There's a lot to be proud of, being a member of Scouts Canada, not the least of which is what we contribute around the world. Recently in the Madagascar 2012 Blog, we talked about the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. Did you know that Scouts Canada has helped to achieve one of these goals? It's true! And we all had a hand in making is possible, from the brown-tailed Beaver Scout to the dedicated Gilwellians, and everyone who generously supports the project.
In 2009, when the Madagascar project had to be postponed, funds raised for the project were forwarded to the village of Ambato Boeni by the projetc youth to pay for diggin and constructing fresh water wells. This was one of the priorities of the community, and was deemed to be the most pressing when the project was postponed. Around 3000 children around the world die each day from diarrheal diseases caused by drinking contaminated water. This was one of the major causes of death among youth in Ambato Boeni. However, since 2009, not a single child has died because of contaminated water and we have all helped to achieve this.
But it gets better (you may ask how it could possibly get better than that, but it does!) Lack of fresh water is a leading cause of absolute poverty in the developing world. Without clean water, people become sick and are unable to work, and must use their limited resources on health care and medicine, but, through the contributions of the Madagascar project and many of the past community development projects Scouts Canada has conducted through the Canadian Scout Brotherhood Fund, the United Nations recently declared that the world has achieved Millennium Development Goal #1: to cut in half the proportion of people around the world who live in absolute poverty.
What could we possibly do to top that achievement? How about achieving Millennium Development Goals #2 and #3, making primary education available to all and improving gender equality? We know we can do it, but only when we all work together. Keep your eye on our blog for more information about how we plan to target not one goal, but two!
Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations said it best, "The successful efforts to provide greater access to drinking water are a testament to all who see the Millennium Development Goals not as a dream, but as a vital tool for improving the lives of millions."