Our DfID Youth Summit Workshop: Local action for global change
On 12 September WONDER delivered a workshop to inspire young people to take ‘local action for a global change’ as part of the Department for International Development (DfID)'s Youth Summit, an invite-only event for young people committed to making a difference.
One of only nine workshops chosen from a large number of proposals, our session encouraged young people to reflect upon poverty and gender inequality in the UK and how the grassroots level - including their own local actions - is essential if the UK is going to meet the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.
According to Inequality Briefing, the gap between rich and poor in the UK is the widest since the Second World War. At the moment, nine out of ten of the poorest (measured by disposable income) regions in Northern Europe are in the UK, despite the fact that the richest area in the whole of Northern Europe is also in the UK: Inner London. However it is not only the gap between the richest and the poorest that marks how unequal the UK is. Sadly, and despite progress made over the last century, the gap between women and men is still notable, with up to three million women and girls across the UK experiencing rape, domestic violence, stalking, or other violence each year and thousands of women getting lower salaries for the same work.
These shocking facts reveal the urgent need for action and give our communities the chance to lead the way in changing our world and reaching a sustainable development. Policies and government initiatives can only encourage change - it is only when people create change themselves that the situation can be improved. It is also the less obvious things that make understanding gender inequality important - for community projects to thrive and be sustainable, they need to take into consideration how those with child-care responsibilities, for example, can get involved, as this task falls mostly on women.
Keeping this in mind, WONDER’s workshop presented the cases of 5 projects in the UK that are doing a brilliant job in tackling the differences within their communities and are taking steps towards social equality in their areas. The included Supamums and CARIS Haringey, our partners in London, as well as StonePillow, North London Cares and Friends of Norebarn Woods. Through the case studies the participants looked at how these small projects could help the UK meet the SDGs, identifying which goals they best fit, as well as how the projects could address gender inequality, both directly and indirectly. Additionally, they looked at what ideas they could implement in their own communities.
We were delighted to have been invited to work with some amazing, creative, socially-engaged young people at the Youth Summit. We have given a range of training sessions to people leading community projects in the UK, and if you would be interested in receiving training from us, please have a look.
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If you too want to make a difference and help us supporting them, contact us at email@example.com.
Learn more about WONDER's work here.
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