Image courtesy of un.org/sustainabledevelopment

In September 2015, over 150 world leaders came together with the mission of ending the negative impacts of poverty, inequality, injustice, and climate change worldwide by the year 2030. At the Rio+20 United Nations Conference, 17 goals, formally known as the Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals) were established by the Working Group comprised of over sixty members of the United Nations.

Each of these 17 goals identifies specific targets to be accomplished over the next 15 years:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-Being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

At One Workplace, we were inspired to see Quality Education on the list.  Our team is committed to supporting not only a quality education but also the creation of empowering environments for learning to take place.  According to un.org, “While enrollment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 percent, 57 million children remain out of school. It is clear that as we work to ensure quality education access to the world’s children, we must also work to create the places for those learning experiences to occur.

“While enrollment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 percent, 57 million children remain out of school.”

It has been noted that access to quality education is directly linked to many of the sustainable goals identified by the UN.  Ultimately, access to education is one of the primary factors in inspiring youth involvement in each of these issues. As Deputy UN Chief Amina Mohammed stated, “[…]We must empower youth to participate in and shape the political and economic lives of their countries and communities; to be the agents of peace and development”.

Here are some ways that you can help ensure a quality education for all young people worldwide:

  • Ask our governments to place education as a priority in both policy and practice
  • Lobby our governments to make firm commitments to provide free primary school education to all, including vulnerable or marginalized groups
  • Encourage the private sector to invest resources in the development of educational tools and facilities
  • Urge NGOs to partner with youth and other groups to foster the importance of education within local communities

Join us in promoting these Sustainable Development Goals and lifelong learning to help end poverty, inequality, injustice, and climate change. And know that regardless of how or where you take action, even from your couch, you are helping make a difference.