GFP Stories of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

By Chris Todd, Communications Officer at Generations For Peace

United Nations Day 2018 marks the 73rd anniversary of the UN Charter’s entry into force and celebrates everything that the UN represents and has achieved since its establishment in 1945.

Generations For Peace is proud to contribute to the UN Global Sustainability Goals (SDGs), set out by the United Nations 2030 Agenda. While our programming touches on a wide range of these SDGs ion a variety of ways, we are proud to contribute to five in particular.

In honour of the 73rd annual UN Day, read the stories of our programmes and activities that contribute to each of the five SDGs with which GFP most closely aligns:

Jalal copy

Bringing Hope Home: Jalel’s Story
Goal 4: Quality Education

GFP programmes work with local schools to address the reasons for higher drop-out rates in developing countries and vulnerable populations.

Jalel once wanted nothing more than to leave his country. Like many of his friends and other youth across Tunisia, he was faced with a wide array of challenges, which made his future appear very difficult. Anything was better than staying in Tunisia, where there was no safety, no job, no prosperity, and no hope. Lack of hope in his future made Jalel weak in his studies, ultimately leading to his dropping out of school.

GFP programming, overseen by school teachers – real-life, frontline workers – who knew well the dilemmas and issues with which the youth in their classrooms were confronted, brought Jalel and many of his peers back to the classroom. They felt empowered and hopeful in their futures.

Now, Jalel no longer sees a future in his home without chances or opportunities to improve himself, his peers, and his community. Instead, he has developed a relentless desire to give back to his own community – the community he once dreamed only of escaping, now transformed into a safe space to develop himself in order to empower others.

Read Jalel’s full story here.

Hanan

A Refugee’s Story: Hanan
Goal 5: Gender Equality

GFP programmes address gender equality, inclusion, and empowerment, including through a new partnership with UN Women.

Her home of Daraa is a mere 13 kilometres from Syria’s southern border and from the country which she now calls her home. Yet where Hanan’s life was once characterized by joy and peace, it has since been marked with trauma after fleeing violence and destruction.

The move to Jordan was not easy: her eldest son, Musa, and his younger siblings faced many difficulties in public schools, suffering discrimination, aggression, and bullying because of their Syrian origins. One day, Hanan found that her son had returned from school bearing a knife wound inflicted on him by another student.

Hanan began her journey with volunteering, working with Generations For Peace to inspire hope and build social cohesion between Jordanian and Syrian youth. Now, she has not only rediscovered much of the joy and peace she once thought she had left behind in Syria – she also helps share a reflection of them with others, many of whom might otherwise have lost theirs, as well.

Read Hanan’s full story here. 

MCE - Frosina copy

And They Called Me “Teacher”
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

GFP implements programmes from the grassroots to address challenges of inequality along the lines of nationality, tribe, religion, political affiliation, physical or mental ability, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and more.

The Pena River, snaking through the centre of Tetovo, is not the only thing that brings division to it. Frosina and her peers faced countless bouts of violence, contention, and inequality along ethnic lines between Albanian and Macedonian youth.

Because of this, Frosina began to develop a passion for contributing to her community and making a positive impact between Albanians and Macedonians from a very young age.

Frosina decided to translate her passion for social politics into volunteer work, joining Generations For Peace in 2012. Frosina now works  with young local boys and girls to foster understanding and acceptance between ethnic Albanians and Macedonians, using her volunteerism to reduce inequalities, build peace, and pass it on.

Read Frosina’s full story here.

Alpha copy

Trauma’s Transformation to Peacebuilding
Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

GFP is dedicated to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, working to transform conflict that manifests in any number of forms, including violence against children, bullying, prejudice, and more.

To this day, Alpha still doesn’t know how long he was there – it could have been a few months or even over a year. Those who had been kidnapped – mostly young men like himself – were forced to participate in the looting, killing, and bombing carried out by the rebels. Young and traumatised, Alpha knew his only hope for survival was escape.

After surviving kidnapping by rebels in Sierra Leone, Alpha developed a passion for volunteering, working with GFP to lead others who could cascade his passion and knowledge, creating a sustainable ripple effect that could affect not just local communities, but generations of young people throughout them who had faced injustice, violent conflict, and traumatic experience like he did.

Now, he has even started his own initiative, the Centre for Youth Advocacy and Assistance (CYAA), created by like-minded youth who sought to volunteer wherever they were needed, however they were needed.

Read Alpha’s full story here.

KS Lankithilaka

And Step by Step…We Are Making Progress
Goal 17: Partnerships

GFP recognises the enormity of the scale of ambition of the SDGs, and knows that achieving them demands a collective effort across people, organisations, sectors, and borders.

K.S. Lankathilaka spent his entire adult life – from the time he was 22 until he had reached almost 50 years of age – residing in a country engulfed in an ethnically- and religiously-charged civil war. For over 25 years, Sri Lankans were engulfed in a civil war built on and resulting largely in the division of various ethno-linguistic groups, most prominently the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

K.S. was introduced to Generations For Peace in early 2017, where he continues to work today as a Peace Delegate in his hometown of Deniyaya. The organisation, working in partnership with USAID and the National Peace Council, puts on programmes that help inspire, in K.S.’s words, “Communities working together, meeting together, doing something together.”

Read K.S.’s full story here.


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www.generationsforpeace.org

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