How would you start a conversation with your friends about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the collection of global goals aimed at addressing everything from hunger, to poverty and ensure the well-being of humanity?
Well, a new comic book by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Rwanda attempts to visually break down these goals suing visual characters that are simple to understand.
The book, launched digitally on Thursday, is a glimpse into the 17 goals that world leaders set out to achieve to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
The book is about the current concerns on how the world population can meet their present needs while sustaining resources for the needs of future generations.
It is based on a character of a young female journalist, Rita Umuhire, who is curious enough to write about the most pressing challenges the world is facing, and goes on an exploratory journey to discuss with his friends.
Oliver Dalichau, the resident representative of FES Rwanda, said the organization has in the past worked on different projects and noticed that the level of SDGs knowledge is very different.
“This is part of the reasons we came up with the idea of translating the ambitious 17 goals of the global community into a "comic book" with a special focus on 6 young Rwandans discussing the objectives,” he said during a virtual launch of the book.
The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015, and it’s just 10 years away for the implementation of these goals to come to an end.
However, there is still limited awareness about these goals in some countries, despite being considered key to addressing some of the big challenges facing the globe.
A study commissioned by the World Economic Forum indicated last year that three out of four adults (74 per cent) globally have some awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Countries like Great Britain and Japan lacked familiarity of these goals, with 51 per cent having never heard of them, 50 per cent of respondents in the United States have never heard of the SDGs.
Stephen Rodrigues, the Resident Representative of UNDP Rwanda endorsed the new comic book, saying it is a great tool to raise the awareness around SDGs and their implementation.
“The SDGs were supposed to be bottom up, they were supposed to involve people from the very beginning. It is important that they start like that, which is why this comic book is important,” he said.
The SDGs aim at creating a better world where there is more equality of opportunity, less poverty and hunger, where people have access to quality education and quality healthcare, and where there is clean water and environment, among other things.
“We need that world, and if we need it, we need global citizens not just to contribute towards that vision and to understanding where we are going, but we need everyone to join efforts,” Rodrigues noted.
In the new comic book, a curious female journalist set out to explore the challenges facing the world. / Courtesy
The new comic visually represents how important things like access to quality healthcare is important. / Courtesy
The comic book is a representation of 17 SDG goals in a simple language. / CourtesyFollow https://twitter.com/Julio_Bizimungu