Achievement at a glance
#NAYDSDSGs was instigated through a facebook chat on Jan 2 when a group of leading African youth development activists met to discuss the way forward to implement the SDGs in rural communities. It was agreed that we should form mixed-gender teams of about 7 people comprised of rural community development activists. There have been 4 group meetings since then. Teams have been formed in over 30 countries and team leads are developing teams in most other African countries. Working groups have been set up for team progress; for capacity building; for partnerships to support a capacity building workshop. Social media has been used extensively to promote and support the initiative.
Challenges faced in implementation
There are many challenges – Eritrea has little internet, no freedom of assembly, any activity is seen as suspicious and can lead to unwanted detention/ possible disappearance. Many young people are leaving the country. Our
team is based out of Eritrea and is using social media to reach out but it is difficult to determine the impact. They are considering prioritising Eritreans in refugee camps in Ethiopia as their contribution to the SDG's. South Sudan has a fragile unitary government. Somalia’s militia do not allow internet in rural communities and mobile communication is widely restricted because of security issues. CBO’s are used to working independently and not collaboratively. It is difficult to get mixed gender teams in some countries. There is widespread ignorance of the SDGs. Translating existing community development activities into a measurable SDG is problematic. There is no easy to understand monitoring or benchmark system to measure SDG progress in rural communities. Many African governments have not made firm commitments to the Global Goals. Generally communication is problematic in rural communities - no power, regular power cuts, little or poor internet, mobile phone limitations, different languages and dialects. Financial limitations in the early stages whilst support is sought.
Three working groups have been set up to progress #NAYDSDGs. 1 - Team development’s aim is to support existing teams with delivering progress reports, action plans and stakeholder network development; help team leads form new teams; search for team leads for countries not currently represented. 2 Capacity building team’s aim is to determine the Capacity needs for each country; training of trainers; having 17 experts who are well versed with the SDGs; research online training possibly in the form of modules that can be downloaded and which would be self-paced; capacity building in a sustainable way the allows for the limited resources we have and the differences in capacity needs; learn from other orgs training of trainers to decide how we would do it. 3 The partnership team for the workshop have developed a list of possible contacts and are in the process if sending letters out. Continue social media activities through the #NAYDSDGs BLOG, Google hangouts discussing the issues specific countries face, twitter chats with experts in different areas of sustainable development.
Rural Communities and relevant stakeholders
On-going activities include Ghana - organising a peace ‘durbar’ in advance of elections in 2016 with individuals, corporations, civil society and communities in Jisonayili. Cameroon - printing and distributing T-shirts with the SDGs inscribed. Translating the SDGs into local languages to raise awareness and create visibility. Benin – SDG media awareness campaign directed at policy makers and partners to support outstanding SDG initiatives (http://urlz.fr/3tZq). Uganda - running a program with the Theme “We are the Change, Climate Change must End” - the dialogues target youth and district stakeholders in five rural communities on the role of young people in the Action goal 13. Zimbabwe - a tree planting project in Seke rural areas where hundreds of young people planted 513 trees in the community. Morocco - organized a meeting in collaboration with the HEC School in Fez to promote peace in Morocco, Africa and World. South Africa - Orlando Children's home was engaged on human rights day as part of the drive to reach offline youth with education concerning the efforts towards implementing the SDGs. Burkina Faso - an information meeting on the SDGs and #NAYDSDGs which brought together 25 youth leaders and CSOs aimed to engage the SDGs locally.