Building peace in the minds of men and women

"Transforming human-beings into human-doings" - new post on the ESD Prize Blog

08 January 2019


© UNESCO/O. Jean


A new post has just been published on the ESD Prize Blog by Angela Beer, Program Founder and Advisor of the Kalabia Education Program, Indonesia, which won the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in 2018. She talks about her trip to UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to receive the Prize, meeting the other laureates and what the Prize means to the Kalabia Program:

"Terima kasih – Thank you, or, literally translated from Indonesian, we “receive your love”. Having the honour of receiving the UNESCO-Japan ESD Prize on behalf of the Kalabia Education Program in Paris consolidated my belief that this program is truly special and incredibly important. Although it was lovely to get kudos and praise for the program itself, it was being amongst such inspiring company as the other 2018 Laureates that was most affirming… not to mention awe-inspiring and completely humbling! Although our programs are in starkly different ecosystems and engage participants and communities on entirely different scales, the passion and commitment to ESD and belief in the possibility of making a difference was striking. Finding that commonality was inspiring and hopeful. These programs are instigating action and transforming human-beings into human-doings.

Having a few days in Paris with the other laureates and the accomplished ESD team from UNESCO also made me realize that the ‘big deal’ about winning this prize isn’t necessarily the prize itself, but in the larger commitment that it represents and the network of partners to which we are now connected. We look forward to working with them more into the future.

While the Kalabia hopes to use the prize money to provide capacity-building opportunities for the Papuan Educator team as well as develop and publish a new educational story-book series for distribution in constituent communities, most significantly, we hope the funds can be used to leverage additional funding for program expansion. The West Papua government is in the process of declaring itself Indonesia’s first “Conservation Province” and we hope Kalabia will be at the core of that transformation and that Papuan communities will have access to a tailored Kalabia-type Environmental Education program within the next few years. After all, we feel deeply that education underlies the path to sustainable development and a sustainable future.

Access to ESD is very important in a rapidly-developing, predominantly-coastal nation such as Indonesia, and we envision that Kalabia could catalyze a commitment to ESD throughout the nation, and thus motivate a paradigm shift in education which equips and empowers citizens with the knowledge, understanding and love for their environment that leads to responsible choices for a sustainable future.

Reflecting on the experience and award after a few months and as the year draws to a close has made us even more grateful. We broadened our network of committed individuals and organizations who love and respect the planet, and that more than anything, gives us hope for the coming year and beyond. With dreams of peace and love for our shared world, wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and inspiring start to 2019!"

Read the full blog