Arigatou International launched the 2nd physical space of the SDGs Academy for children in Sri Lanka on 17th October 2022, during commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP). The space, dubbed Model classroom is hosted within the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement headquarters in Sri Lanka and is managed by the End Child Poverty Knowledge centre, hosted within the same precincts.
Like it’s predecessor in Kenya, the Model Classroom seeks to provide children with simplified and easy-to-use learning tools on the SDGs. It will deliver this goal through the SDG model classroom for children that offer safe virtual and physical child-friendly spaces for interaction and exchange. Additionally, activities within the SDG Model classroom will involve a storytelling campaign for children on the SDGs, and multi-level gaming mobile applications and web apps that are relevant to children ages 4 and above.
Attending the launch, Arigatou International Directors – Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, (GNRC) , Maria Lucia Uribe (Ethics Education) and Fred Nyabera (end Child Poverty) lauded the establishment of the SDGs Academy for Children as safe spaces for children not only to contribute to achievement of the SDGs but also as great spaces for meaningful children participation. It was also noted that the work of the Academy was well within the 10 Panama commitments (GNRC 5th forum; 2017) as well as the Arigatou International ethos in general. Fred Nyabera also took this opportunity to remind participants that this launch was part of the commemoration of ECP@10 and IDEP as well.
While welcoming the launch of the Academy, Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, President of Sarvodaya Movement noted that children and young generation were the leaders for Sustainable society and sustainable future. And with the launch of the SDG model classroom in Sri Lanka, it would be a wonderful opportunity for all children to learn on SDGs”.
The launch event involved an intergenerational dialogue through which participating children got an opportunity to seek answers and have their voices heard with regards to achieving the SDGs. The conversation was mainly centred around Education (SDG4), Climate Change (SDG13) and Peace (SDG16).
Ms. Emma Brigham, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF Sri Lanka emphasized that the crucial role education plays in promoting Sustainable Development and addressing environment-related issues and climate actions.
Sanara, 17 years young girl shared her experience with Arigatou International End Child Poverty Knowledge Centre and how she had expanded her knowledge about the SDGs.
The event bought together over 50 participants physically and a host of other joining online; via zoom. Participating organizations included: UNICEF Sri Lanka, The Sustainable Development Councils in Sri Lanka, UNDP, Save the Children Sri Lanka, The Asia Foundation, World Vision, the Department of Sociology, University of Peradeniya and GNRC committee.