Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Contributing to the United Nations

In 2000, the United Nations identified eight Millennium Development Goals, with the ultimate objective of cutting in half the amount of poverty in the world by 2015.  This is a monumental task, but did you know that Scouts Canada has been working on helping to achieve these goals through the Canadian Scout Brotherhood Fund, and projects like Madagascar 2012?

The MDGs are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, work towards gender equality, improvie maternal health, decrease infant mortality, reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and stop malaria, pursue environmental sustainability, and build a global partnership for development. 

Madagascar 2012 is addressing not just one of these goals, but is actually touching on SIX of them!  The focus of course is on universal primary education, but breaking the cycle of poverty is impossible without working towards more than one of these goals at a time.

Primary education brings opportunity.  Opportunities for jobs, for further education, and for change.  Not only that, but this school facility will be able to educate girls from around the region, helping to promote gender equality in an area where girls traditionally spend their days fetching water, sometimes walking for hours to do so.  This is also where the wells that were dug in 2009 come in, alleviating the burden placed on the girls of Ambato Boeni by bringing the water closer to them.  This clean water is a lifeline, improving sanitation in an area of the village where the only source of water was the contaminated Betsiboka River.  This improves community health, which extends to maternal health and decreasing infant mortality.  Sanitation is key to this and all of these goals contribute to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

There is one other MDG that we’re all working on, and this could prove to have the longest lasting effect: building a global partnership for development. This is where everyone from Beaver Scouts to Members of Parliament come in.  We all need to work together to achieve these goals, not just here in Canada, but around the world.  Even achieving the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations Starts with Scouts.

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