Sustainable development

Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

Registration required in advance for participation:

A recent statement adopted by the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (UN-IANYD) offered three key perspectives on how to keep the contributions of youth peacebuilders on the front-burner during and after the COVID-19 crisis by calling on all actors in the international community to:

  • partner, safely and effectively, with young people during and after the COVID-19 crisis;
  • recognize the value of young people’s own actions and their potential to advance the fight against the pandemic; and prevention of violent extremism;
  • understand the specific impacts the pandemic has and will have on young people, ensuring that COVID-19 related responses uphold young people’s human rights and are inclusive of young people’s specific needs.

The overarching goal of the proposed webinar by UNESCO IICBA in collaboration with AU Y4P is to help bring to the epicentre of continental and global policy arena the remarkable roles that African youth peacebuilders are playing in the ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19. This initiative is implemented with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the APSA project, in line with the existing collaboration with the AU Y4P programme. It is hoped that the webinars can also inform the documentation of the overall impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in Africa, that proposals can be formulated on how to respond to the identified challenges, and that key outcomes can be further disseminated following the webinars.

It is premised on the understanding that whether or not the voice and agency of young African peacebuilders would remain audible and loud enough to draw attention to their contributions to the fight against COVID-19 or end up becoming muffled, maligned and completely lost in the post-pandemic era, would depend on the above listed three perspectives.

It is proposed that the moderated webinar discussions put young people at the centre so that they can freely engage between and among themselves in peer-to-peer information sharing and experiential learning. It would also afford them the opportunity to share their experiences of resilience before and since the outbreak of COVID-19, and what the outlook might be thereafter. Furthermore, the webinar would provide further opportunities for young African peacebuilders to keep abreast of recent developments in the peace and security sphere across Africa. Finally, the webinar should offer participants as well as the organisers an opportunity to document- and track- resilience measures that individuals, communities and governments are mobilising and their limitations in terms of mitigating the adverse impacts of COVID-19 or even the potential conflict fallouts.

Two webinar sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, are proposed to be held on Tuesday, 9th June and Tuesday, 16th June 2020.

Objectives of the Webinars

  • Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the emotional, mental and socio-economic well-being as well as the educational needs of youth in Africa
  • Identify how the youth and their groups/networks are coping with and responding to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic including for false news and violence messages
  • Identify and share best practices on how the youth peacebuilders can maintain resilience while they continue to exercise their agency and voice on key security and developmental priorities during and after the pandemic
  • Provide recommendations on how youth and their groups should continue to address pressing needs for peacebuilding PVE and resilience the current and future contexts

This webinar therefore, will offer young peacebuilders a more robust, practical and hands-on opportunity to engage themselves, and also to forge potentially rewarding links with the hosting institutions.

Ethics education for children: a transformative pedagogy for learning to live together

Ethics education for children: a transformative pedagogy for learning to live together

Course Details:

Deadline to register: 1 June 2020

Date: 8 to 13 June 2020
Location: Online
Modality: Individual work with one joint webinar
Who should attend: Educators

The current situation in the world with the COVID-19 pandemic has forced 1.5 billion children out of school and into new remote learning modalities, online, via TV or even radio. As the world paves the way to reopen the schools many challenges are still ahead.

During these challenging times, educators have a critical role to play in supporting children’s social, emotional and spiritual well-being, and creating learning opportunities to strengthen children’s critical thinking, sense of belonging to a larger community, interconnectedness with others while keeping physical distancing, and providing spaces for children to reflect about and respond to the ethical challenges we all face. 

During this course, based on the Learning to Live Together program and its Ethics Education Framework, educators will be introduced to the Transformative Pedagogy promoted by Arigatou International that supports teachers to create safe, positive and empowering learning environments during these challenging times.

For subscription and further information, please click here.


Source : Arigatou International

Webinar: How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic?

Webinar: How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic?

Find the video of this webinar here.

This Wednesday, May 27, from 13h to 14h30 (UTC), the IICBA invites you to attend the third of a serie of four webinars on transformational pedagogy, peace and resilience in times of global health crisis.

Date: Wednesday, 27 May, 2020
Time: 13h00 – 14h30 UTC
Duration: 90 minutes

Close to 90% of the world’s schoolchildren are not attending school at present and are being confined at home and places of shelter. While the education sector has responded to school closures by setting up online learning spaces and other innovative practices to support home-schooling, half of all students of the world are currently out of the classroom without access to a computer, and more than 40 per cent of children have no internet access at home.  Many children are being left behind with increasing disparities in access to education and learning, compromising their safety and well-being.

This is happening in a context where socio-economic inequalities are being exacerbated as the economic consequences of the pandemic are having a dramatic effect on the most vulnerable and marginalized children. According to the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) more than half a billion people — almost 8% of the global population — could be pushed into poverty as a result of the pandemic.The impact on African economies could be the slowing of growth to 1.8 per cent in the best case scenario or a contraction of 2.6 per cent in the worst case. This has the potential to push 29 million people into extreme poverty.

Acording to the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), education is one of the sectors most heavily affected, with the closure of learning institutions in many African countries likely to negatively affect education in terms of access, quality and investments. In the last few weeks, African governments and key education stakeholders have instituted some measures to promote the continuity of education from home. These have been successful in some ways, but challenges remain.

As the world rallies to meet the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, extremist groups including those from West Africa have continued to carry out large-scale attacks and conduct cross-border activities.  There is a risk the current situation might undermine gains on peacebuilding and prevention of violent extremism including those made by the education sector.

Due to the impacts of the pandemic, millions of learners will go back to school finding themselves poorer, more vulnerable and in some cases victims of violence. Even if not affected directly, learners will witness changes in their environment and ethical challenges arising in their contexts as a consequence of the pandemic.

Education should respond to the holistic needs of the learners, empower children to be resilient and equip them to cope with the context around them and positively respond to the challenges they face.

While lockdowns, learning at home and online learning strategies continue, we must make use of dynamic approaches to support learners beyond their academic work. A special emphasis should be given to support learners socio-emotional learning during this period. Teachers who have the closest contacts to the children on behalf of the education sector, have the opportunities to work with parents and cargivers to support children to continue their learning.  Learning opportunities in these context can also be built around their day to day activities and strengthened further by creative and sensitive pedagogical approaches that can contribute to building life compencies for the learners.

As children restart schooling, it is not sufficient for us to just take children back to “business as usual” and engage them only in regular academic work or in fact intensify the academic workload to catch up on missed curriculums and to prepare for exams. It is important to support their holistic well-being including their social and emotional learning needs and foster their resilience by providing safe learning enviornments for sharing their experiences and emotions; helping them to renew their social relationships with one another; discuss concerns; and by providing opportunities to reflect and engage with the new context we find ourselves in.

While we face the challenges of the current context, we must also look at the opportunities amids this crisis. Crises, by rupturing our normative frames of reference, invite the possibility of transforming the conditions that produced the crises. But crises are not transformative if they merely evoke feelings. Feeling, in the absence of thought and action, does nothing to challenge or change the conditions that illicit the feeling. Education should respond to this crisis by addressing the conditions that create uncertainty and disconnection in the learning of the learnerrs, reflecting on how it affects their learning needs and well-being.  This should lead to action and to creatively respond to the context to make it part of the learning, contributing to creating transformative experiences.Praxis requires both reflection and action.

While the COVID 19 pandemic has put pressure on the education, it has also shown our interconnectedness and the power of human solidarity. Education can make use of transformative pedagogies to creatively address this opportunity and strengthen the holistic learning, resilience and well-being of children.

How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic?

This webinar invites us to reflect on how educators can make use of transformative pedagogy to meet the learning needs of leaners during the Covid-19 pandemic and moving forward. The webinar is part of a learning module that UNESCO IICBA is offering for educators to support learners during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the webinar are to:

  • discuss the role of transformative pedagogy in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic ;
  • recommend transformative pedagogical approaches that can be leveraged for the learning needs of children ;
  • identify strategies to foster learner’s well-being and empower them to develop their competencies for resilience.


Programme and Speakers :

Welcome and Key Note Remarks: 

Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki
Director, UNESCO Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa

Panel Discussion: 

Ms. Mary Wanjiru Kangethe
Director, Education Programme
Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM)

Ms. Vera Leal
Arigatou International Geneva

Mr. Mohamed Said Abdi
Director of Training and Foundation
Somalia National University (SNU)

Q&A and Discussion  30 minutes

Webinar Moderator: Eyerusalem Azmeraw, UNESCO IICBA
Chat Moderator: Eleonora Mura, Arigatou International Geneva

Living together in peace: a celebration of education, citizen engagement and prevention of violent extremism

International day of leaving together

Faced with the COVID 19 pandemic, our interdependence and ability to unite to solve a collective problem together has never been more apparent. Tomorrow, we commemorate the International Day of Living Together in Peace, adopted by the United Nations in 2017 to celebrate a world that ”promotes peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity” (UN Resolution 72/130). On this day, we look to West and Central Africa and highlight the work of governments and partners to sustain efforts to live together in peace through education.

In West and Central Africa, climate change, poverty, gender inequality, political instability and unemployment threaten peaceful co-existence and sustainable development. As of early 2020, 12 of 24 states in the region experience armed conflict resulting in widespread forced displacement, both within the affected countries and their neighbors. This in turn amounts to almost 2 million refugees, 7 million internally displaced persons and 1.8 million people at risk of statelessness (UNHCR Regional Office for West and Central Africa).

Of the ten worst conflict-affected countries to be a child, according to a Save the Children report, four are in West and Central Africa: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Nigeria.

In this context, violent extremism is on the rise. According to the UNODC, violent extremism “includes forms of ideologically motivated violence” which can include “distort[ion] and exploit[ation] of religious beliefs, ethnic differences and political ideologies.”

As the threat increases, violence seriously affects educational opportunities: threats to education personnel and attacks on schools deny children their right to education and put them at increased risk of abuse, violence and exploitation.

As of February 2020, before most education systems closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, 3,641 schools were closed due to violence and insecurity in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger alone, affecting nearly 700,000 children and 20,000 teachers (Education Clusters Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger). These numbers have only increased due to COVID-19 containment measures: more than 128 million children are currently out of school across the region. While at home, young people spend more time on the internet, which renders them even more susceptible to the risks of online radicalization.

How can we promote living together and prevent violent extremism?

Learning to live together entails a development and understanding of ourselves and others, which leads to interdependence and peaceful, conjoint and intelligent responses to the world’s challenges. It contributes to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.7 (all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development) and to all other SDGs.

These values are shared by the international community, including the members of La Francophonie, which adopted the Yerevan Francophone Appeal for Living Together in 2018.

As a central component of SDG target 4.7, global citizenship education integrates the principles of living together and teaches learners to respond to global and local issues through the spirit of cooperation and interdependence. Respect for diversity and different identities – of gender, religion, culture and others - as well as an ability to think critically, lead learners to respond to the challenges they face with empathy to build a sustainable world. This kind of respect and understanding is needed now more than ever as we work to respond to a global pandemic in solidarity with one another.

Global citizenship education has been central to the response to violent extremism in the region, in particular through an approach known as prevention of violent extremism through education (PVE-E). While education alone cannot prevent violent extremism, it can limit the spread of extremist ideologies, discourse and propaganda by providing individuals with the skills to challenge them.

Education has the power to teach the tenants of peace, non-violence, peaceful conflict resolution, information and online literacy and social and emotional skills. When students are educated and equipped with the skills to resist harmful ideologies, the spread of extremism becomes limited.

Learning to live together and PVE-E also promote transformation. This can mean a transformation of one’s self, community, society and even the world. Transformation occurs through action, and learners should be encouraged to take action to create change. Transformative pedagogy and participatory, student-centered approaches can be utilized in the classroom, as opposed to rote learning or memorization, to nurture active, critical and resilient citizens.

It is important to support both learners and teachers when it comes to transformative pedagogies. Teachers need support in the form of pre- and in-service training to equip themselves with new approaches and networking as they apply new tools in the classroom.

The Learning to Live Together (LTLT) task team has worked with the ministries of education in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal to promote these pedagogical shifts through adaptation to national contexts, training trainers and teachers, following up and support and involving the community, including parents and families, in these changes.

Transformational pedagogy can be applied to education at different levels and across disciplines. This is the case in Mauritania, where the education ministries and other line ministries are working with UNESCO to introduce the pedogogical approach into literacy and non-formal education programs and within subjects such as civic education, science, Islamic education, Arabic and French.

In the COVID-19 era, it is also important that existing PVE-E projects be adjusted to allow online or mobile phone programming. For example, UNHCR supports refugee teachers, students and host communities to continue distance activities on prevention and awareness-raising by organizing online training and activities, including through WhatsApp groups.

The LTLT team’s members exchange knowledge and experience among themselves and with government focal points working on PVE-E. Practitioners working on learning to live together can find critical resources in both French and English, links and a community of fellow professionals at


You can also find this article on the website of the Global Partnership for Education.

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

UNESCO is kicking off its new framework: ‘Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ – ESD for 2030 and its roadmap for implementation during the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Berlin, Germany.

800 participants from around the world will gather for the occasion: policy-makers working in education and sustainable development, education practitioners, civil society, development community and private sector experts. 

For further information:

Application site:

A pilot training program for Young Volunteers on Peace and Global Citizenship

From December 6-8, 2019, a training on "Education for Peace and Global Citizenship of Adolescents, Youth in Senegal and the sub-region" took place in Guédiawaye, a suburb of Dakar. 

The initiative for this activity came from BanlieueUP, an association of young male and female volunteers, committed to contributing to the socio-economic development of the suburbs of Dakar.

"The vision of BanlieueUP is to contribute to ensuring that suburbs become spaces of well-being and prosperity for their populations by 2030." El Hadji Abou Gueye, President of BanlieueUP. 

Within the framework of Target 4.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNESCO Dakar and IFEF (Institut de la francophonie pour l’education) joined with BanlieueUP to organize a pilot training event with the aims of increasing understanding of the local and global environmental and social challenges facing youth and providing them with the information and tools they will need for becoming agents of peace and global citizenship and leaders in their own communities. 

Out of 200 candidates, between the ages of 18 and 35, 32 were selected to the pilot training event, based upon their motivation towards deepening their knowledge of the pressing issues facing youth and their commitment towards building networks in order to take action in their communities and in Senegal. The selection also sought gender-equality and resulted in a final group composed of 16 women and 16 men.

The event’s program included skills training, discussion, a slam competition and planning of further action.

Self-awareness, knowledge and skills for sustainable development

Throughout the training, the participants were encouraged to speak-up and share their knowledge and ideas. 

“Only by listening to the concerns of these young people can we develop global citizenship and sustainable development education contents and methodologies that are contextualised and respond to their needs and to the specific forms of exclusion that many of them experience.” Mathilde Stoleroff, UNESCO Dakar

 On the first day, participants were given training in competencies on how to:

  • Speak in public;
  • Work effectively with diverse groups;
  • Build networks;
  • Provide and receive constructive criticism;
  • ​Adhere to rules of coexistence and mutual respect; 

Activity “turn the blanket” pushed the groups to identify a leader and to work collaboratively and efficiently in a group as quickly as possible to reach a common goal. 

“This activity touched me a lot because it reminded me that what one can do alone, one can do it even better together.” Awa Diatta, 24 years, Guédiaweye

The importance of harmony between humans and nature in West Africa

Throughout the second day, participants engaged in discussions of the cultural, historic and scientific relationships between humans and nature in West Africa. They highlighted how the interaction between humans and their natural environment is expressed in local languages, cultural and spiritual practices and the discussion was enhanced by the participants’ special ability to relate issues to their social backgrounds.

Hearing the voice of the youth through Slam

Poetry slam, an art form combining traditional poetry with story-telling, songwriting and rhythm, is a powerful awareness-raising tool that enables urban youth to express themselves.

As part of the training, participants held a slam competition that resulted in beautiful and powerful performances. The creators of the 15 most-voted slams will take part in a workshop to create a slam that will come to represent the vision of peace and global citizenship of the 32 participants.

Action now

The third day was dedicated to triggering action. Each one of the participants spoke about existing environmental challenges in their own neighbourhoods and, together, they found possible solutions to promote change in their communities.

Following this training, participants have already formed a group, “Servir ensemble” and drafted an action plan, to be implemented by February 2020, to create a small public green space where young people can gather near a school in the Dakar suburb area of Pikine.

The ultimate objective of the initiative is to create a movement of young volunteers for peace and global citizenship in the West African region. Various other training sessions on rule of law and global citizenship are envisaged for 2020.


Educating for the Social, the Emotional and the Sustainable

 Global Education Monitoring Report

Earlier this year, the UN Secretary-General reported that “the shift in development pathways to generate the transformation required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required.” He noted with regret that “…the most vulnerable countries are bearing the brunt of the current obstacles to SDG implementation…. The bleak situation of countries in situations of conflict or fragility is all the more troubling given that, by 2030, more than half the world’s poor are projected to live in countries affected by conflict.” 

This blog looks at a new publication by NISSEM on the challenges facing poorly resourced or conflict-affected countries in addressing SDG Target 4.7. It argues that addressing this target can help change long-term behaviour to help achieve the SDGs. Learn more...


Source: World Education Blog

Is Kindness the Secret to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?

There is no mention of kindness—the act of giving without expecting anything in return—in the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by 193 countries in 2015. While this may have been a surprising omission, the Agenda is still remarkable in that it unites all United Nations Member States in striving to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not just those countries traditionally classified as “developing” or “least-developed”. The Agenda represents the recognition that “we are all in the same boat” and that we need to work together to build a better world.

In many ways, with the introduction of the SDGs, we have started to recognize the strong interdependency among all beings living on this planet, and how one person’s or country’s actions can affect others living thousands of kilometres away. Climate change is one example of this interdependency. One country’s actions can trigger extreme events such as droughts and floods, thus hindering the entire world’s progress towards achieving the SDGs.

The degree and intensity of interdependency among various SDGs and among living beings in general pose a moral and behavioural dilemma. We all recognize that we live on a planet with finite resources. According to the Global Footprint Network, our current level of consumption requires 1.7 Earths, and will require two Earths by 2030. With this astonishing burn rate, the redistribution of resources among individuals within and between countries is crucial to achieving the SDGs.

This brings me to the importance of kindness, which, by its neurobiological nature, improves the happiness and well-being of the receiver and the giver. Learn more...

Source: United Nations

Educating for the social, the emotional and the sustainable ; Diverse perspectives from over 60 contributors addressing global and national challenges

Title: Educating for the social, the emotional and the sustainable ; Diverse perspectives from over 60 contributors addressing global and national challenges


NISSAM global briefs examines ways in which policymakers, researchers and practitioners can help address current global and national issues and thus contribute to realizing SDG Target 4.7. Many of the contributors work in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in conflict or post-conflict situations. These briefs explore the potential for embedding SDG 4.7 themes, as well as social and emotional learning (SEL), into textbooks and education materials. 

The vital themes of SDG Target 4.7, as well as the social and emotional learning (SEL) they entail, constitute a potent blueprint for transforming education to address many contemporary challenges. While the timeframe for progress is tight, significant steps to embed Target 4.7 themes and integrate SEL into policy, programs, materials and practice are feasible and clearly demonstrated in the briefs in this volume. 

Issue Date: 2019

Author: NISSEM 



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