Sustainable development and environmental stewardship in any society would not take place, unless the populace has a keen understanding as to why such is important. We (myself and my brother - former members of the International Youth Council, Mississauga Chapter) believe education and knowledge play a fundamental role in this regard. Therefore, for the past few years, we have been concentrating on key initiatives that would facilitate education and knowledge, and in turn lead to self-empowerment. For example, we have concentrated on reusing personal computers, text books, and eye glasses in the local and international arena with reputable non-profit organizations. We believe resources that have already been produced should have its useful life extended, wherever and whenever possible. We also believe these actions are a few of the fundamental tools for education and knowledge.
By providing the opportunities mentioned above at no cost to those who otherwise would not have access, starts the journey of self-empowerment of those most vulnerable in our global society. This empowerment has a cascading effect in society that enriches the process towards sustainable development and environmental stewardship. We believe this application has relevance in any community throughout the world.
It is also important to note that the cascading effect towards sustainable development best starts at the local level and then extends to national and international. Once engagement and sustenance has taken hold at the local level, success towards national and international level can be under taken with a measured approach. We work with the local community including non-profit organizations, schools and individuals gathered around the common theme of need. The benefit to our local community is engagement in sustainable development and environmental stewardship, which not only has an impact at the local level, but internationally as well.
At the local level, we send used school text books to a non-profit that helps the Indigenous community schools in Ontario, Canada. We also send used text books to a non-profit that helps new immigrant youth in Ontario, Canada who want to be re-accredited in their chosen profession. Finally, used text books were distributed to a non-profit that helps children with different abilities in Ontario, Canada.
In a national and international capacity, we collected used eye glasses for Lions International. This was done by local schools and the community. The collected used eye glasses were sent to Calgary, Alberta for evaluation and categorization. Thereafter any international non-profit that caters to the visually challenged can approach Lions International for eye glasses. We also sent used school text books and personal computers to the Philippines and Sri Lanka. The impact of these initiatives was meaningful as most school kids and youth who benefited from it were in need of resources for learning and life skills.
For our work we had the privilege to meet with Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, in New York, USA. At this opportunity we shared our outreach to Sri Lanka and our commitment towards the Sustainable Development Goals. We also provided input towards a book titled ‘Green My Parents’ published in the USA, which is on the topic of the environment from a youth perspective. Upon publication, we facilitated it being made available in the Mississauga Library System, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, thus making it available for all in our local community. This is another tool which would facilitate towards the Sustainable Development Goals.