On Sat urday 25th of March 2017, AID FOR RURAL EDUCATION ACCESS INITIATIVE (AREAi) hosted a Capacity Building Workshop to empower youth educators and trainers from youth-led organizations on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). A total of 30 Youth Educators from 24 different organizations, in the 18-35 age group, all of whom are passionate about sustainability issues and are already working as active leaders in sustainable development in their communities,attended the comprehensive capacitybuilding leadership training on ESD which was organized in partnership with All Nigerian United Nations Student and Youth Association (ANUNSA), University of Lagos. The Workshop was conducted as a concluding phase of the UNESCO ESD Leadership Training UNESCO GAP PN4 Flagship Project which aimed at training ESD Leaders who will be multipliers, conducting ESD workshops in their communities and regions across the world,and as well as building a network of ESD Young Leaders. The event with the Theme “Youth Expanding the Frontiers of Education for Sustainable Development“engaged the Youth Educators on practical ways they can champion the advancement of ESD through formal and informal settings most particularly through the work of their organizations at the grassroots. From Film Screening to Case Studies and Experiential Learning Exercises on Sustainability Issues focused on Climate Change/Environmental Conversation, Peace and Intercultural Dialogue, Global Citizenship Education and Sustainable Lifestyles, lessons were drawn from the core fundamental modules of ESD Leadership, SDG Action and Communications/Facilitation using Videos and Power Point Files from the Nairobi Workshop.
The First Module on ESD Leadership gave the participants the opportunity to share their different contextual and general understanding of ESD and the approaches they have deployed/are deploying in facilitation. They were intimated on how to educate for Sustainable development with emphasis on the priorities for ESD as well as the ESD Competencies for learners and trainers. The SDG Action Session,which was introduced with a Short Video Narrative on the Transition from MDGs to SDGs, was the most interactive as the participants took an online test via www.17goals.org to concretize their knowledge about the SDGs. Using the stretch mode of facilitation, the participants equipped with the requisite capacities and knowledge required to drive local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Sharing success stories, case studies and best practices, the Host, Prince Olanrewaju Gideon Seun introduced the A-S-A-P Model of Social Change which revolves around raising awareness, creating service projects, conducting advocacy cammpaigns to promote accountability and expressing philanthropic gestures to deliver on the targets of the Global Goals.
To add practicality, the Youth Educators were each implored to pick one of the 17 goals that aligns with their passion/interest and then design a project to drive its actualization. Different ideas were shared with core discussions on project design, needs mapping, visioning, volunteering, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation and many more important aspects of social good. The Workshop ended with the Communication/Facilitation module as the participants engaged in an Activity posed at establishing their different facilitation styles. The whole event lasted for Four Hours and ended on a high note with photograph and networking sessions.
At the end of the workshop, many of the participants expressed their willingness to host follow-up events to further train other Young Leaders and/or Cluster of young children between the ages of 7 and 16 based on all they learnt at the event. This was stipulated as part of the criteria for participation at the Workshop when the Call for Applications was made. Based on the reflections we had at the end of each of the three Sessions, it became vividly evident that Young people, when presented with capacity building opportunities, are enthusiastic and ready to lead change for Education to fulfil its economic role of building competent citizens who are empowered to live and lead a sustainable future.
Also in attendance at the workshop are: Jennifer Uchendu of Sustyvibes who falicitated a session on Environmentalism as well Omole Olumuyiwa (Executive Director, AREAi) and Odanye Kehinde (Program Director, Skills for Life Drive).