Storytelling is a powerful communications tool that helps children remember lessons and virtues that they will use in everyday life. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be complex and diverse topics to teach children – an audience that are our greatest hope in achieving them.
Following multiple requests to speak to children on the SDGs, the UN Information Centre in Windhoek, Namibia, created a story book aimed at 3-11 year olds. With beautiful illustrations created by a local graphic designer, Nelett Loubser, Frieda aims to raise awareness of the SDGs in a fun, colourful and relatable way.
“Frieda’s story is meant to capture the imagination of children and encourage them to bring about positive change starting from when they are small,” says UNIC Windhoek’s Head, Anthea Basson. The universal message of the story is that we need to achieve the SDGs. Although Frieda is a young girl, she is just like everyone else and has the ability to take action and make a change in the world around her. The character is widely loved and captivates both young and older readers.
Frieda connects the hopes and aspirations of the SDGs to the hearts and minds of young children
“Frieda connects the hopes and aspirations of the SDGs to the hearts and minds of young children,” explains Nelett. “She is enthusiastic, dynamic, energetic and a positive role model. Everything about Frieda incorporates the goals. Frieda captures the spirit of Namibians, but is relatable across cultures. I was inspired by the colourful SDG wheel, and carefully weaved in elements of the goals throughout the book on every page. I drew from Namibian accents in designing the patterns and the fine details of her dress to give her a distinct African feel and a sense of adventure”.
Frieda is currently being used as a vehicle to support other UN agencies who tailor messages to a young audience. UNIC is collaborating with UNDP Namibia, using Frieda to relay messages on climate change and endangered species in adverts to appear in a local comic book distributed nationally. There are talks to collaborate with other agencies who wish to delve deeper into specific SDGs. The book also introduces new vocabulary, allowing children to learn new words.
Enjoy the book and share with your family and friends!
Children with the Frieda book, and UN Information Centre staff in Windhoek, Namibia