Laureates from Ghana, Palestine and Peru win 2021 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

A literacy project in Ghana, a programme on media for social change in Palestine, and an initiative for the protection of indigenous cultures in Peru will be awarded this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development at a ceremony on 19 November (1.30 pm), during the 41st session of the General Conference of UNESCO.

The laureates were selected by an independent International Jury and will receive an award of US $50,000 each. 113 nominations were submitted by the governments of 54 Member States and 8 organizations in official partnership with UNESCO. The main selection criteria were the projects’ potential for transformation, their innovative quality and ability to embrace all three dimensions of sustainability: The economy, the society and the environment.

World Vision Ghana, Ghana 

World Vision was chosen for its “Unlock Literacy Project (UL)”, which promotes a holistic approach to the development of literacy focusing on critical thinking, a core competency for sustainability. The project aims to empower children at the primary level to think critically about local issues and take actions, as well as to make reading exciting through multi-lingual education. Going beyond traditional literacy approaches, the project is rewarded its action-oriented, peer-to-peer approach to learning involving whole-communities. It carries potential for further scaling up nationally through cooperation with formal education.

Media Development Center, Birzeit University, Palestine 

The Media Development Center of the Birzeit University in Palestine views media as an integral part of social change and sustainable development and as a means to empower women and men living in marginalized communities with skills to participate in public life. The project “Media and Information Literacy for Sustainable Societies” aims at developing media and information literacy through practical learning-by-doing and training through dialogue. The project is rewarded for its youth-centered approach in generating societal changes through dialogue and cooperation, while focusing on the role of media in encouraging the participation of citizens in public life.

Kusi Kawsay School, Peru 

In remote areas of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, Kusi Kawsay Andean School&Ñawpa Ñan Cultural Events have been promoting the protection and preservation of Indigenous people’s rights, culture, values and livelihoods over the last decade. Based on Waldorf pedagogy, the project is recognized for addressing many key elements of education for sustainable development, namely respect for indigenous and local culture and values that promotes human dignity, community-based approaches and action to respond to global challenges.

Funded by the Government of Japan, the Prize rewards exceptional projects and programmes on education for sustainable development undertaken by institutions, organizations or other entities in the field of ESD to generate and scale up action at all levels of education and learning, and contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the Prize-giving ceremony, Princess Abze Djigma (Burkina Faso), Chair of the International Jury of the UNESCO-Japan Prize and Chair of the H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma Foundation, will moderate a panel discussion with the laureates.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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