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What Do the SDGs Look Like in Your Community?

UN Sustainable Development Goals: Collaborative Youth Action

On April 11, 2024, 30 youth and youth allies came together from across Canada for an online event entitled UN Sustainable Development Goals: Collaborative Youth Action. This webinar is the first in an education and advocacy series sponsored by the Mary Ward Centre, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto Ministry for Peace, Social Justice and Creation Care, the FCJ Refugee Centre, and the Canadian Council for Refugees Youth Network. The webinar series aims to empower newcomer youth to gain knowledge of the SDGs and to advocate for what they need to flourish. During the April webinar, youth first learned about the SDG framework and then had a deep dive into three SDGs which will be reviewed by the UN this summer: SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). Next, youth were encouraged to reflect on the interconnections between the SDGs and their own lives. How are newcomer youth impacted by these SDGs and whether they are achieved? What do the SDGs look like in their communities? Finally, youth were given some advocacy tips and tools for how to engage with government officials at any level to talk about the SDGs. Youth went away with access to an infographic on political engagement and an advocacy tip sheet. We are grateful to participation from Employment and Social Development Canada as a youth ally, encouraging youth to become politically engaged.

The second webinar in this series will be held on June 6th. The intention is to provide an opportunity for youth to engage in conversations with decision makers on the SDGs and how they intersect with their lives as newcomers. It is hoped that decision maker participants will be represented by officials from UN agencies, local and federal politicians, and government department officials.

At the Mary Ward Centre, we are committed to walking with youth to help them develop to their full potential. This includes accompaniment into political engagement and empowerment to realize their rights. We seek to educate and create spaces for youth to have their voices heard by those in decision making authority and to enable their full participation in decision making processes.


Author: Sarah Rudolph, ibvm, Canada