By November 9, 2016 Read More →

Youth-led Briefing: 1+4=16

Targeting Poverty (Goal 1) and Education (Goal 4) for Peace (Goal 16)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

It was the first youth-led briefing by the newly formed Youth Steering Committee of the Department of Public Information! It was a pleasure being present and having the youths take us through the proceedings in such a smooth and timely manner, with of course, fun activities and a game.

Jadayah Spencer, Co-Chair, Youth Steering Committee

Jadayah Spencer, Co-Chair, Youth Steering Committee (UN photo/Amanda Voisard)

Pilar Harris, a youth justice, who leads workshops for young people incarcerated at Rikers Island, Queens, shared that most of the inmates were school ‘drop-outs’, teenage mothers, and non-citizens. Her concern is make prison a safe place for them, with enough educational programs, with the hope of supporting them until they come out of jail.

Ms. Frances Simpson Allen, Program Management Officer, Office of the SG Envoy of Youth, stated that there are many social constraints in trying to offer sound education to girls and boys. She noted that a good education plays a vital role in the eradication of poverty.

Equally so, Austin Schiano, Partnerships Manager of ‘Give Me 5 Campaign’, shared about the campaign. It is a grass-root global movement that calls on global leaders to pledge 0.5% of their GDPs towards the fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. One of the aims of this campaign is to create pressure on global leaders to prioritize Sustainable Development. This means, among many other things, investing more in peace, development, and human rights, and less in special interests and unsustainable practices.

Umazi Mvurya, Development Fellow, African Leadership Foundation, cited that the narrative, “that’s how things are,” has to change if we wish to ensure a good education for all. She raised the ‘cost issue’ claiming that since school/college fees are so high, and teachers are usually the most low paid workers, then what incentive is being offered to parents to send their children to school, or for someone to become a teacher? More so, what message are we giving the world?


It was a very lively discussion which left everyone with many things to work on if we want to eradicate poverty and provide education for all.

Watch the discussion here

I would like to throw a few pebbles in the ocean – could making someone ‘rich in spirit’ contribute to eradicating poverty on the physical and emotional level? Could making someone ‘rich in spirit’ make people in leadership roles more ‘human’? Could it reduce the greed and increase true love, compassion, and humility?



Posted in: Education, Uncategorized

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