Empowering children through storytelling

Reading project aims to empower children on how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

09 April 2021 | Education

STAFF REPORTER

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Windhoek is embarking on an outreach project for children that focuses on development issues through reading.

UNIC said in a statement that the project will involve doing various readings of the children’s storybook, ‘Frieda and the Sustainable Development Goals’, published by UNIC Windhoek in 2018.

‘Frieda’ chronicles a young Namibian girl’s journey in discovering what the SDGs mean while coming to terms with her power in achieving these goals, as well as the power of those around her to change.

“Stories play a vital role in the growth and development of children and allows young readers to become friends with the characters,” Anthea Basson of UNIC in Windhoek explained. She added that reading helps boost a child’s confidence, teaching them how they can make a difference in their everyday lives.

The reading project aims to reach children between the ages of four to eleven at pre-primary and primary schools, special schools, kindergartens and after-care or day-care centres.

UNIC said the reading initiative is designed to be fun for children and encourage their creativity and confidence. The project also provides a safe way of exploring strong emotions and inspires children to make their own predictions on what may happen next in the story.

UNIC Windhoek has invited volunteers with performance backgrounds to lead these inter-active readings to help children clarify and understand new words, build comprehension skills and increase attention spans.

UNIC said volunteers will implement an instructional practice by reading aloud with variants in pitch, tone, pace, volume, pauses, eye contact, questions, and comments to produce a fluent and enjoyable delivery of the story and the SDGs.

Since 2018, more than 3000 ‘Frieda and the SDGs’ books have been distributed across the country, establishing the book as a reliable character for Namibian children to become more self-aware of the SDGs.

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