The #FirstGeneration initiative has inspired many young people to participate in achieving the 17 Global Goals and the 2030 Agenda. On the American continent, this work has certainly been pursued by the non-governmental organisation América Solidaria, which has launched the initiative ConCausa (‘With a Cause’). ConCausa seeks to encourage young people to engage in their local communities, and develop projects that can contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
Sebastían Zulueta, Executive Director of América Solidaria, was one of the winners of the 2016 #FirstGeneration award for inspiring young people to achieve the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The objective of ConCausa is to mobilise young people from all over the American region to develop proposals that would enable them to become the first generation to overcome child poverty. The Embassy of Sweden in Santiago de Chile is a partner in the project, which is organised by América Solidaria with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) and UNICEF.
Over 250 project proposals were submitted, each by a group of four young people. After a rigorous selection process, 15 projects were chosen to be presented at the concluding event in Santiago on 26 November 2016. Over the course of a week, 60 participants, all aged 15–17, were coached and advised through workshops and seminars on how to develop and implement their ideas.
With the 2030 Agenda as the common denominator, the projects ranged widely in scope. While peacebuilding was the main objective of a group from Colombia, young people from Argentina had developed a mobile application to improve sex education among their young peers. A group from Mexico demonstrated innovation by teaching school classes how to convert old milk packages into productive gardens.
Together with newly made friends from Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, the participants were excited to finally present their projects at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago.
Swedish Ambassador Jakob Kiefer was delighted to take a seat on the jury:
“It’s inspiring to see how these young people have developed ideas to turn Agenda 2030 into action. They are the #FirstGeneration and the future. I’m pleased that we have been able to help out in bringing them together here in Chile. Now they are strengthened in their commitments, and for the implementation of the projects in their local communities.”