‘Playing’ into Sustainable Development
12 May 2021
Our planet is at a critical point. From global health crises to economic disparities to climate change, there has never been a more crucial time for our young leaders to step up and help come up with solutions to these existential challenges. The United Nations (UN) is committed to tackling these issues by achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and UN Namibia has come up with a unique and clever way to get Namibian youth to create changes within our communities and throughout the world.
UN Namibia launched their latest youth engagement tool, Swift 30: SDG Edition. This locally made board game brings the SDGs into the hands of the youth, to educate them on Namibia and how they can positively impact our future. During the launch, UN Resident Coordinator Sen Pang, recalled playing games growing up and emphasised the knowledge building exercise as having the potential to teach young and old alike. “Even I learnt something new today”, he noted. The UNRC along with the Deputy Minister of Education and other stakeholders played the game to get a feel for the content and interaction it encourages.
Swift 30: SDG Edition was produced in collaboration with Ms. Ndeshi Fikameni and her company, Afroprintline. This iteration follows the success of her first game, Swift 30, a game that drew its inspiration from the popular board game, 30 Seconds, but exclusively focused on Namibian topics – a game for Namibians by Namibians. Similarly, Swift 30: SDG Edition, which includes a colourful hand-sewn game board, appeals to Namibian youth with the aim to empower them to take their future into their own hands.
Speaking at the officially launch Swift 30: SDG Edition, Deputy Minister of Education, Arts, and Culture, Hon. Faustina Caley recognizes that initiatives such as this are of paramount importance to the development of Namibian youth. She commended this effort saying, “the Ministry welcomes the strategic partnership support in establishing non-school based opportunities for the Namibian child to relate to the SDGs and for catering to the diverse interest and talents of learners across regions.”
Twenty youth from various schools and organizations around Windhoek attended the event. Together they learnt how to play the game, which came with a lot of friendly competition amongst each other. Orban Primary School learner Jasmine Schmidt, 12, spoke with excitement for Swift 30: SDG Edition explaining that she “learned a lot and it was super fun! I hope others enjoy it as much as I did.” Claudios Rervelso, 19, from the Namibia Institute for Democracy (NID) described his experience as, “awesome and educational, everyone engaged in the game. I personally want my peers to know about Swift 30: SDG Edition.”
Following its official launch, the team behind Swift 30: SDG Edition will continue to build awareness by engaging with schools, youth groups and other organizations through game activations and programming. The SDGs are only attainable through a collaborative effort from all, and this game is a major way for the UN to reach a whole new audience.
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