In Ghana, the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was accompanied by the need for increased awareness and knowledge sharing among the public. Succesful implementantion of the goals would depend largely on broad stakeholder support, anchored on information dissemination that fosters social change. With this goal in view, UNDP through partmerhsips stepped up efforts to improve access to SDGs information by leveraging various platforms.
As part of these efforts, in November 2016, UNDP joined other UN agencies in an outreach programme that sought to help senior high school students become familiar with the work of the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals. Participating schools included the Assin Manso Senior High School, Aggrey Memorial A.M.E Zion Senior High School and the Aggrey Memorial A.M.E Zion Senior High School and the Cape Coast School for the Deaf, which also included some visually impaired students. More than 1,800 students benefited from the outreach organized by the UN Communication Group and facilitated by Ms.Cynthia Prah, National Officer of the UN Information Centre, Mr.Bossman Owusu, UNDP Communications Analyst and Ms. Hannah Ghanson, Programme Assistant of the UN Volunteers.
Taking centre stage at each session was discussions around the 17 global goals and the role youths can play for their attainment. The team also engaged with the students on the mandate of the UN in general, the work of UN agencies in Ghana and volunteering opportunities that exist within the system. The students who were elated about the opportunity to interact with UN staff paid rapt attention to the discussions and shared perspectives on what the various SDGs mean to them. Leaving no one behind, Braille version of the Sustainable Development Goals was also available to help visually impaired students share thoughts on the goals. The deaf also benefitted from sign language interpretations on the global goals. The team also answered dozens of questions posed by the students, ranging from career opportunities within the UN to the work of the various UN agencies in Ghana. The students and the schools' management appreciated the opportunity for the engagement and hoped that there will be more in future.
The outreach programme forms part of UN4U initiative which seeks to bring the United Nations close to students. Previous engagements targeted students in the Ashanti, Northern and Volta Regions of Ghana.