Developing young changemakers through the SDGs Academy for Children

The SDGs Academy for Children ‘Pioneer hub’ hosted its first residential learning camp for 2024. The camp brought together 13 children at the hub in Limuru, Kenya.

The two- and half-day camp focused on a step-by-step discussion, brainstorming and learning about designing a sustainable community mindful of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In two groups, the young changemakers envisioned and illustrated what a sustainable community would need and how it would look like. In envisioning this community, the children were guided by the three fundamental principles of the SDGs – Social, Economic and Environmental.

Emphasizing on these fundamental principles, Michael Adikwu, the lead for the sustainable development programme at Arigatou International – End Child Poverty advised that innovations and ideas for a sustainable community should be able to; help people, generate income and protect the environment.

Specific focus in creating the sustainable community was given to SDG 3 on good health and wellbeing. Augustine Gatimu, head of health sciences at St. Paul’s University, Kenya had a conversation with the children during the camp, elucidating to them the need to have effective health systems in a sustainable community.

“Effective health systems and facilities not only protect people’s lives in communities but also encourages development and wellbeing among people” he said.

At the camp was also one of the Academy’s longstanding partner, the Kenya Flying Labs, who took the children in a quick run-through of drone technology and how it can help achieve multiples of SDGs and their targets. The children were guided in creating dummy drones and thereafter guided to operate drones. Overall, drones as part of technology are crucial to achieving the SDGs and is directly linked to SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

At the tail end of the camp, the 13 young changemakers and innovators presented an illustration of their sustainable community, colorfully sketched on flipcharts. Conspicuous on the sketch was the presence of various levels of health facilities, schools, farms, recycling plants, security centers and water sources; a testimony that the children were cognizant of the SDGs in their communities. Even more interesting was the presence of an SDGs academy and drone centre in the community. “We learn about the SDGs in my school but here (at the Academy), I have learnt more about them (the SDGs) and the actions we can take to achieve and understand the SDGs, like creating the sustainable village” Jeremy, child at the camp.

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