Written articles, podcasts, vlogs, public speaking, social media, digital tools – these kids know it all! Is there a successful recipe for teaching the 2030 Agenda in a middle childhood education setting? The Progress Foundation happily took this challenge, and has been combining during 4 months different creative digital tools and journalistic workshops in deconstructing the myth of communicating difficult political subjects!
The School of SDG Reporters was a journalism school for children in rural areas, who wanted to become social media mavericks or journalists. They learned how to search, prepare and publish content relevant to their village in connection to SDGs and share it with their peers, thus learning what SDGs are, and their importance for their generation. The project aimed at increasing the level of participation and awareness among young people in rural areas, especially with regards to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This is definitely not your usual kind of school! It can be fun and creative to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals, only by making use of current technological means of communication! And when children are becoming journalists, the message conveys even smoother.
The Progress Foundation traveled for 3 months in 4 counties across Romania, delivering 2-days training sessions, hosted in partnership with local libraries. It was a partnership that proved to be fruitful and inclusive, as librarians were also direct beneficiaries of the project, each of the 25 being responsible of supporting a team of 2 children during their School of SDG Reporters journey.
How many did they reach to?
The training sessions were followed by a period of 2 months full of challenges, in which children had to create content related to SDGs by using different digital instruments. The Progress Foundation offered guidance through Facebook live sessions, in order to keep the children engaged and make sure they succeed to complete each of the missions they were assigned to:
- Podcast on SDG13 (Climate Action) – featuring guests from the local community (mayor, chemistry or geography teacher);
- Vlog on SDG4 (Quality Education) and SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) – revealing different perspectives on how children perceive lack of access to education or a sustainable city;
- Written articles on SDG2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG12 (Sustainable consumption and production) – planned around Easter time in Romania, thus enabling the environment to observe consumption behaviors and reflect upon food waste;
- Events – organized in their local communities, succeeding to gather over 300 adults that were informed about the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The children were supported by librarians, but they had full ownership over decisions.
Our generation will implement ideas around SDGs, around the 2030 Agenda in the next decade, and this effort will be present on our common European, national, regional and local agendas. The newest generation needs to be aware and recognize the main ideas and the model that this Agenda shapes. In rural areas, the new concepts like these ones: sustainability, SDGs – are getting complicated. And I think it is absolutely necessary to have these kind of concepts embodied in the future plans of the young people..(…) They are doing such cool stuff in this project and they became rising stars in their communities. Any child should be inspired with the idea that he or she can change something within their community – ever since early childhood.
Empowering young generations living in rural areas with soft and hard skills was the main purpose of the Foundation. In a world in which digital inequality is recognized as a viable inequality indicator, the Progress Foundation helped reducing disparities in knowledge and ability of using digital and information technology within this specific group of children. Get a glimpse of how the world looks like through these children’s eyes by listening to our podcast episode below!
50 children created content available on School of SDG Reporters’ website below (in romanian only), after receiving information regarding the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Goals, thus becoming reliable multipliers of our sustainability gospel. In love with them already? Check out their behind the scenes video! We promise is worth it!