Sustainable Development Goals


Arnika Macphail

Writing goals down on a piece of paper can be easy, especially if it’s for the development of our personal lives. We all know how to take the next step of scheduling and planning our goals, so they become real. But how do we as a culture in both our local and global communities, create goals and implement them into the lives of the people we are here to serve. In January 2016, the United Nations announced and began to implement their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). These goals are intended for a global shift, however, GCSN have taken on the “act local, think global” approach and started to create a change in the community that will, in both the short and long term, have great effects on the global community.

The Sustainable Development Goals are…

Goal 1: No poverty

Goal 2: Zero hunger

Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 5: Gender equality

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Goal 13: Climate action

Goal 14: Life below water

Goal 15: Life on land

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Read more here

At first glance of the goals you may think that GCSN is only implementing the Quality Education Goal for the students and staff at Christchurch schools and beyond. However, when we think about the success of one goal rippling out and creating success in the other goals, giving quality education and access to technology for all students is foundational to the other goals success.

“The world is more interconnected than ever. Improving access to technology and knowledge is an important way to share ideas and foster innovation.”

Goal 17 – Partnerships

GCSN projects and the Sustainable Development Goals

GCSN have two projects they are proud of that directly respond to the SDG.

The ConnectED Haeata project, is a WiFi solution giving 360 students from Haeata access to educational WiFi from their homes at no cost. This project gives students access to internet at home for free, allowing them to reinforce their class lessons learnt during the day, take full advantage of all the opportunities for learning that are available through the Internet; and enhance their future career and education prospects.

TToM 2019 Workshops are 20 x 2.5 hour workshops covering the topics of; Google for Admin Staff, Google Classroom, Sphero, BeeBots, Play based Learning with a Digi Spin, Hapara and more. The workshops have been specifically designed with schools needs in mind. The workshops align with current trends in schools and with the NZ National Curriculum.

Both projects answer the call to the following goals from the United Nations Development Programme.

Quality education – “Education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development.” GCSN specialises in this goal with a ripple effect happening in both the short and long term.

Gender equality - where it is stated that “women (and girls) have access to internet and technology”. When women are educated, they become more empowered to make changes in their whānau and communities they live in.

The quality education ripple effect

When quality education is given to all children and adults. When access to technology and the internet is increased. And when children are given space to be innovative and creative, the ripple effect is far and wide. Children take home their new knowledge and introduce whānau to technology and ideas that they may not have had access to before.

The children who GCSN are in service to may one day be the people who create a technology advancement that will be great to the world over. But we will not know unless we give them the tools, knowledge and education to create it.

Goal 1: No poverty and Goal 2: Zero hunger – when children and adults are educated, they have a higher chance of gaining employment and helping to feed their families and lift them out of poverty.

Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing – access to health apps that encourage us to exercise and eat right are fun. However quality education teaches children how to make empowered choices about their own health for now and the future.

Goal 5: Gender equality – with young girls/women being given an education and access to technology, we will see an increase of women in leadership roles.

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth and Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure – children who are encouraged to be innovative, creative and solve problems and offer solutions will be more confident in the working environment to develop their own plans and business ideas.

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities – By giving our tamariki and whānau access to wider services through the internet and training we are bridging the digital divide and therefore reducing inequalities.

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities – Since the earthquakes in 2011, Christchurch has shown itself to be a city that is embracing a sustainable cities and communities outlook. Giving our future leaders and members of the community, who are currently the students in our schools, with a valuable and rich technology background will be able to keep this pride alive.

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation, Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy, Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production, Goal 13: Climate action, Goal 14: Life below water, Goal 15: Life on land and Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions – it is valuable to understand how these areas of our land and world work, and it is also valuable to have tools and resources that will help us to sustain and bring a better understanding of these to our lives, education does this through connecting apps and science so children can learn how to develop new ideas for a sustained future.

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals –GCSN is creating great change through the implementation of Quality Education, and through our Program Manager being part of the UN-ANZ Canterbury Committee, we have taken onboard the Sustainable Development Goals to help create a great future for the children of Christchurch and New Zealand.