The Regional Education Learning Initiative (RELI) recently embarked on a learning trip with the Life Skills Cluster to Arigatou International SDG Academy. The objective was to establish a collaboration between RELI and ARIGATOU, given RELI’s focus on children’s protection and the need to instill 21st-century life skills among the youth in East Africa.
On April 21st, while the world celebrated Creativity and Innovation Day, RELI and ARIGATOU took the opportunity to encourage young learners and creative thinkers to aim for greater horizons, particularly in the field of innovation. This platform allows children to engage in innovative problem-solving to create solutions to various challenges.
The SDGs Academy is an initiative by ARIGATOU aimed at ending child poverty. Established during the Covid-19 pandemic, it identifies the gaps in children’s protection, learning, and feeding, providing a safe space for sustainable development learning. ARIGATOU, whose name means “thank you” in Japanese, focuses on children’s protection and education, with offices in Kenya, Geneva, and New York.
ARIGATOU’s Director General, Dr. Fred Nyabera, urges the establishment of more SDGs Academies across the country to level the field for all learners. He emphasizes the need for sustainability through members’ involvement and adopting value-based learning that teaches morals within the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Dr. Nyabera notes that children are naturally creative and curious, and when given space and freedom to innovate, they learn from failures and turn them into lessons. Collaboration is also essential in making impactful differences.
Samuel Otieno, RELI’s representative and ADAPT Project Lead for the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI), praises the SDGs Academy’s initiative to develop safe spaces for children in an increasingly inconsiderate world despite efforts to advocate for them. RELI, having impacted over 20,000 learners in East Africa with 21st-century life skills, champions sustainable development education to empower learners and children for societal development.
ARIGATOU’s SDGs Academy is a transformative education model that creates a safe environment for children to be themselves, speak out, learn the importance of sustainable goals, and understand the essence of conserving the environment and living together in harmony. The model, with five hubs, offers learners diverse materials for cognitive maturity and understanding, aids in their religious growth, and equips them with practical skills.
Michael Adikwu, Project Lead of SDGs Academy, urges more adoption of transformative education to empower children, and plans to build more such model schools in Kenya, including in Kakuma refugee camp, are underway. Over 100 children have already benefited from the system, with high self-esteem and confidence, solution-driven learners being the outcome.