‘Partnerships for the Goals’ is the United Nations (UN) 17th Sustainable Development Goal. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a guide of 17 detailed goals that aim to end all forms of poverty throughout the world. They recognize the complex nature of development by addressing the importance of economic growth as well as social and environment issues.
According to the UN, ‘A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society.’ That is why GVI is working towards sustainable partnerships with local community groups. We want to create change in line with the UN SDGs and recognise that change and development includes more than economic growth; education, health and social protection are equally important.
One of the organisations that GVI partners with runs conversational English courses over a 15 day period. The participants of this course live together for the 15 days speaking only in English, completely immersed in a comprehensive English language environment. The partnership between this organization and GVI has been developing over the past 18 months and is one example of how we are promoting the 17th SGD, while simultaneously providing education and increased economic opportunities for the participants.
For every intake of participants, GVI provides a conversational English session with a twist. We promote and develop the participants conversational English through discussion on women’s empowerment topics. Our goals, which are in line with the organisations goals, are to facilitate conversational English sessions that highlight and promote need for women’s empowerment and increase awareness regarding the importance of increased opportunities for women.
Recently our team has been facilitating these English sessions around the topics of domestic violence, women’s safety, gender roles, human rights and gender equality. These sessions are delivered to a mainly male group, which has often not had a safe space to discuss these topics openly. Through discussion of these topics that can be somewhat taboo, not only does GVI open a discussion in the English language, we open a forum for critical thinking on global issues that affect women worldwide.
What we have found particularly interesting throughout this partnership is that some social behaviours and thinking patterns have changed between the generations, while some have not. These collective ways of thinking demonstrate how difficult social change can be and highlights where we need to focus our work.
The partnership between GVI and this organization has been a very fruitful and sustainable partnership, one where our team continually learns and develops as much as the students do.