Tha Block Bizkids: children as teachers on SDGs

A solution by Fawaka Ondernemersschool submitted to Localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to action!

Fawaka Entrepreneurship school specialises in inclusive sustainability, focusing on socio-economic deprived areas. We propose Tha Block Bizkids; a program in which we empower children to improve their neighbourhood. They discuss, create, and innovate, supervised by professionals. Tha Block Bizkids puts SDGs ‘Creating equal opportunity’ and ‘Making livable, sustainable cities’ into local action.

(Pitched: 14/07/2018)

One Page Summary

Making sustainability accessible for all layers of society has proven difficult in the Netherlands, and in Amsterdam. Currently, sustainability is a privilege for ‘the happy few’, a sustainable elite. Hence the SDG Challenge. Fawaka Entrepreneurship school specialises in making sustainability, both social and ecological, inclusive. We focus our activities in socio-economic deprived areas where access to innovative programs is limited.

In Tha Block Bizkids we empower children to improve the areas where they live. As a starting point, they discuss the SDGs, the challenges we as a global society face; but how do these goals have impact on a local level? They investigate the challenges in their neighbourhood, as seen by themselves and adults in their community. They discuss, create, and innovate, supervised by (corporate) professionals. They come up with local social enterprise ideas and projects. They pitch their ideas to officials. In the process they empower themselves, and become local changemakers for the SDGs.

With Tha Block Bizkids we put SDGs ‘Creating equal opportunity’ (goal 10) and ‘Making liveable, sustainable cities’ (goal 11) into local action.

We expect to reach 12 primary schools (2 in pilot phase, 10 in roll-out) and reach 300 children (aged 9-12) in socio-economic deprived areas. The children will document their own process and spread it via social media reaching their local social network. At the Impact Market, the concluding event of the program, we invite parents, family, other children from school, local residents, and people from the other participating organisations to witness their social enterprise startup ideas.

Tha Block Bizkids would be an addition to our array of program types (other programs cover e.g. fairtrade chocolate, sustainable fashion). The SDG funding gives us the opportunity to develop, experiment and test our new program, ensuring a high quality and functionality of the program. Also we can build our network and strategic partnerships allowing us to increase efficiency and decrease cost, e.g. corporate professionals as volunteers instead of costly freelance professionals. From previous experience we know that we can decrease the cost per program to an amount that is affordable for schools and welfare organisations, under 1.500 euros per program. We aim to organise Tha Block Bizkids as a theme week activity on (global) citizenship and as an after school programme. Primary schools and welfare organisations (we already work with) have a budget of around 1.500 euros for after school activities and theme weeks. With this budget we can finance future programs, and continuity of the program is guaranteed.

We have already successfully implemented newly developed programs, with as a result that our Upcycle Entrepreneurs program developed in Zuidoost, is now running in other parts of Amsterdam such as West and Noord (and even in Rotterdam and Utrecht where we are also operational), financed by schools and/or welfare organisations. With this previous successful implementation we know that Tha Block Bizkids has the same potential to grow throughout the city.

A sneak preview of what we do? Checkout VPRO Tegenlicht

We are very proud to be credited by the KvK as one of the 100 most innovative organisations in 2018