By Esther Atani, The Sight News
The Sustainable Development Goals SDGs FOI Planning Committee on Thursday, held the SDGs Language Translation Conference with the theme, “Localizing the SDGs”.
The conference was aimed at promoting awareness of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the “My Language MY Goal 1000 Initiative”, which is the translation of the SDGS into 1000 indigenous languages -250 Nigerian languages, 650 African languages and 400 global languages.
The conference was also held to announce the introduction of Festival of Ideas— a platform in which innovative ideas geared towards promoting the awareness of the goals are shared to ensure that the transformative principles embedded in the SDGs are actualized across board.
In his opening remarks, the Project Coordinator of Festival of Ideas, Joshua Makinde called on partners to support the “My Language My Goal Initiative”, adding that the initiative is to be run on three fronts – Festival of Ideas, SDG1717 and the Local Activities Global Impact Challenge.
“If such local innovations and innovators can be identified and celebrated, it will create lasting impact. The language challenge is to identify local SDG actors across the country. The SDG1717 is a 17 day programme starting from the 1st to the 17th of July 2019 with each day dedicated to one of the 17 SDGs and activities centred around each”, he said.
For his part, the Country Director, Voluntary Service Overseas represented by the Youth Program Manager, Mr Barnabas Usman elaborated on the need for creative and disruptive ideas that would facilitate a deeper understanding at the local level and build capacity towards the fulfilment of these goals.
He expressed hopes to see creative ideas that would bring about massive change and make global impact in the fulfillment of the SDGs by 2030.
The event was graced by representatives from embassies, humanitarian organizations such as ONE Campaign, UNESCO, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and a panel of language delegates tasked with reviewing the 17 SDGs in their local dialects and making corrections where necessary.
Speaking to The Sight News, one of the language delegates Dr. Isaac said, “My interest in this conference is to make sure that anyone who speaks my language and can’t speak English will understand the SDGs and how it affects their lives.”
Some of the languages and dialects featured were Igala and Igbira dialects from Kogi State, Bub dialect from Nasarawa; Gumbe dialects from Lagos; Benin and Ososo dialects from Edo state among others.