Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The #GlobalGoals Are Adding to my To-Do List

I'm a big fan of to-do lists. Around my house, my kids often hear me say, "If it's not on the list, it doesn't get done." I'm not often fond of people adding new items to my existing list, but this week saw an exceptional exception to that rule as the UN adopted the Global Goals for Sustainable Development!

You see, for the entire time that I've been an anti-poverty activist, the world has been working on reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) by 2015. The MDG's were 8 goals that were meant to bring us 1/2 way to the end of extreme poverty by the year 2015. We made remarkable progress. 

We cut the number of people living on less than $1 a day in half. Maternal mortality fell by 45%. Today, 17,000 fewer children die every day now than in 1990. Enrollment in primary education in developing regions has reached 90%. Since 1990, 2.3 billion people gained access to drinking water!

That's all great news, but we didn't reach all the MDG's and we have so much more work to do. 
1 in 9 people still go to sleep hungry, 6 million children die before their fifth birthday every year, and 2.5 billion people don't even have access to basic toilets. We can do better than that. 
So, as we say goodbye to that list, I celebrate that we have a new, bolder set of 17 Global Goals. Check them out in the graphic below!
In addition to the goals directly related to poverty, we now have aspirations to help us address the health of our planet and justice for all. The 17 goals will help us achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years:
1. End Extreme Poverty
2. Fight Inequality and Injustice
3. Fix Climate Change

You can probably guess that as the "Anti-Poverty Mom," I'm pretty psyched about that "End Extreme Poverty" part. But, I'm really excited about the whole thing because they are so interrelated. Inequality and injustice are major causes of the cycle of poverty that keeps families impoverished for generations. Also - seeing as how we only have one planet - lifting people out of poverty can't have any lasting effects if we are destroying the Earth.

If EVERY family in the world teaches their children about these goals, we will help our kids become the generation that changed the world! 

What do you, as a parent, need to tell your kids about the Global Goals? First, sit down and educate yourselves by watching this 6 minute video called "The World's Largest Lesson." It will help your kids understand that it's our moral obligation as global citizens taking up space on this Earth to pitch in and help.

If you are a parent, check out this resource for parents. If you are a teacher, here is a resource for teachers complete with ready made lesson plans.

Next, put the Global Goals your personal to-do list as well! Pick one...or two...or three goals and take on what you want to change in the world. It's hard for me to choose favorite children or favorite goals, but the goals I feel the most called to work on are:

#1 End Poverty
#2 End Hunger
#3 Good Health and Well Being
#4 Quality Education 
#14 Life Below Water 

I pledge myself to work on these 5 and I am so thankful that other people are coming on board who will be moved to work on the others, too! There are more than enough of us to save our planet and all the people in it if we all pitch in and work together. 

What is(are) your favorite Global Goal(s)? Come on and #TellEveryone ! You can start by leaving yours in the comments below...