Youth led community action is helping us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Four different groups of children, across India, have just finalised plans for their community projects to achieve one of the SDGs in their community. The four groups are supported by the World’s Largest Lesson India after they won a category in a competition run by Design for Change. Their prize was a grant to scale up existing projects. Here are the four projects we are proud to be supporting in 2017.

In Karnataka students developed a solar phone charging kit, as part of an initiative to encourage the use of more renewable energy. Originally they just gave the kits out in their school and community but in 2017 they are making enough to be shared with five local villages. This project is helping to achieve Goal 7 ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’.

Tamil Nadu
A group of girls has been running a series of gender equality initiatives in their school for more than a year. The success they had, such as successfully lobbying for the school student council to be 50% girls, led to them winning the prize. They have chosen to spend their winning on paying for two girls to stay in school, until the end of high school, supporting them by buying their uniform, books and paying for their transport. The girls’ were about to drop out and they believed saving their education was the best action, thus supporting both Goal 4 “Quality Education’ and Goal 5 ‘Gender Equality’.

In 2016, five students have been helping to improve water and sanitation in a slum near their school in Maharashtra. With their award money they have decided to train other students to be youth leaders in their village, and beyond, about the importance of clean water and sanitation, helping to achieve Goal 6 in their community.

In Delhi a group of girls’ undertook a range of activities to reduce discrimination based on the colour of people’s skin. This included running awareness workshops and plays, and writing to cosmetic companies about how they advertise. Their award money is being spent on supporting five other schools to do the same. Their actions are helping to achieve Goal 10 ‘Reduced Inequalities’ in Delhi.

The SDGs can be achieved, if people all around the world, like these children, take action. Now.