Launching the SDG16 Project in Utsunomiya
Akira Kitagawa (B3)
These days, we, some of the members of Fujii Seminar, have been straggling with SDGs competition ran by Utsunomiya City. The competition is to suggest city planning, which enhances the commitment of SDGs. Our seminar is leaning on international laws, human rights, peace, or justice. Therefore, our seminar decided to suggest the plan that enhances the goal 16th of SDGs, which is “peace, justice, and strong institutions.”
For the first step of the project, we carried out questionnaire surveys to 2 high schools in Utsunomiya. The survey aimed to clear up the recognition and problems of SDGs or its execution among high school students, one of the main characters of the “sustainability.” As a result of the survey, we decided to have workshops on human rights, especially about bullying and corporal punishment among elementary or middle school students.
Finally, on October 30th and November 13th, we carried out the workshops in the places that support vulnerable children. Before the workshops, we already know that such children are to have some difficulties, economically or educationally, owing to it, and therefore it is necessary to teach them the importance of human rights. Before we start the workshop, we had some exchanging with the children, and I felt as if I were in the “different world.” This summer, we had volunteered in other elementary schools, but these children were different from those children, although, I cannot tell you how or where. Naturally, no one is in the same situation, and I knew that everyone has their background. However, those were only for knowledge, and I did not understand it as a fact. Technically, I have been felt as I realized it. I went there to teach the importance of human rights and SDGs goal 16th, but I have learned and understood essential things.
We can say the same thing about other things. SDGs are widely spreading among Japan, many people in business are wearing badges of SDGs, and they should have learned about it, but is it meaningful? Our university has some contests to enhance the SDGs. However, what are they trying to enhance? Interests? Knowledge? Actions? In Japan, there is proverb “百聞は一見にしかず” which means seeing is better than hearing. However, I would doubt it, from experience it is not important to know without any actions.
Furthermore, SDGs stands for Sustainable Development “Goal.” As to reach the goal, there is necessary to take some actions. From these points, this competition gave us an excellent opportunity to make actual action.