A UN agenda adapted for kids

In 2030 Not a Fairytale, Arlene Gormely adapts the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to a book for children. Photo supplied

Kezia Parkins, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 18 November 2016

Siem Reap-based Arlene Gormley moved from Northern Ireland five years ago and co-founded Feeding Dreams, a community school that provides free education, school meals and support to hundreds of children and families. She has recently written, illustrated and self-published a children’s book addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted last year to combat climate change, end hunger and improve health (among others) by 2030. Gormley spoke with Kezia Parkins about 2030 Not A Fairytale, how she decided to release it in Cambodia – and why she’s aimed the book at a young audience.

Why did you decide to write and publish 2030 Not A Fairytale?

As a master’s student [of international development], I based my second-year practicum on translating the Sustainable Development Goals to a country-specific context so that they can be made relevant to youth and engage them in playing a role in the implementation of the SDG agenda. The book was originally intended as a hand-made Christmas gift for my 3-year-old niece in Belfast – I wanted to be able to explain to her the kind of work that I’m involved in and why I’m in Cambodia. There are 17 goals – so it took more time than I anticipated – and often I would be found frantically sketching in Blue Pumpkin on my lunch breaks. Some teacher friends asked me if they could get a copy for their classes, and so it began. I self-published a limited number of copies and distributed them among people I knew. Earlier this year, following a serendipitous meeting, an in-kind donation was made to publish 3,000 hard copies. Now, the books are retailing at $10 each. All profits are donated to Feeding Dreams.

Do you think there is a lack of education [in sustainable development] for young children?

This wee book is the only resource geared towards young children about the global goals – I have researched this. Maybe people think the subject is too “adult”, and that young children should not be introduced to concepts like gender equality or climate change until they are older. This baffles me – surely it’s easier to be introduced to the importance of gender equality at a young age, when children have young minds that soak up information. It’s more difficult to relearn as an adult. (more…)

Posted on: November 17, 2016 9:08 pm

Begin each day with thoughts of peace

End each day with thoughts of peace. Begin each day with thoughts of peace. Continue thinking thoughts of peace
throughout your precious day and happiness will be yours. ~Unknown

RFA photo

Posted on: September 28, 2016 5:39 am

Water levels ‘alarming’ across three provinces

Flood waters cover agricultural fields in the Kingdom’s north yesterday after heavy rains hit the area. Photo supplied

Khouth Sophak Chakrya, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 23 September 2016

Three Cambodian provinces are currently facing “alarming” high water levels and flooding, prompting officials to urge residents to remain cautious as forecasts of continued rain indicate the flooding may only get worse.

Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities yesterday warned those living along the Ta Mok reservoir in Anlong Veng district to take precautions.

Khin Nhean, director of the Oddar Meanchey provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, said the water level at the reservoir rose to 3.2 metres – above the warning point of about 2.9 metres.

According to the weather forecast, the rain will continue through Sunday, he added.

“The rain on the higher grounds will flood Ta Mok Dam dramatically,” he said. “It can cause the houses on the lower part to get flooded.” Chea Piseth, Oddar Meanchey provincial spokesman, said officials have closed the Ta Mok reservoir bridge until the water recedes.

Yu La, director of the Kampong Thom provincial department of water resources and meteorology, said the level of the Stung Sen River had climbed to 30.08 metres and, if it rises by another 0.42 metres, would reach “an alarming point”.

National Road 7 was also damaged because of flooding.

Long Sarin, Tbong Khmum deputy district governor, said several facilities in Tbong Khmum province have been flooded, such as the Chup Healthcare Centre, Chup Market and Chup Primary School.

Posted on: September 22, 2016 9:17 pm

If there is to be peace…

If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors; if there is to be peace within neighbors, there must be peace in the home; if there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart. ~Lao Tzu

RFA photo

Posted on: September 14, 2016 10:04 pm

Keep a cool mind

When the weather is hot, keep a cool mind. When the weather is cold, keep a warm heart. ~Ajahn Brahm

ទិដ្ឋភាពពលរដ្ឋរស់នៅលើទឹក ក្នុងឃុំពាមបាង ស្រុកស្ទោង ខេត្តកំពង់ធំ កាលពីថ្ងៃទី១ ខែឧសភា ឆ្នាំ២០១៦។ RFA/Saut Sokprathna

Posted on: September 10, 2016 10:50 pm

With Dhamma established in the mind

With Dhamma established in the mind, even bare rice is delicious enough. ~Nomadic Notes

ផ្ទះសម្រាប់ទេសចរជួលស្នាក់នៅក្នុងតំបន់ដែនជម្រកសត្វព្រៃកែវសីមា។ RFA photo

Posted on: September 4, 2016 9:31 pm