Laurier hosts youth training event with affiliate of the UN

Graphic by Alan Li

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus will be the host to a youth training event in partnership with the Foundation of Environmental Stewardship, an affiliate of the United Nations. 

 This event was also held last year at the University of Waterloo. This year, however, the Foundation of Environmental Stewardship expanded the SDG Youth Training event across 50 colleges and universities in Canada. This is in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. 

 The event will focus on the 17 sustainable development goals outlined by the United Nations. 

 “The event that we’re holding at Laurier is to help Laurier students learn about these goals and put into practice possible startups or techniques to help with the development of them,” Rebecca Mueller, a coordinator for the upcoming SDG Youth Training event, said. 

 No poverty, alleviation, social inclusion and economic growth are just a few of the seventeen sustainable development goals. Mueller also stressed that not one goal is more important than the other. 

 “The goal of the event is that all 17 of these are important.” 

 SDG Youth Training Canada has brought together local community organizations or clubs that related to one of each of the sustainable development goals. 

 “We have a lot of clubs coming on that each focus on specific [goals] … we have Warm Workers [which] is a club on campus that focuses on helping the homeless in K-W,” Mueller said. “So that, for example, would be the first SDG of no poverty.” 

 Mueller also explained that students attending the event can expect a workshop portion as well as various speakers who will be in attendance. 

 Bruce Knotts, director of Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, who will be a speaker at the training event among others. He has experience working with organizations such as The Peace Corps in Ethiopia and World Bank in Somalia. 

 “The different experiences he’s had abroad will really bring a lot [to the table],” Mueller said. 

 The event is expected to have 200 Laurier students from both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses. There will be transportation provided from the Brantford campus to the Waterloo campus that allots 40 students from Brantford to come. However, there may be more in attendance. 

 The SDG Youth Training aims to create a platform that will empower students to take action towards bettering the community. 

 “It’s good to learn about the inequalities in the world, but also, we want people to act on it,” Mueller said. “I think it’s really important because there is a lot of talent at Laurier that I feel people don’t always get the opportunity to use … there are all these [students] with great ideas.” 

 “If people actually believe that their ideas [are] really strong and they want to start that up, we’re hoping that [this event] will start something there.” 

 For those students who are unable to attend the event, there will be a ‘Legacy Club’ starting soon at Laurier. The Legacy Club, Mueller said, will promote different initiatives surrounding goals similar to the training around Laurier and the K-W area. 

 The event will take place on Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will focus on how Laurier students can utilize what they learn during the event to better the community.  

 “There’s a lot going on in our world and it’s kind of overwhelming to know where to start. It’s good … to give people that have these hidden talents a drive and a place where they can put that.” 

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