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30 Apr 2023
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2 Months
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As nations continue to grapple with the effects of climate change, inequality and injustice and other global issues, young people have stepped up as change-makers within their local and regional communities. However, despite the positive actions of many, their creative solutions do not reach a wide enough audience. To give the youth a voice they deserve, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research is partnering with Barbara Harrison Media and Kids Speak Out to launch Through the Lens of the Youth Documentaries by Youth Worldwide. 

This 13-episode creative series invites young people from a variety of backgrounds to create a short video on a particular sustainable development goal and its impact on their community. The project further aims to expose the audience to the different topics that embody each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and the effect it is having on the lives of youth across the world; all through the lens of video creation. By exposing a global audience to various contemporary issues as viewed by the young people who tackle them with innovative solutions, Kids Speak Out (KSO) and UNITAR will increase and give importance to meaningful conversations regarding sustainability and its impact on the global community.

The project seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  • Showcase how global young people perceive, understand, and relate to sustainable development goals.
  • Investigate to what extent understandings of the SDGs vary with age and nationality.
  • Give youth the platform to display their talents and perspectives.
  • Provide adults and organizations with the opportunity to be exposed to the perspectives of youth.
  • Expose the audience to the differences of what each SDG means to different young people.
  • Display the creativity of young people from across diverse backgrounds through the medium of video as captured on their smartphones or cameras.

Each applicant will complete the questionnaire below and submit a short (up to 3-minute video) pitch. Those chosen from the first round of applications will then be asked to submit a 5-8 minute video highlighting their specific Sustainable Development Goal. The videos can feature problems and/or solutions that exist in their community.

These videos will be integrated into 13 episodes for the YouTube series Kids Speak Out. The
documentaries will include interviews with a member of the filmmaker's community.

Once the application deadline has passed the online application form will automatically close.
Next, staff members from UNITAR and Barbara Harrison Media will review the applications
and select 39 applications (three per SDG) that will go forward for an interview with Barbara
Harrison and a UNITAR staff member. Once this is done, Barbara Harrison Media and UNITAR staff
members will select the 13 successful applications to create an SDG for the documentary series.
Runner-up applicants from the submissions process who were not selected but want to make an
SDG documentary, will be invited to do so and have their videos posted on the Barbara Harrison
Kids Speak Out website.

UNITAR and Barbara Harrison Media will send a special participation certificate as a way of
congratulating the 13 winners for their involvement in using video to profile their selected SDGs.

The project strives to involve young people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds.
Demographic diversity will give the video productions more depth and emotional impact on the



The project is targeting young audiences aged 11-24 years old

If you are a minor and your application is accepted, you will be required to fill an permission form, which will be sent you separately.