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    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    Why Youth Should Care About the SDGs

    SDGs EU Campaign

    By Elias Gbadamosi

    I chose SDGs
    Running frantically across the parade ground and sweating profusely; trying to adjust my glasses as it keeps slipping off the tip of my nose where it was sitting. Our SDGs knowledge class had just ended and I was hurrying to meet up with the parade rehearsal.

    I got to the rehearsal and was about to join when the platoon commander, Corporal Tanko signaled to me to stand just by the sidelines. He walked up to me and said: “You can’t serve two masters at a time.”

    “You either belong here or stay there.” He continued. “I give you just two minutes to decide.”
    I stroked my beardless chin and looked down. My thoughts wandered and impulsively, I told Corporal Tanko that I would rather ride on the SDGs train.

    It was not all clear to me on that day but after more than a year of encountering the SDGs, I am happy that I made that decision. Had I stayed on the parade party, I would have thrown away the knowledge and opportunities that SDGs have brought and will continue to bring my way; whereas, the parade would have ended with the three weeks of National Youth Service Corps orientation program.

    How I see the SDGs
    Sustainability is about doing and achieving more with less and development is said to be sustainable if it “meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.”

    The Sustainable Development Goals I have learned are a set of 17 ambitious goals with 169 targets ratified by 193 world leaders in the year 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly. The Global Goals as they are also called have come to consolidate and complete the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals.

    #TheWorldWeWant2030 focuses on people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships to ensure social, economic and environmental freedom for everyone everywhere by the year 2030.

    The 17 goals for sustainable development cover all aspects of human, animal, plant and planet life. They seek to eradicate poverty, hunger and unemployment; to promote quality education, good health and gender equality; to tackle inequality, climate change and violent extremism among other things. 

    My Favorite Goals
    All of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are of equal importance and all are interrelated. My favorite goal, however, is Goal 4 (Quality Education) and goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) in order of preference.

    To start with, I believe education is the greatest thing to have happened to humanity. Without education, perhaps polio would have wiped out all the inhabitants of mother earth. Maybe the idea of going to the moon would still have remained a fantasy. Goal 4 of the SDGs knows this well and that’s why it emphasizes the importance of ensuring “inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all”.

    Education is the fuel of dreams and the mother of innovation. The more educated people are the more empowered and confident they become to take up new challenges and break into new frontiers. The success of the remaining 16 goals of sustainable development is hinged on the quality of our education.

    Furthermore, it is often said that people are the real wealth of nations and healthy people are crucial to sustaining societies. When citizens are physically fit and mentally sound, they become more productive and their contributions towards advancing development increases. Only citizens who lead healthy and long lives and are free from the fear of injury can create an environment in which development will thrive. 

    Why youth should care about the SDGs
    The role of youth in building a sustainable world cannot be overemphasized. Across all countries and continents, the prospect of a better future for young people is fast depleting. It has, therefore, become exigent for youth to generate fresh ideas, take effective actions and hold governments accountable to ensure prompt actualization of the global goals by the set date of 2030 to secure a more rewarding and fulfilling future for ourselves and generations coming behind.

    Elias Gbadamosi is an up and coming development professional with specific interests in solutions journalism, development communication, international affairs and African political discourse. He has sizeable work experience in the non-profit, broadcasting and education sectors. Elias writes on different platforms and facilitates training on sustainable development being a trained Development Knowledge Facilitator (DKF) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate.

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