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TSN Talks with Jana Elgarem

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

TSN Talks is a segment of the organisation where they talk to an inspiring youth about their journey in Sustainability. Jana Elgarem is a 16 years-old student from Alexandria, Egypt. She loves anything related to music since she plays the violin, she has participated in many violin/music competitions. She also likes reading, travelling, learning new languages, singing, getting to know new people and participating in MUN conferences. Until now, she has attended 3 conferences, but it has already become one of her favourite hobbies.

Q1. When and how did you get to know about the SDGs? Ans. I knew about the SDGs through MUNs a year ago. But actually I didn’t research about it back then. However then I joined MUN Impact and currently I’m working for them. They are really enthusiastic and engaging for the SDGs and they do a lot of stuff about them especially MUN topics and SDGs for their conferences. Beginning from last summer I really started engaging more with these. And the first assignment we had in July was about what our favourite SDG is and then I started thinking more about it and I figured out that SDG 1 is my favourite and I also realised that I had already been engaged with this without even knowing it! There is an organisation in my school- CHC (Children Help Children). I am still a member there. Children pay the same amount of money they chose in the beginning every month. And this money is used to help the children in several ways!

Q2. Which is your most favourite SDG and why? Ans. As I said, my favourite SDG is SDG 1 that is No Poverty because it’s really important as it also impacts the other SDGs. This is very much related to almost all the goals and helps in their development so it makes it very wholesome!

Q3. Which target/indicator from SDG 1 do you think is important and why? Ans. I can’t really choose one because they are all very important but I have three in mind which I believe are super important! Firstly, target 1.2 mainly because it shows how the situation has been improved and nations are trying to progress. It also shows how everywhere, people are trying to reduce poverty! Next, 1.4 has a lot of logic for me because it focuses on the rights of the poor people and they must have access to basic services, appropriate technology and financial services! Lastly, it is target 1.a as the resources and provided means help the poorer countries and gives them resources as they work with the circumstances!

Q4. 1 of 3 people in Egypt live in poverty. In an article by The Bogen Magazine, it is stated that the main causes of poverty in Egypt is government corruption. What do you have to say about this? Ans. So about Egypt, I read something that said that it was not able to achieve the NDGs involving the proportion of the population involving the population below the national poverty line although the size of people living in extreme poverty dropped. But I also read that Egypt is very much aware of the problem of poverty and in order to not leave anyone behind, the government of Egypt has scaled up its social protection programmes and has improved the target mechanisms. And the government is even allocating more resources to deprived areas to provide a better quality of public services and infrastructure for the people. So basically, it’s not very much true that there is a lot of government corruption involved; they are trying but they are not done yet, there is a lot more left to be achieved!

Q5. Whom do you look up to, to living a better sustainable life? Ans. I’ll be honest, I have never had a role model. I always think when I’m having a role model, in some way, I’ll be copying what they do and their actions & not really being myself. It is correct that sometimes, it really works for people as it helps them achieve their goals or maybe work towards a specific problem that their role model is also working on but for me it is easier to see what several people do and form my own routines. I definitely look up to a lot of people but there is not one specific person I follow. I just kind of research about solutions, think about some myself, talk to my friends and all of that to live a better sustainable life.

Q6. How do you see the future of the SDGs at a national and global level? Ans. So to be honest, in my country SDGs are not very popular. Most of my friends don’t really know or talk about this. The government does some stuff about the SDGs but I think people are not really able to notice these. I think they need to discuss these more. As a global citizen, I feel that since we are in a pandemic right now, things will go back and won’t be really as expected but if everyone does their best and put extra efforts, so I think we’ll be able to make some progress.

Q7. Is there something you would want to say to the readers? Ans. Yes, sure! I really want to say that we as young people, have a lot of time to do things. We do not have many responsibilities. So we can always use our time to do things to help other people. Do research, think of solutions, read articles and there is a lot more we can do! Rather than posting jokes on Instagram all day, if we post just one thing about the issues today, think of how much impact can be created as more and more people will read about it and take action for it. I am definitely not saying that stop posting jokes, they’re so entertaining and I love them but also it’s very important to do work for serious issues we are all facing as humankind today!

Q8. What is your take on the ecological crisis the world is facing today and how do you think the youth can help? Ans. The ecological crisis is threatening the life on earth. And the biggest problem is; that very less people care, although almost everyone knows. People that are old enough and aren’t convinced by the importance of maintaining sustainability and saving Mother Earth shouldn’t be the target anymore. Now it’s time to teach the youth (which is being done) but the right methods should be used in order to really influence them and make them motivated to tackle the climate change and other natural disasters! And the youth is mostly influenced by social media which is why accounts and platforms that raise awareness about sustainability etc. are a very effective way to spread awareness between the youth. The youth is the new generation, they are the generation of the future that must be well taught and made aware of big problems such as the ecological crisis! I think the youth can help by educating their friends, changing their routine to a nature friendly one by reducing the use of plastic,using more bikes and less vehicles that pollute the air, and buying regional products. There are many other ways to take action from the smallest way like not drinking from plastic bottles to being vegetarian or even vegan or changing one’s lifestyle in any other way! The youth must only start and those tiny leaps will make a big change!

SDG This or That

  1. Global Peace or Reduced Inequalities – Global Peace

  2. Quality Education or Good Health and Well Being – Good Health and Well Being

  3. Innovation and Infrastructure or Sustainable Cities -Sustainable Cities

  4. Clean Energy or Clean Water – Clean Water

Jana’s favourites

1.Place to Visit Spain and Greece 2.Book The Hunger Games! 3.Cuisine Mexican, American, Japanese, German!!

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