The Global Week to #Act4SDGs, which launched in 2017, is designed to flip the script on prevailing global narratives of apathy and fatalism to instead focus on positive messages that can drive actionable change. The week aims to drive inspiration in others through a series of activities including workshops and panel discussions, raising awareness of the work being done to create sustainable change and encouraging others to take action.
Canon will be encouraging its community of partners and regional HQs around the world to get involved by sharing the activity on social media and encouraging partners in local regions to share any local initiatives that are driving forward positive change. #Act4SDGs’ ambition for 2021 is to inspire at least 100 million people to take individual and collective SDG action, up from 56 million in 2020, with its overall target being to mobilise 1 billion actions by 2030.
Throughout the week, Canon will be sharing content on how young people are already working towards the SDGs through its Young People Programme (YPP). Canon’s YPP aims to educate young people across EMEA on the power of visual storytelling, in turn enabling them to create sustainable change by driving projects covering a range of topics including gender equality, wildlife conservation and climate change.
“The Global Week will shine a light of hope across borders, to show that our actions as individuals matter. It is a global mobilization of collective action, bringing about transformative change and turn it around for people and the planet. The Young People Program from Canon not only trains youth to visually express themselves in a creative, it allows us to listen, see, and understand their point of view. With Canon’s support these voices can be heard far and wide, and I am proud of our ongoing partnership as it continues to grow each year.” Marina Ponti, Director UN SDG Action Campaign
The Global Week will also feature the UN’s Turning Point Dialogue series, consisting of short interviews in which established and emerging changemakers will voice their thoughts on the important issues that affect our world. As part of this, the Canon Engagement Lead for Developing Nations, Jeanine El Moughrabi, and Lens on Live Project co-founder, Sam Powers will be taking part in a panel to discuss ‘turning it around for youth empowerment through visual storytelling’, and their work on a recent Canon YPP in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Congo Young People Programme, named Operation Goma, works with students aged 16-24 comprising of Internally Displaced Persons, orphans and those living in extreme poverty. Over six months, instructors from the local community will run six courses including photography, computer literacy and entrepreneurship. By empowering young people with these skills and the tools for communication, the programme aims to equip them to become agents of change and inspire movement within their communities.
Ahead of the talk, Jeanine El Moughrabi says, “It’s so important that we work to provide opportunities such as the YPP to developing regions and empower the participants to tell their stories in their own voice. By doing so, we can not only help young people from disadvantaged communities to develop their skills and create change for themselves and their communities, but we can also spread the message of the importance of education in inspiring long-term, sustainable action.”