además de ser un regulador del clima por excelencia los océanos brindan la posibilidad de dinamizar economías locales, proveen de alimentos nutritivos a las diferentes comunidades, entre otros beneficios. Sin embargo este recurso y el ecosistema marino se ven amenazadosdía a día por diversas situaciones que se presentan en el área terrestre como en los mismos océanos, temas como contaminación, acidificación de los océanos, subsidios pesqueros, generan daños en el ecosistema marino impactando de manera negativa en la comunidad global.
Por lo que, en el marco del llamado global para proteger los océanos,realizado en la Conferencia Sobre los Océanos y las acciones enmarcadas en el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 14: Vida Submarina, desde TheMillennialsMovement, organización miembro del grupo de políticas estratégicas de la plataforma El Mundo Que Queremos, nos sumamos a las acciones para proteger este recurso de la mano con el Centro de Información de Naciones Unidas en el Perú CINU Lima, mediante la iniciativa Campeones por los Océanos.
Campeones por los Océanos busca sensibilizar a las y los estudiantes de escuelas en diferentes regiones del Perú sobre la importancia de los océanos, la problemática existente, las oportunidades que este recurso representa y su articulación con la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible.
Luego del espacio de sensibilización las y los estudiantes participan de un taller en el cual por equipos formulan propuestas para proteger los océanos desde sus escuelas, las mismas que son sometidas a un proceso de votación por los mismos estudiantes. Una vez seleccionada una de las propuestas presentadas, ésta es tomada por los estudiantes y autoridades de la institución educativa como un compromiso para proteger los océanos desde su escuela.
El lanzamiento de la iniciativa y primera intervención se dio en el Colegio Mayor Secundario Presidente del Perú – COAR Lima, el 8 de junio en el marco del Día Mundial de los Océanos. Fueron 100 jóvenes quienes participaron de la conferencia de sensibilización que contó con la participación de representantes Centro de Información de Naciones Unidas Perú – CINU Lima, TheMillennialsMovement y la iniciativa Hazla por tu Playa. Asimismo se difundieron los recursos educativos de la iniciativa La Lección Más Grande del Mundo a las y los estudiantes, quienes también recibieron materiales informativos y participaron de la encuesta Mi Mundo 2030.
Posteriormente una delegación de 40 estudiantes participaron de un taller para desarrollar propuestas y elegir una de ellas como compromiso para proteger los océanos desde su escuela. Así mismo se desarrollaron intervenciones en el Colegio De la Salle en Lima, y en el Colegio de Alto Rendimiento COAR Cajamarca, siendo que en esta última se contó con la participación de la Red Interquorum Cajamarca. Desde la segregación de sus residuos en escuelas, ferias de materiales reciclados, hasta sensibilización de los otros salones de estudiantes fueron los compromisos recabados por nuestros “Campeones por los Océanos”.
“Difundir entre jóvenes las premisas que sustentan la importancia de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible, es una de las principales tareas del Centro de Información de las Naciones Unidas (CINU Lima). Es por eso que para el CINU fue sumamente importante haber organizado una reunión con jóvenes estudiantes del Colegio Presidente del Perú (COAR Lima) precisamente el Día Internacional de los Océanos porque nos permitió no solo ofrecerles información sobre los ODS y en específico delODS 14: Vida Submarina, sino que también nos permitió conocer de sus ideas sobre la importancia de estos objetivos y de su determinación para llevar a cabo una acción concreta. En esta tarea fue importante contar con otros jóvenes, ya comprometidos con esta tarea, como TheMillennialsMovement. Forjar estas alianzas entre los mismos jóvenes es clave para progresar en la Agenda 2030.”
Christian Sánchez – Oficial Nacional de Información, Centro de Información de Naciones Unidas CINU Lima
Según el Banco Mundial, el Perú se encuentra entre los principales productores de pesca en el mundo gracias a su ubicación geográfica, que le permite capturar cerca del 20% del total mundial de peces, sobre todo especies pequeñas como la anchoveta. Dicha pesca es de vital importancia para la economía nacional; en la última década ha representado un promedio del 7% del total de nuestras exportaciones.La actividad pesquera aporta al país un alimento nutritivo que contiene 20% de proteínas, lo que supera a las carnes vacuna y avícola, que proveen un 18%. Además, abastece de materia prima a la industria harinera y de aceite de pescado. Su contribución es significativa, pues llega a cerca del 1% del producto bruto interno del país (PBI)1.
Las acciones continuarán en las escuelas de las diferentes regiones de Perú de la mano de TheMillennialsMovement y otros aliados locales, contribuyendo así con las acciones del movimiento en el marco del compromiso hasta el 2018 para proteger los océanos. Conozca más del compromiso en el siguiente enlace: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/?id=16442
Agradecimientos al equipo de TheMillennialsMovement y a la organización LigaJoc por realizar las tomas fotográficas.
Professionals developing world class innovation discuss the real potential of virtual reality and new media and the challenges that lay ahead: How do we make sure it brings a positive impact to global issues.? How can we bring it to everyone and really use it to help the people who need it the most?
Friedrich Kurz, General Manager Social Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, Marisol Grandon, CEO of Untold Stories, Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of UNVR, UN SDG Action Campaign, Wilfried Runde, Head of Innovation Projects at Deutsche Welle join the discussion at the SDG Live Stage of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development.
To convey the stories of the most vulnerable people in the world and bring them home to the decision makers and global citizens around the world, pushing the bounds of empathy, the UN SDG Action Campaign has coordinated the United Nations Virtual Reality Series since 2015.
For more than 20 years, the United Nations has a permanent place in Germany. Through the exhibition “The United Nations in Germany: Commitment to Agenda 2030” the Federal Foreign Office welcomes the public to explore and find out about their commitment on sustainability, climate protection and refugee and migration issues. The exhibition can be visited at the Federal Foreign Office premises in Berlin until 10th May 2017.
“We take the still steadily growing presence of the world organization in the former federal capital Bonn and at six other German locations as an occasion to honor the diverse activities of the United Nations.” Dr. Cyrill Nunn from the Federal Foreign Office welcomed the audience and stressed Germany´s commitment to the United Nations and to the Agenda 2030.
UN Bonn comprises of 19 organizations and serves to help governments and people find answers and ways for humanity to achieve a sustainable future on this planet. The UN SDG Action Campaign, one of the newest members of the United Nations in Bonn, opened the exhibition.
Xavier Longan, SDG Action Campaign Europe Focal Point, expressed, “Beyond government, we need different stakeholders to be actively involved as well as youth, civil society, cities and business. Together we can achieve the SDGs by 2030! To collaborate, we need to communicate and build understanding of other perspectives, experiences and needs as a basis for working together towards shared goals.”
By using interactive elements, participants can understand what the agenda means for people around the world and which topics are most important to them. Participants also had the opportunity to take a seat at the “SDGs corner”, take pictures with those SDGs closest to their friends and family and make real commitments to take action by sending a postcard to their “Future Selfs”.
The Exhibition will be open until May 10th 2017 and is free for the public.
To know more about the UN in Bonn go to www.unbonn.org or here to know more about the exhibition.
On Thursday, October 20, over 600 people attended a grand exhibit aboard the Peace Boat. This “Floating Festival for Sustainability” marked the Peace Boat’s 92nd Global Voyage for Peace since the nonprofit was established in 1983, and the first time the ship has docked in New York in five years. It also marked the inauguration of the Global Goals logo on the boat.
The SDG Action Campaign has a long history of working with the Peace Boat, having launched a partnership in 2009 to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Peace Boat previously hosted the Millennium Campaign logo, gave courses on the MDGs to passengers, and participated in the Stand Up Campaign among other activities. The Peace Boat has also been an early adopter of the MY World 2030 survey, helping to translate the ballot into Japanese, and collecting ballots both from passengers and people they meet during their journey. They presented the results of their first efforts in their recent report about the ship’s visit to Latin America – showing the enormous efforts and impact the boat is able to make on supporting the implementation of the SDGs.
The event occurred aboard the Peace Boat, providing guests with an intimate glimpse of life at sea. When guests first arrived, they were greeted with a tour of Peace Boat’s impressive ship. The foyer of the ship allowed guests to engage with the mission of the Peace Boat and with an exhibition of projects the peace boat is aligned with. Peace Boat, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, campaigns for the Sustainable Development Goals as it tours the globe each year. The UN SDG Action Campaign was present to drum up excitement about the SDGs and give participants the ability to engage with immersive content. Participants could take the MY World survey to voice their opinion on the importance and progress of the SDGs, take selfies highlighting their favorite SDGs and watch the virtual reality films of stories from around the world.
The World We Want team was also present, inviting guests to learn about their activities and to join the Policy Strategy Group. The World We Want is looking to continue doing WWW exhibitions around the world to promote the SDGs and civil society’s participation in UN activities. Other exhibits included the presentation of the Eco Ship, an entirely sustainable ship fueled by renewable energy sources that will retrieve the mission of the Peace Boat and promote climate action world-wide when in launches in 2020.
The main event of the evening began with live music and dance, followed by a series of speakers including H.E. Jan Eliasson (United Nations Deputy Secretary-General), H.E. Ahmed Sareer (Ambassador of the Maldives and Chairman of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS)), Jeff Brez (Chief NGO Relations Advocacy and Special Events, Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Public Information), Yoshioka Tatsuya (Peace Boat Director) and Cora Weiss of the (President, Hague Appeal for Peace). The presentations were followed by an eco fashion show highlighting sustainable designs, and the SDGs chosen to be of highest import to each of the designers.
The presenters made appealing calls to action for all guests to get involved with the SDGs and in promoting peace. The Mr. Eliasson stressed the need to join forces and approach the SDGs in a collaborative manner, encouraging everyone to not be phased by the large task at hand, but rather to focus on small actions that add up: “nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something”. He stressed the need to empower and create space for youth and women as major actors in the fight for peace.
Mr. Tatsuya gave an energetic presentation about the new ship the Peace Boat is developing, which will soon be the most sustainable ship to ever set sail. It will include an on-board university for peace & sustainability, sport activities, and volunteer exchanges in local communities visited.
The evening also included a passionate appeal from a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing as part of a special partnership with the United Nations First Committee on Disarmament and International Security (UNODA). Five victims of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima, known as Hibakusha, are traveling with the Peace Boat to campaign against nuclear weapons, hoping to see a world without them in their lifetimes.
Entrepreneurship is the key driving tool for most African economies. It facilitates effective economic growth and development for enhanced sustainability. Most young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs who strive to see a better Zimbabwe in the near future have taken this to heart.
The youth peak bulge has not spared Zimbabwe, as estimates reflect that it is probable that 60% of Zimbabwe’s national population is under the age of 30. Like many other young people in Africa, Zimbabwean youth have been challenged by the predicament of high unemployment rates and limited civic engagement opportunities, amongst other adversities.
The informal sector dominates the Zimbabwean economy. More youth are now entering the scene with hopes of economic survival, yet the job market is not opening up enough opportunities for them. This has been lamented by many youth entrepreneurs. Despite many of them having received a good education, some are still unable to find stable, formal jobs.
Most universities are churning out more graduates than the economy can sustainably accommodate in its current state. However, many of the schools are also channeling out students who have more book knowledge than the technical skills required for self-sufficiency in the current market.
The MY World global survey shows that inZimbabwe most people want a good education. The sampled entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe reinforced this. They want to see an education system which explores more and delves deeper into instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in its curriculum. They wish to have an education system which is not over-reliant on job acquisition immediately following graduation, but one that instead focuses on acquiring a set of business skills which will help in the development and sustenance of entrepreneurial ventures. It is with this notion that the entrepreneurial spirit could be embraced and fueled by graduates, or within the universities’ immediate communities.
The exact unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is currentlyunknown, butestimates as high as 95% have been calculated for the country. Youths face an uncertain future, but for many of them hope has been rekindled with the surge of entrepreneurial ventures. The hope is to create self-employment opportunities that will lead to a constant revenue flow, allowing sustainability in line with household expectations.
The Building Bridges’ Road to Nairobi 2016 project seeks to harness the spirit of entrepreneurship within all youth to inspire hope for the future, in which effective growth and sustenance is in reach.
Zimbabwean youth entrepreneurs face a range of challenges such as lack of financial assistance and restrictive government regulations on company registration. These difficulties hinder them from seeing their dreams as viable ventures.
Despite the many struggles that youth encounter along the way in changing the current economic landscape, they continue to shed light on the hope that entrepreneurship is key to a better future. From the exuberant energy exhibited by most entrepreneurs, it has been established that youth have the innovation and energy that is required to drive successful enterprises and entrepreneurial ventures
Youth are characterized as vibrant, go-getters and enthusiastic, and such energy if well applied, will lead into the successful implementation of the SDGs. Zimbabwean entrepreneurs are working on challenges they identify in their communities, such as the lack of access to basic education, unaffordable healthcare, health problems due to poor cooking fuels and many more.
The future is in the hands of youth who define and map the journey that lies ahead. It is with this notion that youth could be effectively equipped with the necessary business skills to be the ones to see through the successful implementation of the SDGs.
These are a few of the solutions to improve the entrepreneurial spirit amongst youth in Zimbabwe deduced from the hearts and minds of the surveyed entrepreneurs:
Terrence: Government should create an enabling environment, incentivize people through the creation of funding structures, and build a strong database for youth entrepreneurs to access mentorship who will oversee the successful running of the businesses.
Candice: Youth should be made aware of the beauty of entrepreneurship. People have great ideas but they can’t develop them without assistance.
Shaun: Government could have proxies in youth businesses to ensure that they are run sustainably. This way you can give funds and ensure they will be paid back.
Tinashe: Entrepreneurship should be made part of the curriculum. The youth needs to get inspired, motivated.
Tichaona: We need a hub for entrepreneurs. We need IT skills and to make changes through technology.
Chiedza: We need a transparent government where ministers are held accountable. They should focus on advancement of the country rather than how much they can make by helping you.
Author: Kudzanai Chimhanda (Country Team Zimbabwe of the the Building Bridges Foundation)
The Road to Nairobi 2016 Project, with the support of the local World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper Hub, traveled around the greater Maputo area to meet 10 youth entrepreneurs working in a variety of sectors, in order to learn from their challenges and to get a better understanding of their lived experiences. The ventures discovered ranged from a tech startup working on information asymmetry in the labor market, to a design firm which transforms waste into materials for interior design. These individual stories are featured on the Humans of MY World photo-narrative blog.
The path of an entrepreneur in Mozambique can be difficult and trying at times; a few of the entrepreneurs we met noted how the economic climate is having an impact on their businesses. Even so, some young people are choosing entrepreneurship as an alternative to looking for a job, where they are confronted by a youth unemployment rate estimated at around 80%. The young people who are resilient enough to try youth entrepreneurship need support, role models and an enabling environment.
Frederico Peres Da Silva, co-founder of a tech startup in Maputo, recognizes the importance of entrepreneurial role models: “If you are in the [United] States, a CEO understands the value of mentoring a startup. You know why? Because he’s heard of Facebook, he’s heard of Snapchat, he’s heard of WhatsApp. He goes, ‘Oh, what if this is the next Facebook?’ To change that perception in Mozambique you need to have a couple of references in the market. You need to have your champions.”
Young Mozambicans that have taken to the MY World global survey prioritize good education as one of the key areas where they hope to see positive improvement. The youth entrepreneurs we met further discussed the current education system and their experiences with it. However, they are not only focused on education in general, but see the importance of having practical skills and experience in the workplace as the key to success in their entrepreneurial journey.
Lack of technological infrastructure and resources are other challenges to educational access and entrepreneurship in Mozambique. Frederico is using technology to help young unemployed Mozambicans access the job opportunities through their phones.
Where gaps and challenges exist, young people in Mozambique are stepping up to empowering each other and themselves. Marlene de Souza found that young people were unable to communicate and translate their knowledge into action in the workplace. She started a company which offers training to university students on skills such as how to successfully enter the job market and how to communicate with “attitude,” so that these students can bridge the gap between the academic and labor market.
Diogo Lucas started a business to help SMEs access finance and gave them the tools to mature into sustainable businesses. According to Diogo, this is something SMEs really need: “There are opportunities for small businesses but they’re not developing because there is not enough support, there’s not enough money. Bank finance is hard to come by with all these challenges. When I was travelling across the country I realized that it’s not because they have bad businesses. It’s because people don’t have the skills or the ability to access capital that can help them grow and develop.”
Sázia Souza runs a company which offers tech solutions to companies and private individuals. Twice a month, she and her team trains children on how to use computers. When asked about her passion for technology and education, Sázia said: “Mozambique has a problem when it comes to using technology. People are not prepared for the future. Technology is growing too fast. When you go to some schools, they don’t even have computer lessons. Even the teachers don’t know how to use the computers.”
Youth entrepreneurs in Mozambique are working to carve a bright future for themselves. They are working together and with other young people to support skills development while growing a culture of entrepreneurship. To help them on this path, it is important to understand the Mozambican context as well as the lived experiences of rural and urban young Mozambicans in order to empower them for success. The Road to Nairobi team spoke to youth entrepreneurs and asked them what changes they would like to see to support youth entrepreneurship in Mozambique:
Lineu: More young people need to have the courage to start for themselves. I started with nothing and almost 100% of the people didn’t believe in me.
Claudio: When you register a business, you are sent from one place to another. The process will be better when everything is in one place. It should take less time and require fewer documents.
Wilton: Government must create conditions for young entrepreneurs to develop businesses. Especially fiscal policy because currently, police doesn’t differentiate between being a young entrepreneur or an old entrepreneur.
Sides: We need more incubators with people who have been trained to support youth entrepreneurs.
Authors: Samantha Ndiwalana (Project Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation) and Annemarelle van Schayik (Research Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation).
The survey results will be guide the High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment who will release a report in September 2016 containing key recommendations on how to accelerate women’s economic empowerment. The results will inform world leaders of what people think are the barriers to progress, what could help accelerate change, and HOW to address these challenges.
Justine Greening – High Level Panel Member and Secretary of State for International Development, UK – explains how unlocking the economic potential of women can help beat poverty.
Women’s economic empowerment is about unlocking the potential of women to earn more, gain better jobs and achieve financial independence. It’s about economic equality: such as closing the gender pay gap, increasing job opportunities, or access to loans. It’s also about breaking down barriers that hold women back: from discriminatory laws to an unfair share of unpaid home and family care. It’s a game-changer for development: because when more women get the chance to work, it makes their families, communities & countries wealthier.
The UN is carrying out this survey now because this year sees the start of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development: 17 targets to build a better world for everyone by 2030. Goal 5 is Gender Equality, which recognises that women’s empowerment – particularly economic empowerment – is critical in ending extreme poverty. The High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment is gathering evidence and ideas now to publish a report in March 2017.
Please take our short survey and help us to spread the word!
On 12 November Date, the UNMC and UN Visitors Center co-hosted a special workshop on refugees with eighth graders from the Woodside Intermediate School 125. Following a screening of Clouds Over Sidra, three young refugees in various statuses in their legal application processes spoke to the students about their personal experiences.
The workshop was a part of the Teen Thursdays Program, a collaboration between the NYC Mayor’s Office, NYC Department of Education and the UN Department of Public Information’s Visitors Center. During an 8 week program, seventh and eighth grade students participate in workshops and tours at the UN to learn about and become engaged in the UN’s mission. This screening of Clouds Over Sidra was the first in a planned sequence of of workshops in partnership with the program. The Millennium Campaign hopes to further expand the program so Virtual Reality can be used as an educational tool in informing young people about critical issues underlined in the SDGs.
Clouds Over Sidra is the story of a 12 year old girl, Sidra, who is a Syrian living in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. The experience gave the students a glimpse into the daily life of Sidra: her favorite subjects in school, her family, her hopes for the future, and her desire to leave Za’atari and the Syrian conflict behind. Many of these students were the same age as Sidra at the time of filming.
The eighth graders were joined by three young students from Salve Regina College: Sinan, Karma, and Uma who told their experiences as refugees seeking asylum from Syria and Nepal respectively. Sinan explained how the Syrian war interrupted his studies and how the United States presented the opportunity to finish them. Karma was in the US when the Earthquake struck Nepal, and now she is seeking temporary asylum. Uma’s family were originally refugees from Bhutan. Her heartfelt story touched on how the UN helped her family through tough living conditions in a Nepalese refugee camp, and guided them through asylum application in the US.
The response from the children showed a maturity beyond their age. One student stated: “It’s really heartbreaking listening to [the stories of the Sidra and the other presenters] because, we worry about having the newest game when many people are worried about getting food to eat”. This is especially poignant as many of the students knew little about the Syrian conflict or other important issues underlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prior to the workshop.
Clouds Over Sidra and Virtual Reality experiences like it were designed to support the Millennium Campaign’s efforts to draw attention to some of the world’s greatest challenges, allowing people living through them to tell their stories in their own words. Previously, the vast majority of screenings had been directed towards decision makers, many of whom are involved in the international community. This screening was considered pilot testing to find the best practices in using Virtual reality as a learning tool in the classroom.