An inspirational group of child authors raised their voices on sustainable development – which includes environmental, social and economic issues – and children’s rights during the UN General Assembly’s 70th Anniversary in New York.
The young writers will launch their books, which promote the values and voices of their generation, alongside a 2015 Children’s Declaration on the UN’s new World Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations Bookstore.
The child authors are all writers in the Voices of Future Generations International Children’s Book Series, which is supported by an international consortium of global educational charities in partnership with the UN.
The Voices of Future Generations books are written by creative and committed children to promote the values and voices of their generation.
Their books help highlight the importance of the UN’s sustainability targets and also look through the lens of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to offer earnest and inspiring insights – that education, science and cultural awareness are crucial to children’s visions of a more just and sustainable future.
The Children’s Summit aims to raise awareness of children’s visions on the rights of the child and sustainability values, and to express the voices of children on pressing global problems and new solutions. The 2015 Children’s Declaration will draw on ideas and online inputs from children around the world to highlight the importance of the UN’s new global sustainable development goals. It will set out the things that children, as voices for future generations, see as important in creating a sustainable and just world for all.
Over 1400 children from more than 60 countries have so far submitted their ideas. Jona David, aged 10, the young author representing North America, says:
“It is important to be ourselves, and to stand up for each other and our environment. The problem is that we have a really long way to go, all over the world. When it comes to the earth, our own survival, and the survival of all future generations, is at stake. It’s urgent. Children’s voices can tell others about problems. But most importantly, we can also become part of the solution”.
In her endorsement of Jona’s first book, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova says: “Through education, we must build peace in young minds and nurture children’s creativity to shape more sustainable, just and peaceful societies. This is a message UNESCO is promoting globally throughout the year-long celebration of its 70th anniversary”.
The Child Authors and their stories include:
• Jona David (10), Europe/North America: Child Author from the UK, Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Jona will share his first and second books titled ‘The Epic Eco-Inventions’ and ‘The Great Green Vine Invention’, two creative, colourful and whimsical tales about a child inventor and his little brother who stand up to bullies and social pressures at school, while promoting education on eco-science, renewable energy, and biodiversity.
• Kehkashan Basu (15), Middle East: Child Author from the United Arab Emirates will share her first book titled ‘The Tree of Hope’, a moving and lyrical story about children working together with their communities to green the desert, bringing back access to water and biodiversity, also promote rural development and gender equality.
• Diwa Boateng (10), Africa: Child Author from South Africa, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe will present his first book titled ‘The Backwards and Forwards City’, a brilliant and courageous storybook of children’s friendship in the face of inequality and corruption, securing better access to water and education, even as families come together to help against a terrible epidemic sweeping their land.
• Anna Yu-Yin Kuo (11), Asia: From Taiwan, Anna’s first book titled ‘The Fireflies After the Typhoon’, is a joyful and meaningful storybook about respect for one’s elders, whilst also gaining the courage to become part of community decision-making, and children’s resilience after natural disasters, also biodiversity restoration and rural development.
• Lautaro Real (9), Latin America: From Uruguay, Lautaro’s first book titled ‘The Species-Saving Time Team’, is a charming and visionary storybook about the value of team-work and cooperation, and children’s magical awareness and relationships with nature, also the importance of biodiversity in wetlands, oceans and terrestrial ecosystems.
• Allison Liévano-Gómez (8), Latin America: This child author from Mexico City shares her first book titled ‘The Sisters’ Mind Connection’, a moving and heartfelt storybook about respect and support between differently abled children and their families, demonstrating how children can collaborate to secure access to education and health for all.
• Lupeo’aunu’u Vaai (11), Pacific Islands: Lupeo’aunu’u from Samoa presents her story ‘The Voice of an Island’, a lyrical and charming account of children working together with their parents to care for the environment in everyday lives, adopting renewable energy, becoming active as a voice of change and responding to climate change.
• Tyra Sioni (9), Pacific Islands: This Child Author from Papua New Guinea shares her first book titled ‘The Visible Girls’, a meaningful and open-minded description of how a girl with an invisible friend learns to stand up for women’s equality and voices, organizing themselves to secure access to education, health and livelihoods for all.