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Generation Amazing youth advocates learn about UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Updated: January 14, 2021
Generation Amazing youth advocates attended a training session organised in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Permanent Mission of The State of Qatar to the United Nations (UN). The training introduced advocates to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of their journey to deliver positive social change through the power of football – in Qatar and around the world.
During the three-day online course, youth learned about the SDGs, acquired knowledge about sport and sustainable development, and built both leadership and negotiation skills. Fourteen young people aged 16-24 took part in the training after being selected to take part in a new advocacy programme launched by Generation Amazing last summer.
The course was introduced by H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), H.E. Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the UN, Marco A. Suazo, Head of New York Office, UNITAR, Isabelle Picco, Ambassador of the Monaco Mission to the UN, and football legend John Barnes, who notably played for Liverpool and England during his illustrious career.
During his opening address, Al Thawadi encouraged youth to tackle the challenges they face head on and embody resilience as advocates for change.
“Through your journey with us we aim to provide you with the tools to make a difference in your communities,” said Al Thawadi. “You carry with you a message for everyone else and especially for future generations with regards to the limitless power of sport and its contribution to the betterment of people’s lives.”
Speaking of the contribution youth will make to SDGs and sharing a message of hope for the youth, Al Thani said: “Youth advocates are not only considered the driving force for positive change but also a key factor for finding solutions to social issues. I hope that youth will understand sport’s ability to inspire, bring hope and transform humanity by uniting us to work together, as well as how they can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Suazo said: “For UNITAR, it’s a real pleasure and honour to inaugurate today a programme for strengthening youth engagement with Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030. The programme is to encompass for these young participants in Qatar, the tools to enable them to amplify the importance of peace, security and development.”
Barnes, meanwhile, offered inspiring context in relation to what youth advocates could achieve for themselves and their communities.
“The opportunities for young kids through Generation Amazing, educationally and vocationally, is much more important than whether they can play football or not. What Generation Amazing is giving these kids, in Africa, and in a lot of disadvantaged places, is an opportunity to maximise their potential.”
The opening session and panel with sport for development experts also gave the advocates a chance to express their views on the task ahead.
Sixteen-year-old Ali Fakhroo, from Qatar, said he was determined to contribute and harness the power of football to solve challenges.
“As youth advocates we have to be really resilient and strong as young leaders. It isn’t an easy task but it’s a really important opportunity to be able to share ideas and new solutions.”
Maha Al Badr, 16, also from Qatar, expressed her excitement about making a difference.
“It’s amazing to be part of this global movement towards achieving the 17 SDGs. At Generation Amazing we take part in a lot of workshops on football for development to see how we can use football to deliver social change, which is exciting.”
The course also featured speakers from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Peace Institute, El Origen Foundation and Glass2Sand.
In the months ahead, the Generation Amazing youth advocates will undertake further training to boost their communication, organisation, leadership and teamwork skills. They will also advocate for pillar causes in the Generation Amazing programme, such as gender equality and inclusion – in line with the SDGs.
Generation Amazing is the flagship human and social development programme of the SC – the organisation tasked with delivering the infrastructure and legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Since its launch in 2010, Generation Amazing boosted communities across the world and made a positive impact on more than 500,000 people.
To learn more about the Generation Amazing, follow @GA4Good on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.