On October 28, 2021, the Filipino youth of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and the University of the Philippines (UP) with their “Ladders of Literacy” project was announced as one of two winners of the 2021 ESD Okayama Awards in Japan. They are the first students to receive the honor since the award’s launch in 2015.
The project were led by Qjiel Mariano, a UST Nursing student, collaborated with students from UST and UP on the winning literacy project, including Trixie Ann Bautista, Janis Andriella Santiago, Bianca Adia, Jerald Trambulo, Jasmine Grande, Ambriel Pascual, Biyaya Macaraig, Aaliyah Duran, Alexa Taay, and Jessica Dimaandal.
UST and UP Students: Ladders to Literacy
The Ladders of Literacy project intends to assist children to produce storybooks on community concerns like health, the environment, and injustice, and is a model of sustainable development and child engagement.
This provides an opportunity for younger generations to acquire tailored knowledge on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as for parents to be educated while reading children’s books. Prioritizing lifelong learning programs for the most vulnerable groups and to those people in poverty.
“We hope to become role models for fellow youth that innovations may come from younger generations and that we are capable of contributing solutions to the world’s problems with the guidance of mentors and professionals,” says Mariano, a George W Bush Inspiration honoree and Youth Service America Education Hero.
“Promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is considered critical to ensure the quality of education for achieving these goals. Furthermore, the new international framework of ESD started in January 2020, which is named ‘ESD for 2030’. ESD is expected to be promoted now more than ever,” as mentioned on their website.
Since 2015, the ESD Okayama Awards have been searching for the best Education for Sustainable Development practices around the world. Two award winners receive a cash prize of $3,000 or 300,000 yen to support their effort.