TURKEY

Bringing Smiles to Children with the “Mission Earth Online Lesson”

Jan, 2022

Sumitomo Corporation Turkey arranged a program called “Mission Earth”, a private version of the United Nations’ “World’s Largest Lesson” project.

Think about Future of the Earth

The World’s Largest Lesson is a United Nations project which aims to teach children about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and sustainability. There are many open-source materials available on the official website. Using this project as a reference, Sumitomo Corporation Turkey created "Mission Earth," a curriculum to teach middle school students about sustainability.
Initially, face-to-face classes were planned, but when the pandemic struck, it became unable to carry out. We began looking into online lessons, and we quickly realized that children from impoverished households without access to computers or smart devices would be left behind. Sadly, in our country, we face inequality in education, which leads to social inequality. In addition to our original goal of helping children understand the SDGs, we added the goal of ensuring that children from underprivileged backgrounds would not be left behind in online learning. We allocated a portion of our original budget to purchase smart tablets for children and donated them to an NPO named the Aegean Modern Education Foundation so that children from poor families can take online classes.

Members of SC Turkey and children

What this program brought about

In 2021, a total of 213 children enrolled in the project and 158 of them graduated by attending the classes. Children participated in all activities enthusiastically, discussing various issues and problems they see around themselves, telling what they do about them in their daily life or providing solution ideas. The assessment and evaluation report of the project mentions the positive impact on children in creating awareness about sustainability and in gaining basic knowledge about SDGs. Additionally, we have donated 44 tablets to families of participating children in need, so that they can follow their online classes and other extracurricular activities provided by the NPO in the future too.

21 volunteers from SCTK (about 50% of the office) participated in the project, giving 150 man/hours of class in 15 groups. Volunteers commented that their knowledge on SDGs also increased while conducting lessons with children. Additionally, we have observed that synergy between our colleagues were boosted, as people from different departments had the chance to work together for a cause.

They were very eager to discuss the problems in the world around them!

Extending the region of our Activities

Once the pandemic is under control, we will consider switching to hybrid online and face-to-face lessons. Although meeting the children directly at their schools has more impact, we also feel that we can reach further and wider with online lessons.
Also, the project is planned to be adopted by other offices in the SC Middle East and Africa region. From the beginning, we did our best to create a project that would be easy to implement in different regions.