The “Youth for the UN Sustainable Development Goals” Program

The Youth for the SDGs program is a unique experiential learning and capacity-building program for young activists and scholars engaged in SDG-related initiatives from the US and around the world. Peace Boat US aims to promote and strengthen youth engagement with the UN SDGs campaign, a goal identified as critical to achieving the SDGs. 

The program is open to participants of any age and background, with a limited number of full and partial scholarships available through a merit and need-based application process for young people working in SDG-related areas in their home countries.

Sailing with Peace Boat

Programs take place onboard voyages conducted by Peace Boat, our Japan-based partner organization, traveling on a large passenger ship that sails regionally and globally and conducting education and advocacy programs focusing on nuclear disarmament, climate action, and sustainability, with partner organizations and communities around the world. On average over 1,000 participants, primarily from Japan and other Asian countries, join Peace Boat voyages. Peace Boat is a committed campaigner for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a partner of the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Program Overview

Youth for the SDGs programs average two weeks in length and visit three to five countries and focus on SDGs related to climate, development, and the countries visited during a particular program. All programs include the following components:

Onboard

  • Presentations by guest educators from the countries visited as well as Peace Boat staff.
  • Special workshops for Youth for the SDGs program participants focusing on media engagement, networking, advocacy, policy, and other key skill sets necessary for their work.
  • Each participant gives presentations and workshops to the onboard community about the issues each faces in their respective communities and countries, and their work to address the issues.
  • Cultural activities and integration in the larger onboard community.

In Ports of Call

  • Specialized experiential study programs with NGOs, academic institutions, governmental entities, and communities working to address SDG-related issues such as climate change and sustainable development.

Expected outcomes for participants include the following:

  • Understanding of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Deepen understanding of sustainable development and the various stakeholders involved, including government agencies, IGOs and NGOs, and civil society.
  • Strengthen practical skills including public speaking, effective messaging, workshop facilitation, cultural competency, and utilization of communication and advocacy tools including social media.
  • Grow and strengthen their international networks of colleagues and supporters.
  • That the greater passenger community onboard Peace Boat voyages becomes more aware of and engaged with SDGs advocacy through their interactions with program participants.

Scholarships

Achieving the SDGs requires mobilization of young people through advocacy, entrepreneurship, volunteering, research, education and other endeavors. Toward this end, Peace Boat US offers a limited number of full and partial scholarships based on a combined need and merit basis, covering transportation between their homes and ports of embarkation and disembarkation with Peace Boat, onboard accommodation and meals, and port programs. Scholarships are available to young activists and scholars, age 18-30, currently engaged in SDG-related initiatives. See specific program pages for more details and application.

Upcoming Programs

Due to COVID-19, all future in-person programs are pending restart of Peace Boat voyages. Next anticipated program will take place in summer 2021. Details will be announced as soon as possible.

Past Program Reports

Peace Education and the UN SDGs in South America + Youth for the SDGs Scholarship (PDF)
February 18-28, 2019 – Ushuaia, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile

Peace Education and the Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America (PDF)
July 20 – August 3, 2018 (98th Voyage)

Sailing for Sustainability in Asia (PDF)
April 2 – 20, 2018 (97th Voyage)

Peace Education and the Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America (PDF)
June 20 – July 3, 2017 (94th Voyage)

Peace Education and the Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America (PDF)
June 24 – July 5, 2016 (91st Voyage)

Sailing 4 Social Innovation (online report)
October 24 – 29, 2015 (88th Voyage)

Messages from Past Participants

Sara Van Eerde, United States. “Global Kids” NYC-based organization
“Peace Boat has given me learning experiences the size of the ocean that we called home for 10 days. Every single person shared their knowledge about climate change and how we can collaborate together to think of solutions. Action is so important, and there are a mosaic of ways every single person can fight for our planet and the equality of every living being on it.”

Hansier Rodriguez, US & Dominican Republic. Student at Rutgers University
“I am beyond grateful for this life-changing experience. I embarked the Peace Boat ship with immense excitement to learn and make every minute count, and by the time I disembarked, not only had I brought back with me the amazing bonds and memories, but also an awakening affirmation that this is the kind of work I want to dedicate myself to in the future.

Silvia Cantú Bautista, Mexico. Photographer and Designer
“These past two weeks, I was part of the ‘Youth for the UN SDGs’ ambassador program on Peace Boat’s 100th Global Voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Valparaíso, Chile. All of the youth scholars were the most joyful and inspiring dream team to work with onboard. While on the ship, I was able to share a little bit about my work and my passions, and how they related to the 2030 goals for Climate Action and Life Below Water. Talking to hundreds of people about the value of scuba diving, conservation photography, and environmental policy was like a dream come true for me. Speaking at the Youth Forum at the United Nations CEPAL headquarters in Santiago was also a life changing experience that has given me even more impulse to keep working in the field of environmental conservation and peace education.”