THROUGH THE LENS OF THE YOUTH DOCUMENTARIES BY YOUTH WORLWIDE
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 these children the 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
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 in 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 children across the world; all
through the lens of a 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 the 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
• Investigate to what extent understandings of the SDG’s vary with age and nationality.
• Give youth the platform to display their talents and perspectives.
• Provide adults and organizations the opportunity to be exposed to the perspectives of
• 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 smart phones or cameras.
Each application 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 filmmakers' 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 web site.
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 SDG’s.
The project is targeting young audiences aged 11 – 14 and 15 – 19.