It’s the 31st anniversary of International Development Week
, and this year we’re celebrating the steps we’re taking together to fulfill the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
What are the SDGs, you ask? Back in 2015, all the UN member states (Canada’s been a member since 1945), adopted the 17 SDGs
as “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.”
This blueprint includes things like zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, gender equality and affordable clean energy. Oh, and no big deal, we gave ourselves a deadline of 2030 to achieve these goals – for all of us, whether you’re in Timberlea, Nova Scotia, or Timbuktu, northern Mali.
With only 8 years left ‘til 2030, some people will say we’ve set ourselves an unattainable goal. But we say we can achieve all 17 if we go for the goals together.
Here are just four of the many ways we’re working to achieve the SDGs, with your help:
SDG 1 – No poverty
Photo: Ben Adams
Fact: Every 60 seconds a family receives the tools to overcome poverty – families like Estela’s.
Estela lives in Piedecuesta, Colombia, across the border from Venezuela, with her husband and two children. Thanks to the “Del sueño a la realidad” sponsorship program, which translates to “From dream to reality”, Estela’s been able to participate in entrepreneurship workshops and a painting course so she can earn an income while working from home with her children.
In addition, her children have benefitted from health, nutrition and hygiene guidance with the support of local World Vision staff and volunteers in Colombia.
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
Photo: Tigana Chileshe
Fact: Every 60 seconds, a hungry child is fed – children like nine-year-old Maggie.
“I love playing with my friends, but when I am hungry it’s hard to play because I feel weak and my abdomen hurts. Every time we have not had a meal; I feel that way,” says Maggie.
She lives in a small community in the Kazungula district of southern Zambia with her grandmother, Josephine. Josephine is a farmer, and at 69-years-old, she had hoped to harvest 30 50-kilogram bags of grain to eat and sell. Because of erratic rainfall and eventually a severe drought, she lost everything.
World Vision Zambia responded with life-saving food aid in the short term and provided seeds to replant so that families like Maggie and Josephine’s can get back on their feet, for the long term.
SDG 4 – Quality education
Photo: Ratha Virak Tepy, Sokhen Sun
Fact: Because of our community-focused solutions, for every child you help, four more children benefit too – like 12-year-old Makara and his neighbourhood friends.
“When I read a lot, I start to understand things better, know more vocabulary and how to spell them. I am also happy that I do not have to go to school and borrow books,” says grade six student Makara.
Schools have been closed in Cambodia due to COVID-19 restrictions, including the primary school Makara attends.
To enhance the reading habits and study capabilities of students, especially those who lack educational materials, World Vision’s Mobile Library partnered with 532 schools in 30 districts across 9 provinces in Cambodia. Since, 1.1 million children in the country have benefitted, with the help of librarians and 1,540 Community Reading Facilitators from 744 reading camps.
Makara proudly shares that he no longer just spends his time playing around outside. He now reads to his neighbours and his aunt, who can’t read.
SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation
Photo: Vasilika Bargjo
Fact: World Vision is reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds – like Alexandra, a resident in the Kakarriq Village of Lezha in Albania.
“After World Vision helped us improve the function of our water systems, the whole village no longer has water problems. Water in our country is vital to irrigate the sown lands. We are very happy,” says Alexandra.
World Vision began immediate interventions in Lezha in 2007, where water supply and sewage were identified among areas that directly affected child and community well-being. Today, thousands of inhabitants have benefited from improved access to water and rehabilitated water systems across several villages.
These are just a few of the steps we’re taking to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We have a long road ahead, but together, we can build a better world for all of us.