The Sustainable Development Goals (often known as Agenda 2030) were adopted in 2015 by nations from across the globe. In line with these goals and to encourage children to get involved in helping to achieve them, Voices of Future Generations (a UNESCO project) was launched in 2014. Books authored by child authors around the Sustainable Development Goals, and illustrated by professional illustrators, were published. The books were meant to make children think about their surroundings, their role and to empower them, which is also an imperative part of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The child authors themselves are aged 8-12 and come from different parts of the globe, therefore share their own personal experiences and perspectives, especially linked to the environment. “A Tree of Hope” is based in the desert and talks about drought, “Fireflies after the typhoon” is based in a small island and describes the causes and aftermath of typhoons, with other small island experiences mentioned in “Voice of an Island”, and co-existence with the animal kingdom described in “A Path to Life”. “The Epic Eco Inventions”, “The Mechanical Chess Invention” and “The Great Green Vine Invention” provide a first world perspective on using science to tackle environmental issues. In addition to environmental issues, “Forward and Backward City” takes the reader through development issues within the same city (in Africa), whereas “The Visible Girls” highlights women empowerment and “The Sister’s Mind Connection” highlights learning disabilities in other children. The books are beautifully illustrated, helping visualize the tales being told by the young children.
The best part: these books are available online free of cost and can be found here or hard copies can be purchased for a small fee. The Bloomsbury anthology (consolidating all the books) also comes with a teaching guide. These books act as a great platform to get the children involved at an early age and to get them thinking about bigger issues.