Canon celebrates 3rd anniversary of the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals

On the 25th September 2018 Canon Europe will celebrate the anniversary of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals along with thousands of individuals, organisations, and institutions across the globe.

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Participants of Canon’s Young People Programme in South Africa and Poland.

In 2015 world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to serve as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. 

Canon Europe is marking the third anniversary of those SDGs by celebrating Global Day to #Act4SDGs on the 25th September with a special event in Nigeria in collaboration with Slum Art, a charity organisation with a mission to mentor and build creative talents in young people from Lagos. During the event, and over a course of two weeks, photography training will be given to participants aged between 15-19 from three neighbourhoods in Lagos with the aim to give these young individuals the skills to be able to talk about the SDGs that are most important to them and the solutions they want to see through the art of visual storytelling. 

The event forms part of Canon’s Young People Programme and will be hosted by fully certified trainers from Canon’s Miraisha programme.

“The Young People Programme is good example of how Canon Europe is seeking to make meaningful social investments across the EMEA region, demonstrating our commitment to our corporate philosophy of Kyosei: living and working together for the common good,” says Stuart Poore, EMEA Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs, Canon Europe.

Now in its fourth year, Canon’s Young People Programme seeks to contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs by giving young people a voice through harnessing the power of positive visual storytelling to drive change. The programme uses the SDGs as a framework to give young people the opportunity to talk about the global issues that affect their futures and by providing the right tools and coaching, it aims to bring participants’ stories to life. Canon Europe has been delivering visual storytelling workshops for young people to date in 23 countries across Europe and has run events reaching more than 3,000 students.

“If we want to make the SDGs happen, we need everyone to take action. Through our work with Canon Europe we are giving young people an opportunity to get involved in the issues they care about, to tell their own stories of SDG Action and share them with the world, and to join the global movement making the SDGs happen.” said Marina Ponti, Head of the Global Campaign Center, UN SDG Action Campaign.

Key programmes throughout EMEA for Canon’s 2018 Young People Programme so far include;

  • 2018 Young People Programme launch at the UN Global Festival of Action – Participants in Canon’s YPP and Photojournalist and Canon ambassador Ulla Lohmann, appeared on UN Web TV to share plans for the year ahead
  • Belgium – In partnership with the charity Plan Belgium, this year’s YPP event in Belgium encouraged conversations around Gender Equality by challenging girls to illustrate where in their home city makes them feel unsafe. Young people were then invited to express their views as a result of the work at a youth forum at Belgium Parliament.
  • European Development Days – Canon showcased how it is utilising the power of imagery to support livelihoods, give young people a visual voice on implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and drive gender equality at this year’s European Development Days
  • Germany – Images from Germany’s YPP were this year displayed at the annual German Federal Chancellory – or “Bundeskanzleramt” – event in Berlin as part of the UN SDG Action Campaign, during which photographs taken by YPP students from Cologne and Krefeld were displayed alongside information on the German national Sustainability Strategy.
    • The exhibition was also displayed at Berlin Central Station during IFA from 1st to 11th September and will be shown from 23rd to 29th September at Cologne Central Station during photokina.
  • Iraq – School girls from Iraq participated in a unique YPP which saw Canon partner with The International Committee of the Red Cross to tell the story of when they and their families were forced to flee war. Their photography was exhibited at one of the world’s leading photojournalism festivals, Visa pour l’Image in September.
  • Italy – This year’s initiative took place at the Istituto Superiore Francesco Morano in Caivano, where participants attended 12 workshops with Canon Ambassador Antonio Gibotta, to learn the fundamentals of photography.
  • Poland – The "To MY create the World" project, ran as three multimedia workshops for primary and middle school students in Katowice, Opole, and Warsaw. The project aimed to work with young creative observers of this world, to people who want to build a sense of responsibility for this world, to the courageous, who want to show their point of view and inspire others to act through the image.
  • Slovenia – Canon hosted its YPP in partnership with the Youth Health and Summer Resort of Red Cross Debeli Rtic, a health centre for children, youth, families and seniors, for 36 children from underprivileged backgrounds who took part in workshops which taught the power of photography and how it can be used to stories to align with the SDGs
  • South Africa – The “Wild Shots Outreach” programme, as part of Canon’s YPP in South Africa, takes place near the Kruger National Park, and is helping to educate underprivileged children in the art of wildlife photography and its impact on conservation (SDG 15 – Life on Land). During this year’s programme, students were taught photography in a series of practical workshops before going on a game drive to put what they had learned into practice.
  • Spain- Canon’s YPP in Spain included a two-week workshop for 30 students at La Nave (Villaverde), in Madrid in collaboration with Teach For All. Participants learnt from Canon Ambassador Jaime de Diego and others prestigious Spanish photographers like Marc Albiac (winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the age of 15) and Ofelia de Pablo and Javier Zurita (photojournalists whose stories have been featured in the world´s foremost print and visual media including The Guardian UK or The New York Times).
  • UK – This Summer Canon UK hosted another successful year of its Creative Media Camp in partnership with the Ideas Foundation. The five-day event for students aged 13-18 took place at the University of the Arts London and saw 23 students work together in five teams to harness the power of positive visual storytelling to drive change for the SDGs.
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