Sonam Kapoor joins GEMS Education Drive

UNICEF, Reliance, Global Goals Campaign launch world’s largest Lesson India Program

Marking the first anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to end poverty, reduce inequalities and combat the threat of climate change by 2030, world leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are set to popularize World’s Largest Lesson, a project that provides a unique opportunity for children and young people to engage with the SDGs.

Launched in September 2015, lessons have taken place in 160 countries. Participating schools used original learning materials about the Global Goals that were translated into 25 languages. The materials included lesson plans, comic books and an animated film introduced by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, tennis champion Serena Williams and international football star Neymar Jr. In India alone, the World’s Largest Lesson reached an estimated 3 million children who watched an animation film on the Global Goals.

On the occasion of National Teachers Day, 250 eminent educationalists, UN Global Goals champions, members of civil society, UN bodies, corporates, youth groups, students, teachers and one of the esteemed ambassadors of the World’s Largest Lesson, Indian Actor and youth icon Sonam Kapoor, gathered at GEMS Modern Academy, Gurgaon, to launch The World’s Largest Lesson India,the India chapter of the program, which aims to teach every child in India – nearly 360 million – a lesson about the Global Goals.

Sonam Kapoor, The World’s Largest Lesson India champion, said: “We learn vital lessons every day in our lives and many of these lessons were taught during our childhood. Children are the future of today’s world – they must not only be nurtured but be empowered to be the change they wish to achieve for themselves and others in this world. And this is what The World’s Largest Lesson India programme sets out to do; it will engage children in the effort to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, educating them of the challenges impacting their futures and encouraging them to drive change in their own communities. With India having the world’s youngest population, India has the potential to lead this change and be a global benchmark country that eradicates poverty. But this can only happen if children join this effort which means they must be made aware of the goals that were agreed by our leaders, if inspired to act, they can truly be a super-heroic force of positive change. I pledge my commitment to add further momentum, to spotlight the Global Goals and find opportunities to educate children of this, through everything I do.”

Powered by India partner GEMS Education, the world’s largest K-12 private education provider, and implemented in partnership with UNICEF, The World’s Largest Lesson India will encourage schools to teach at least one lesson on the Global Goals, to make sure children understand and are empowered by the commitments their country has made to ending poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Schools are then encouraged to support students to take action to help achieve the goals.

India is a global leader economically and in technology, and has every potential to become a front-runner in ending poverty. The country is at the crossroads of transformation and several strides have been made to address national and global issues, but more can and needs to be done. With over a quarter of the world’s population being under the age of 14 years old and with India having the largest youth population in the world, children and young people will be most affected by the implementation of the goals. The World’s Largest Lesson India initiative aims to engage children and young people in the ambitions of the goals and encourage their participation in this process of change.

Sonam Kapoor joins GEMS Education Drive 2The World’s Largest Lesson is an initiative by Project Everyone, an organisation conceived by Writer, Director, Comic Relief Co­founder &UN SDG Advocate Richard Curtis to make the Global Goals famous, so that they stand the greatest chance of being achieved. Speaking about the launch of World’s Largest Lesson India, he said, “We are delighted to launch the World’s Largest Lesson India and are grateful to our foundingpartner GEMS Education for making this happen. We are overwhelmed with the incredible support of partners such asReliance Group, tGELF, the very talented Sonam Kapoor and countless others for helping us to engage children inthe Global Goals.

Children and young people are right at the heart of the Global Goals agenda. The World’s Largest Lesson is based on the idea that if children right across the world grow up knowing about the goals and feeling positive that this is practical plan with a deadline that they can fight for,then I truly believe that this will help them become the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation to fight inequality and injustice and the last generation to be threatened by climate change. The World’s Largest Lesson is just the first step in this but it’s a very important one and we’re delighted that India’s children can take part. “

GEMS Education is the founding strategic partner for The World’s Largest Lesson India campaign and powers all activities in India. Speaking about their association, MrAmreesh Chandra, Group President of GEMS Education said: “With India accounting to nearly 17% of the world’s population, we have a strategic and resourceful advantage to reshape the world’s priorities, provided we are equipped to understand and execute them effectively. Through the World’s Largest Lesson initiative in India, we are leveraging the GEMS network – 175 schools, over 70,000 children and over 6,000 teachers in India – to spread knowledge of the global goals, pivotal to pursuing national and world development.

With 17 global goals for sustainable development to be achieved in the next 15 years, GEMS Education sees this as a priority to teach the next generation of world leaders. As a value driven institution, GEMS Education has already been encouraging students across its international campuses to embrace responsibility for over the last 55 years; and today we are looking beyond us, and reaching out to the country as a whole to help propagate the world’s priorities – the UN global goals”.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said: “The World’s Largest Lesson will do more than teach children about the global goals. It will engage them in the effort to achieve those goals – educating them about the challenges that are shaping their futures and encouraging them to drive change in their own communities. Young people can help achieve the global goals by holding their leaders accountable for the promises they are making – and by holding themselves accountable for building a better future for everyone.”

During the event a number of individuals, corporates and organisations confirmed to take action to support the World’s Largest Lesson India initiative by spreading awareness of the lesson plans through their distribution channels, networks, media reach, the children and teachers they support, and employees.

Leading the support is Reliance Group, one of India’s largest business conglomerates who were also the first corporate partner for the 2015 India campaign. This year, the group shall promote The World Largest Lesson India initiative through its various customer-facing platforms.Other notable pledges came from NGOs; AkshayaPatra, the world’s largest free midday meal programme reaching over 1.4 million children in India, Save the Children; and youth and education empowerment organisations such as The Global Education & Leadership Foundation (tGELF).

With GEMS Education’s support, The World’s Largest Lesson Indiaprogramme has produced new comics and animated shorts specifically created for India’s children. Based on the popular animated superhero characters Chakra the Invincible and Mighty Girl, created by legendary icon, Stan Lee, Chief Creative Officer at POW! Entertainment andSharad Devarajan, Co-Founder & CEO of Graphic India.The comics will bring to life through creative storytelling four key issues impacting India today : Goal 6 – clean water and sanitation (WASH), Goal 5 – gender equality, Goal 4 – quality education, Goal 13 – climate action.

The comic books will be translated into English and five regional Indian languages – Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telegu and Tamil – and will be available to download and view for free from 15thOctober 2016 from The World’s Largest Lesson India website.The involvement of high-profile personalities who will co-edit some of the comic books, will add further appeal for the lesson programme amongst children. If you are interested in partnering with The World’s Largest Lesson India, please email wllindia@sterlingmedia.co.uk. More information is available at: https://www.globalgoals.org/worldslargestlessonindia/ and at: www.youtube.com/theglobalgoals

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