People living in rural areas can be the best guardians of endangered species and precious natural resources, said speakers at the first International Games and Toys Seminar held in Tehran.
When people are sensitized to best practices through grass-roots and community-based organizations, their awareness can yield further benefits, such as sustainable income generation for local communities. This, in turn, can create even greater ownership and attachment between the members of the community and a project’s activities.
Speaking at the seminar, Mr. Hajiyanzadeh, General Manager at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults highlighted the importance of integrating environmental messages with children activities.
“Children are the future decision makers and leaders of this country and it is important that we educate them from young age. It is necessary to have joint work with GEF/SGP UNDP, since environment is one of our priorities,” said Mr. Hajiyanzadeh.
One way of achieving this goal is to encourage the use of traditional toys as well as to promote the construction of more environmentally friendly playgrounds, through the use of wind towers, water storage reservoirs, and courtyards, he said. Using such methods and training children about the value of protecting the environment can result in great change.
Therefore, UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) supports local communities and promotes the idea of youth serving as agents of change and local development.
The International Games and Toys seminar on 10-11 June was held in collaboration with the Chaharbagh Group, Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (Kanoon), and UNDP GEF SGP. The two-day event showcased toys and hands-on educational tools produced by SGP grantees among others. Round tables were also organized to discuss different ways to promote toys and other educational tools.
Charbagh Group was the main organizer as the GEF SGP/ UNDP grantee. The theme of the event was “New approaches to traditional games and toys.”
Also speaking at the event was Ms. Laleh Daraie, SGP National Coordinator who addressed the GEF/SGP UNDP environmental hands-on training tools.
Ms. Daraie talked about the need to protect Iran’s rich biodiversity using local handicrafts and handmade cloth toys such as the Hawksbill Turtles and the Asiatic Cheetah.
SGP grantees who attended the exhibition included:
- Kanoone Ashnayie ba Hayate Vahsh
- Moassese Hafezane Tabiyate Paydare
- Jastar Bazi va Tarahi Asbab Bazi
- Moassese Avaye Tabiyat Paydar
- Moassese Naghshe Olgooye Sarzamin