UNIC Pretoria Library invited five communities within the Tshwane Leadership Foundation (TLF) forum to participate in the celebration of the child protection week and forge interactive discussions to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a quest for inclusive participation in achieving the SDGs without “ leaving no one behind”, over 20 children aged 10 – 15 years old from the Tshwane Leadership Foundation actively took part in group discussions at the UNIC Library to foster the promotion the SDGs campaign. The children were organised in groups each from one of the five communities within the TLF to reflect and discuss what they learnt in their past interaction with UNIC on SDGs. The primary purpose of the activity evolved around:
- Identifying what goals were important to the children,
- What steps should be taken to improve life for all, and
- How they could help to contribute towards achieving the SDGs.
As part of the activity, children were requested to discuss SDGs and each group was asked to select one goal they thought was most significant to them. The discussion focused on the importance of the role that each person could play in order to help achieve the identified goals. To wrap up the activity, children had presentations from their discussions.
The entire exercise was intriguing because of the lively interactions among the students throughout their discussions and presentations. Based on the enthusiasm, courage and determination displayed in their reports, discussions and their boldness in asking questions and defending their arguments, it was apparent that the students were inspired and motivated by the activity.
Goal no. 1 (No poverty) was the most fascinating among children. Pertinent questions were raised on how to tackle poverty and the steps that could be taken, by government, to confront such challenges. For example the group proposed that government must take measures to create enough jobs, build enough medical centres for the poor and improve on social grants for the poorest.
On the other hand Goal 11 (on Safe cities and communities), attracted discussions about the safety of children including abduction and child trafficking. Solutions proposed largely touched on governments taking action in installing enough Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras around the city as well as providing enough training to the police force to combat crime.
Finally the children pledged their commitment to take action, in one way or the other, to promote the 2030 agenda for a better world.