As a part of our SDG awareness program we observed that while in theory Sustainable Development Goals are taught to children all over our nation, most of them perceived these goals as something which is not a part of their reality. During the course of our various other projects, we realized that when it comes to SDGs, the schools were facing the following problems:1
1. Unavailability of resources
We cannot deny that a lot of resources are available today to educate the youth on SDGs. However, we forget that a lot of these resources are accessible to a very small part of our population, mostly the privileged urban elite while the less privileged ones often have to live in the dark. Even if the activities are available in the students’ curriculum, they are often either brushed away or not attended to in a manner where the importance of these goals can be recognized.
2. Lack of empathy
Students often fail to empathise with the Sustainable Development Goals as they are explained or discussed in a manner which isn’t localised to a nation’s cultural understanding. Hence, the students fail to perceive these goals as a part of their reality. They have a tendency to think that the crisis that the SDGs try to battle are distant from their own environment.
Children tend to understand these goals as something that comes under the government’s wing and that no action can be taken at the micro level. They don’t understand the gravity of tan individual’s actions for the accomplishment of these goals.
As a result, we were failing at educating our youth about the SDGs.
In an effort to make SDGs understandable for the kids, Margreet De Heer, Reading with Pictures, and Comics Uniting Nations, came together to spread the word about the 17 Goals in the form of comics.
In order to solve the aforementioned problems, Brainwiz translated this comic strip into Hindi and organized reading sessions in schools across the country. While various translations of this comic book exist, ours is a child-friendly version that contains words and ideas that can be easily understood by kids.
These reading sessions enabled the kids to not only understand the SDGs in a kid-friendly language but to also realise that each one of them can work at their individual levels to achieve the SDGs.
Some reading sessions that really moved us were at
- Manav Sthali School, Deoria, UP
- Tagore International School, Delhi
- Nirmal Bhartia School, Delhi.
We have already interacted with over 200 students to provide them with the resources to become better citizens of the world and intend to interact with millions more. We took the SDGs to classes where the goals weren’t confined to the written word but instead encompassed both creativity and imagination, moderated to the cultural understanding of the children. As the students became more familiarised with SDGs and their functions, they also gained a sense of responsibility:
- About 89% of the students admitted that The Comic Strip was integral in contributing to the realisation that these goals were in fact, set for all of us.
- 92% of the students reached the consensus that the comics called for individual action and were hence instrumental in motivating them to take responsibility to create a sustainable future.
- All of the students mentioned that the translated version appealed to the their understanding of their world and their Hindi version was an aid to remove the linguistic and socio-cultural barriers to promote empathy and comprehension towards the SDGs at schools at the grassroots levels as well.
- 130 Downloads in the first week of publishing the SDG comic book on Brainwiz website.
As a result of this workshop, teachers were inspired to conduct and administer more activities regarding the SDGs in order to create a workforce that is better equipped to handle the current problems.
After having administered these workshops, Brainwiz decided to donate these books to the schools and further, made a copy of the book available on our website to continue with our efforts to prepare learners for the challenges of the 21st century. Brainwiz invites students and educators to connect with us and explore sustainability as a medium of education for tomorrow.