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Three winners to receive UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development

The three winners of this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development have been named. They are Zikra for Popular Learning from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; the Hard Rain Project from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Sihlengeni Primary School from the Republic of Zimbabwe.


Zikra was selected for its “Zikra for Popular Learning Program”, which offers a creative and dynamic response to social, economic and environmental challenges in marginalized communities of the Arab region. Through ‘Exchange Tourism’, Zikra empowers people to reconnect with their local culture and traditions, and to inspire sustainable solutions while generating economic gains. Other activities comprise capacity building workshops and trainings in educational institutions.

The Hard Rain Project was selected for its international programme “Hard Rain” and its follow-up “Whole Earth?”, which bring art, science and education together to raise awareness on pressing global issues such as poverty and climate change, and to stimulate thinking and action towards more positive futures. It works with world-renowned artists, scientists and communicators to carry its message to schools and universities, and to a wider public, through exhibitions, books, films, talks and events.

Sihlengeni Primary School, located in a dry rural area of Zimbabwe, was selected for its remarkable “Permaculture” programme involving not only its 17 teachers and 738 students – mainly children of low-income subsistence farmers – but also the adjacent community. Through an inspiring, participatory whole-institution approach, Permaculture uses the principles of ESD to provide quality education as well as increased access to a clean environment, food and water.

This year’s winners were selected by an international jury from more than 100 nominations, submitted by the governments of UNESCO Member States and organizations in official relations with UNESCO.

Funded by the Government of Japan, the Prize was established by UNESCO’s Executive Board in the framework of the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), to showcase and reward outstanding ESD projects and programmes. This is the third edition of the Prize, which is endowed with USD 150,000 to be divided between the three winners.

UNESCO’s Director-General and the Japanese Minister of Education will award the Prize to the three laureates in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 3 November 2017, during the 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference.

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