#KindnessMatters: Youth across the globe come out in large numbers to launch UNESCO MGIEP’s International Youth campaign on Kindness for the SDGs

In India, South Africa, Pakistan and Mexico, youth participated in activities ranging from blood donation camps, food distribution drives and mass cleanups and celebrated the power of acts of kindness

October 2, New Delhi--- The global launch of UNESCO MGIEP’s campaign witnessed mass participation from youth in four countries---South Africa, India, Pakistan and Mexico where UNESCO MGIEP’s International Youth Campaign on Kindness for the Sustainable Development Goals was simultaneously launched via a live link connecting the four nations.

In true spirit of the campaign (which aims to mobilise youth acts of kindness towards the Sustainable Development Goals), the campaign launch witnessed massive acts of kindness committed by youth for one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals. 


In India, close to 242 units of blood were collected at the drive organised by UNESCO MGIEP’s campaign launch partner, the Indian Red Cross Society in New Delhi. At the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, thousands of young school students were given a lesson in the Sustainable Development Goals especially SDG4 relating to education for peace and sustainable development. The Robin Hood Army demonstrated its commitment towards the campaign and kindness by organising multiple food drives across 34 India cities and two in Pakistan serving a total of 21 thousand (Approx.) meals. 


The official Delhi launch event witnessed youth and policy makers engage in a lively discussion on Education for Kindness in an age of Societal and Planetary Change. The official launch was initiated by Mr. Leon Prop, the Head of the International Federation of the Red Cross in New Delhi who spoke of the birth of the Red Cross and its phenomenal contribution to society in times of need as the perfect example of the power of acts of Kindness.


“If you want to be leader, be a bridge,” he said, urging the young audience to come out of their comfort zones and actually act on their impulse to be kind.


This sentiment was echoed in the address by youth ambassador Dr. Neharika Yadav, who is India’s first woman super biker and an advocate for gender equality (SDG 5). Citing her own story of breaking boundaries and following her passion, she encourage the youth to take out even one  second during the day to perform an act of kindness however simple it may be. 

 

 

Highlighting the critical need for Kindness in the world today, Dr Karan Singh, Chairman of UNESCO MGIEP said: “We are living in an ocean of violence and Kindness is the perfect antidote.”

 

The International Youth Campaign on Kindness for the SDGs was launched at the Cape Town City  Hall, the place which holds a strong historical significance in the present time. Nelson Mandela made his first public speech at this venue after his release from prison. South Africa was an important milestone in the life of Gandhi and hence the launch of this campaign in Cape Town was an important public event which witnessed an enthusiastic participation from over seven hundred young people and school children.  The 17 Expo Stations on the 17 SDGs provided a  networking and collaboration opportunities to the local NGOs in Western Cape to disseminate information about their work and the youth to learn about different youth focused initiatives.

Ms Ruchira Kamboj, Indian Ambassador to South Africa, Ms Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Director African Monitor, Dr Zahid from Cape Town City Council graced the occassion with a powerful message to the audience on significance of Mahatma Gandhi and Kindness for the SDGs. The office of the Mayor of Cape Town has expressed full support to the Kindness campaign
 

In Pakistan, the launch took place as part of the YESPeace Pakistan Festival in Islamabad. Over 135 young people from all parts of Pakistan including Gilgit Baltistan, Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and others participated in the launch of the campaign .The group had a balanced gender ratio and even included three transgender youth. The launch was followed by a 2-day-long capacity building workshop on peace and sustainable development including sessions on multi culturalism, identity and civic imagination. It was also conceptualised as a fest and included cultural performances from all parts of Pakistan. 

In Mexico, the International Youth Campaign on Kindness for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was launched at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in collaboration with the Girl Guides of Mexico. The activities started at 7am with the online interconnection of all the cities partners followed by a conference offer by PhD Marcela Gomez of the School of Humanities and Education, celebrating the Mahatma Gandhi legacy. All the participates were invited to traditional “Chilaquiles” Mexican breakfast to get enough energy, for the ”Rally posters of Kindness" that was hold all over the Campus Monterrey to explain the students the 250,000 kindness stories challenge. The “Digital Torch of Kindness” was lighted up at the MOSTLA laboratory of emerging technologies applied to education, that has a set of pedagogic tendencies devices, for example: 3D printers and scanners, screens with self-managed video systems, games, drones, cameras video 360 °, instruments for virtual experiences and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, telepresence, the internet of things, tele transporters and virtual voice assistants.


Students of the doctoral “Educational Innovation” program presented the Kindness campaign to the research-professors members of the "Open Energy Network" integrated by the leaders of the UNESO-Chair “Open educational movement for Latin America Resources” and UNESO-Chair UNESCO Chair “eLearning”. This campaign is also supported by the UNESCO-Chair “Ethics and Peace Culture for the attainment of human rights”. The Tecnológico de Monterrey in collaboration with the Girl Guides of Mexico already started the promotion of the overall goals of the campaign and look forward to create a positive culture of kindness where a person's selfless act matters and to show how it can make a difference to the SDGs. Provide a comprehensive, independent, fun and engaging pathway demonstrate how an act of kindness is a non-trivial task, and that being kind is "cool" for the Mexicans Youth and all global citizens.

To submit  your story of kindness:  https://bit.ly/2x2tFPx
To submit a story of someone else's act of kindness:  https://bit.ly/2NG3Pv8

For more information: 
Website: http://mgiep.unesco.org/kindness
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UNESCO_MGIEP
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1593782783994879/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unesco_mgiep

For images of the launch: https://bit.ly/2C7qD0S

 
Contact the team:
Mr. Abel Caine: a.caine@unesco.org  (India Launch)

Ms. Deepika Joon: d.joon@unesco.org (South Africa Launch)
Mr. Shankar Musafir: s.musafir@unesco.org (Pakistan Launch)
Mr. Adithya Pillai:  a.pillai@unesco.org (India Launch)

For  media requests:
Ms. Radhika Bhatnagar: r.bhatnagar@unesco.org