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13 June 2016

Start with One Sustainable Development Goal, Be Practical and Reach Out - Lviv Youth

On 4 June, a quest named "Global Goals 2030" took place in Lviv, organized by the local committee of AIESEC. Since AIESEC supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its activities and contributes to the SDGs, it was a great opportunity to further raise Lviv residents’ awareness and make an input to the SDGs.

In total, 26 persons (non-members of AIESEC-Lviv) participated in the quest. Participants ranged in age from 15 to 35, most of them students. Organizers formed four teams of 6-7 people, with each team having its own coordinator.

At the beginning of the quest, organizers briefed the participants about the Sustainable Development Goals and the practical importance of this quest, along with the need for the involvement of the local community. Each team received posters of all the SDGs, and then chose the one that was most important to them and that they wished to contribute to the most. Based upon the SDG they chose, the teams then went to locations that were associated with a particular city or place connected with the SDG. On the way to the location, coordinators told the teams more about the SDG they had selected. At the locations, teams were tasked with solving riddles and asked questions about their chosen Goals. At their first locations, the teams were assigned the task of creating mini-projects on the selected Goals. The mini-projects were required to have practical applications for wider populations and have a demonstrable effect in achieving SDGs.

The first team chose Goal 6: "Clean water and sanitation." To start, the participants identified the problem they wanted to solve, namely: access to clean drinking water in the city center. The team then developed a plan to attract different sectors and stakeholders to the problem. The aim of their project is to establish a mechanized water supply through special machines or special water drinking fountains which everyone can use. Along these lines, the team’s main credo is: water should be cheap and available for everyone! In order to assure the project is impactful, the team members developed a clear mechanism of realization. Firstly, a sociological study will be conducted to identify where and how many machines need to be installed. Secondly, all necessary permits for the installation of structures will be obtained from the local authorities. Finally, a company that will supply drinking water will be determined. The plan also aims to attract partners and sponsors during the project.

The second team chose Goal 4: "Quality education." They designed a project entitled "Future Institute," an internship program for students and graduates of Ukrainian universities. Internships will be developed in conjunction with companies and organizations in order to provide professional orientation and skills improvement for interns. During their internships, students will have the opportunity to attend lectures in order to invest their time efficiently. The project will allow youth to have internships in relevant business environments - specifically companies - under the supervision of company representatives and founders. The Future Institute will become a platform for cooperation between the employers represented by the private sector and students as future employees. Expected results include: trained personnel for employers, simplification of hiring and employment, skills development, and encouraging students to work according to their specialty.

The third team chose Goal 13: "Climate action." When answering questions about this SDG, participants were surprised to learn that their understanding of the climate crisis differs substantially from what actually takes place. Therefore, the team developed a project idea to emphasizing this global problem in the most practical manner. Participants created a video on environmental contamination. The project involved surveying and informing passers-by about this Goal. Later, the team members printed images of environmental disasters and filmed a video. Immediate implementation resulted in increased interest from passers-by after the team focused their attention on the causes and effects of climate change.

The fourth team chose Goal 5: "Gender equality" since the problem of gender inequality is perhaps the least recognized problem that the SDGs strive to alleviate. First, the participants did a survey of passers-by and then summarized statistics based upon the poll results. The project "We are different but equal" was envisaged as consisting of many simple initiatives promoting equality between men and women as well as recognition of the problem of inequality. One of the initiatives is a viral campaign on promoting to women jobs which are considered stereotypically male and vice versa. The project also consists of putting up posters with male and female silhouettes, and of course the dissemination of the results of polls indicating the existence of inequalities in the media. Expected results include recognition of inequality in society and its eventual elimination.

After choosing their Goals, the teams moved to their locations where they performed practical tasks for their selected Goals and began looking for answers to questions. During the quest, participants endeavored to be as creative as possible in engaging members of the local community.

In total, the quest lasted about four hours. All participants and volunteers were tired but happy and pleased to prove that everyone can make a positive impact in society to achieve SDGs.
"I liked the quest. We received a memorable experience and met new people, and I hope we managed to convey to the people the urgency of certain problems. Thank you to all the organizers for a wonderful atmosphere and an informative quest".
Nastya, a quest participant
The organizers awarded certificates to all participants "for contribution to Global Goals for Sustainable Development" and gave discounts to all the international internships organized by AIESEC which are aimed at achieving SDGs. The winners also received certificates for free participation in the language school with foreign interns. And of course, all participants received sweet gifts from AIESEC’s partner in Lviv.

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