Young people are drivers of change. They are the leaders of tomorrow and the future custodians of sustainable development in the world. Convinced of the crucial role that children and young people can play in shaping a better future where no one is left behind, ESCWA seeks to educate them on the values of the United Nations and raise their awareness of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The ESCWA Stories books are an innovative way to reach out to young people and children and involve them in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (watch the SDGs song).
The illustrated books use fictional characters to demonstrate the work ESCWA undertakes to achieve the SDGs in the Arab region. The stories illustrate the characters’ endeavours to realize social justice and equality, combat poverty, protect the environment and contribute to the prosperity of their neighbourhood. The intergenerational dialogue between the narrators of the stories represents the continuing past-to-future concept of sustainable development.
This initiative established a partnership between ESCWA, the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Associated Schools Network, aimed at facilitating the introduction of The ESCWA Stories initiative into schools in Lebanon.
Volume I of “The ESCWA Stories” was launched on 12 August 2021 on International Youth Day. It was distributed to 750 students across seven schools in Lebanon throughout the academic year 2021-2022. An animated version of the stories was also created (watch the animated stories 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). ESCWA published volume II of the book in 2022, which featured five new stories.
The initiative is expanding to additional schools in Lebanon, Jordan and Kuwait; with the future aspiration of covering the entire Arab region.
“ESCWA Stories Day” is a special event that invites students to respond creatively to the books and the themes they address.