Taking SDG ambassadors to local level in Benin
Communities and citizens (including youth) have little knowledge of the UN SDGs and contribute little to its implementation in Benin. This initiative mobilizes volunteers to act for the SDGs. It is part of a global campaign that aims to reach 1 million individuals around the world in 5 months to inform them about the SDGs. This approach is unique in Benin, as nobody else is doing it.
In Benin, 120 City Ambassadors from 52 towns, including 18 women were recruited and trained. All the 120 City ambassadors implement at least one activity/event. But because of the lack of commitment, engagement and financial resources, out of the 120 City Ambassadors, 35% (42 members) did not reach their main goals during the term.
The main success is that out of the 120 City Ambassadors 65% (78 members) were able to reach their main goal which consisted in organizing in-person seminars and events to promote the SDGs and impact at least 1,000 people during the term.
For example, Mrs. Daga Assiath worked hard and successfully on SDG 13 with others stakeholders as SDGs City Ambassador at Porto-Novo. By the end of November 2017 in Benin, around 115,000 persons in 52 cities were impacted.
This initiative is an innovative project but it has challenges to its implementation. Some country Ambassadors were not able to recruit the city Ambassadors and implement the project on volunteer basis because of lack of commitment, engagement and financial resources. It is such a challenge that the project will start giving an award to the Best City Ambassador with a certificate and prize at the end of the term selection process.
Through this project, citizens and communities know more about the SDGs because activities were implemented in local language and in a familiar environment, so they were free to ask any question to understand more about the SDGs. In the coming future, the project will keep growing in Benin in order to reach all the 77 cities and adding new activities and projects.