The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) participated in UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development: The Role of Education in Ottawa, Canada from March 8-10, 2017. During the event, WFUNA and World’s Largest Lesson (WLL) co-hosted a session exploring the impact of efforts by civil society to promote global citizenship education (GCED) outside of formal education. Kathryn White, President and CEO of the United Nations Association in Canada and Vice-Chair of WFUNA’s Executive Committee, moderated the session.
The session panelists shared examples of alternative approaches from small local initiatives, child- and youth-led and project-based learning, to global programs. GCED Officer, Megan Wilhelm, introduced WFUNA’s flagship GCED program, Mission Possible, describing the program’s approach to GCED that empowers youth to become Agents of Change contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by designing and implementing projects to impact their local communities.
Kalai Selvi, Head of School at Vidyashilp Academy in Bangalore, India, joined the panel to share her school’s experience participating in Mission Possible, working with civil society partners, and implementing other SDGs and GCED programs. WLL Programme Director, Alison Bellwood, provided a different perspective by sharing the growth and impact of WLL’s global campaign to raise awareness about the SDGs among children and youth and encourage them to take action to support the SDGs.
H.E. Dessima Williams, Special Advisor for Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals for the Office of the President of the General Assembly, attended the session and shared brief remarks about the Office of the President of the General Assembly’s ongoing efforts to advance the SDGs. H.E. Dessima Williams also thanked WFUNA and WLL for their partnership in this endeavor. The session culminated in an interactive dialogue with session participants about building a movement of action in support of GCED to achieve the SDGs.