(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – 50 schools selected for the SDG Action Campaign received financial grants and technical support at an event held in Colombo yesterday (05).
The Campaign for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is led by the UN in Sri Lanka together with the Ministry of Education in partnership with Hatton National Bank and the Presidential Secretariat in an effort to reach out to school students from across the country to design and implement an SDG based project in their communities.
The launch of these Goals, created a landmark moment in creating a much better world without leaving no one behind by 2030. However, achieving these 17 SDGs is everyone’s responsibility.
Speaking about the students’ role in contributing to the SDGs, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Government of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sunil Hettiarachchi stated, “This student led campaign shows good potential to serve as an excellent platform to pave a path towards achieving the SDGs in Sri Lanka”.
Since the launch of the campaign on 24 October 2017 commemorating UN Day, over 700 schools submitted their proposals and upon evaluation by the partners of the campaign, 50 SDG-centered proposals were selected representing the 25 Districts of Sri Lanka. These schools will now be linked with relevant experts and institutions, enhancing the students’ capacity to mobilize the communities around to help Sri Lanka achieve the SDGs.
Speaking about the Campaign, Director, ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the UN Communications Group Chair., Ms. Simrin Singh stated ”Taking action for the SDGs is a collective effort. From the youngest student to the most experienced teacher, schools play an important role in spreading the word that everyone has a responsibility. The question is no longer if you want your classroom to connect to the world; the question now is simply when.”
Speaking about the role of the private sector, Chief Human Resource Officer/ Deputy General Manager of Hatton National Bank, Ms. L Chiranthi Cooray stated “At HNB we are pleased to support young Sri Lankans to be part of and practically experience sustainable activities and their results. This programme would be extremely significant to create awareness on the SDG and the triple bottom line for a sustainable planet.”
Engaging youth is vital to Sri Lanka achieving the sustainable development to eradicate poverty, address climate change and build peaceful, inclusive societies for all. These projects will help students raise awareness of the SDGs in their communities and also contribute to the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, ensuring the sustainability of these projects is imperative.
Also speaking, Additional Secretary to the President Mr. Rohana Keerthi Dissanayake stated ”This campaign recognizes the prominent role school children play in building the country with the concept of the sustainable development. His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena and the Government of Sri Lanka stands committed to support this programme to ensure that these projects are sustainable, reaching all communities across the country”