In celebration of #Canada150, the SDGs Youth Training Canada mobilized 10,000 Canadian youth to advocate and implement SDGs through 100 local activities and 50 trainings in colleges and universities across Canada in 2017. The event allowed for youth aged 16 – 25 to interact with UN officials, policymakers and activists who were working to make a change across the world. The event held at Brock from on November 11 was a success.
The event worked to disseminate sustainability information about what someone can do to help, both in their community and on a bigger scale. Some activists are partnering with the UN to teach students about Sustainable Development Goals. The event was run by the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship, which is a not-for-profit organization that is an accredited by the United Nations and has a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
The mission statement of the organization and event is to create a more equitable, sustainable and diverse future for the country and world by empowering youth to get involved. It can be troubling when youth today report that they feel disconnected with world events. This is why events such as the UN training day exist. To show students and others that there is real change that can be accomplished. The organization partnered with 23 United Nations members and has appeared at 50 different colleges and university campuses throughout the year.
During the day there were four main events that took place. The first event provided was examples of SDGs and how students can work to make a positive difference both in their community and around the world. These can be anything from low impact plans to coordinate recycling, or high impact plans like planting a sustainable bio garden.
The second event featured speaker from the United Nations and a question and answer session after their speech. The speech was on the topic of sustainability goals for communities like Brock itself. This was a great opportunity for students to engage in discussion with someone who is doing real work in the field of sustainable development.
The third event was multiple workshops that focused on skill development in setting developmental goals and how to follow through with a plan. It was primarily based around different types of goal planning. Short term goals, and mid-long term goals. This type of planning can be extremely positive for students especially who are often times thrown into university with minimal to no experience planning and working around their own schedule. While the fourth was a panel discussion. The panel featured two Brock personnel Ana Sanchez, the Chair of the Department of Health Sciences and Liette Vasseur, Brock University Biology Professor and UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Chair in Community Sustainability, along with three other members. The panel featured discussion that fit in with the theme of the day and generally followed the same trends.
Each of the participants received a certificate of training from the FES and learned from all of the expertise involved in the day.