The main aim of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Champions Programme is to raise public awareness of the goals and to illustrate practical ways in which organisations and individuals can contribute to achieving the SDGs, using Champion organisations’ practices as examples.

The SDGs Champions Programme was established in 2019 by the SDG Unit in the Department of Communication, Climate Action, and Environment. There are twelve Champions in total, including the USI.

What does USI do to promote the SDGs?
USI aims to advocate for all 17 Goals, but it mainly focuses on Goals three, four, five, seven and ten. There Goals are…

SDG 3: Ensuring Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being For All At All Ages
The USI runs and hosts numerous educational campaigns and events which promote access to sexual and reproductive health care and information. Also along with our partners, the USI provides vital information on how to maintain positive mental health.

SDG 4: Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All

USI’s aim is to put the student voice at the centre of all decisions made about education at both national and local levels. The union runs an annual Students With Disabilities Conference and partners with the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP), which hosts several training events for students.

SDG 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls

Through programmes such as Women in Leadership, the USI administers workshops and training events to equip women with the tools and skills needed to take on leadership roles. The USI also works closely with the National Women’s Council of Ireland on various campaigns in relation to violence and harassment against women, such as #ItStopsNow.

SDG 7: Clean and Affordable Energy

USI is part of the ‘SAVES 2’ project, also known as ‘Switch off’. Together with seven country partners we educate students on how they can save energy, prevent fuel poverty and help tackle climate change. You can learn more by following the project on Instagram at @switchoff.ie.

SDG 10: Reduce Inequalities Within and Among Countries

USI works to equip LGBTQ+ students with knowledge and skills to tackle discrimination through various activities, most notable the union’s Pink Training – the largest training event of its kind in Europe.