OzGREEN programs connect youth with communities to become leaders of innovative sustainable social change

OzGREEN receives Special Commendation for UNESCO Wenhui Award

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It has just been announced that OzGREEN's Youth Leading the World Program is a finalist in the UNESCO WENHUI Award 2016, and received a Special Commendation.

The Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation was established by the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO, and is coordinated by the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID).

The theme for this year’s award focuses on partnerships. It is clear that no one can do it alone. All forms of support and contribution from partners – governments, academia, communities and private sector – are very much needed especially in times of limited resources. It is indeed very encouraging to find that the spirit of giving and collaboration is very much alive today.

The jury looked for educational innovations that have: developed educational and training contents, pedagogies and knowledge to enhance skills development for the 21st century; brought about noticeable changes in values, mindsets, practices, behaviours and skills for now and in the future; and promoted and translated the principles of lifelong learning in skills development.

“Our global community of over 750 Facilitators is excited to hear this news” said Sue Lennox, Co-Founder and CEO of OzGREEN. “Youth Leading the World trains local people to mobilize the next generation of social innovators for sustainable, just and peaceful futures”.

Special Commendation:

Youth Leading the World to Sustainable, Just and Peaceful Futures

Oz GREEN Global Rivers Environmental Education Network Australia Inc. Australia

Concerns about the environment, unhealthy lifestyles, excessive consumerism and other social issues have heightened the need for sustainable solutions. While many initiatives to address these problems are top-down, there is also increasing recognition that youth and local communities directly affected by the challenges may be better positioned to improve their own environment and lives.

Oz GREEN, an independent not-for-profit that operates in Australia and globally in South Asia, Timor Leste and Central America, embraces three pillars of sustainability: (i) equity for current generations, (ii) equity for future generations and (iii) biodiversity conservation. Its approach features sustainability education, transformative leadership and community innovation to teach people to think for themselves and become sustainability leaders for positive social changes.

The Youth Leading the World project (YLTW), one of Oz GREEN’s many initiatives, is an eco-entrepreneurial, leadership programme for youth between 15 and 25 years old to individually and collaboratively design and undertake projects that improve the environment and drive change towards sustainability through workshops, mentoring and networks. The creation of a space for young people to express their passion, focus, drive and vision, in tandem with the provision of tools and training, is critical for their transformation in becoming leaders and active citizens in their communities. As part of an inclusive, tangible and scalable project, real-time-live-online Facilitator Training makes YLTW accessible even to remote communities.

YLTW has benefitted more than 100 regions, with over 750 facilitators trained, directly involving over 12,500 young people and indirectly reaching over 500,000 people through the outcomes of the process. Innovative partnership is the key to the success of YLTW, which is delivered in collaboration with local community organisations, business, government, schools, universities, environmental and youth organisations.