SDG quest introduces the Donbas youth to sustainable development concept

Sep 8, 2017

Photo credit: ©Artem Getman / UNDP in Ukraine

In July and August, UNDP in Ukraine and UN Volunteers in Ukraine, in partnership with a local NGO in Donetsk region, organised a series of quests themed around Sustainable Development Goals.

Around 800 children and youth aged 9 to 17 staying in the summer camps located in Sviatohirsk, Donetsk oblast, participated in the quests aimed to introduce them to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encourage them to engage in positive changes in their communities.

The children from the conflict-affected areas of the Donbas had a chance to unleash their creativity while learning about the Global Goals to be achieved worldwide by 2030. Each team selected one or two Goals to work on in detail and developed a thematic quest.

The team that was working on the Goal 6: Clean water had a task to make a water filter to secure clean water supply that is essential for sustainable cities and communities. The task proved to be challenging but allowed the children to learn new things that could turn out to be vitally important.

“Some kids had no idea how to filter water. They tried to make filters from tea bags. Very few of us knew how to filter water even though it’s so easy. When I was explaining how one can do that even older children were listening to me,” explains one of the participants Ivan Sypkov, 9.

Other teams were also working on the Goal 9 and Goal 11 and tried to imagine a sustainable city of the future while the team that opted for Goals 13 and 15 brainstormed how to protect endangered species from extinction caused by the rising sea level.

The cross-cutting issue for all quests was building inclusive partnerships and participatory decision-making. Through this quest the young participants could see that everyone has a role in achieving SDGs and everyone, regardless of the age, may bring positive changes.

“What is amazing about this quest is that the children actually developed it themselves. We just gave them a chance to open up their creative potential,” said Aliona Kucheruk, one of the quest’s facilitators.

The SDG quests were organized under UNDP’s Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with financial support from the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland, and with organizational support  from UN Volunteers in Ukraine.

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