I hope you’ve enjoyed our blog series for #GlobalGoals week and been inspired by the diverse work of Viva and our partner networks.
During this series we have heard about our work focusing on:
- Health and wellbeing in Zimbabwe and Uganda to support children and families struggling with HIV/Aids through peer educators and Let your Light Shine, which support families and reduce stigmatisation as well as campaigning for stronger measures to be taken by the government.
- Education in Uganda, where girls are being encouraged to return to school, teachers are being trained to provide more inclusive education, and facilities are being updated to provide better access for girls in puberty and wheelchair users.
- Gender equality in India, where advocacy groups are promoting gender equality and raising awareness of the needs of girls in the community and encouraging girls to Dare to be Different.
- Collaboration in cities worldwide, where Viva is building and strengthening partnerships between local organisations to work better together to create city-wide responses to issues.
These blogs have covered a small selection of networks and programmes which are working to improve the lives of people in their cities. Across Viva’s partner networks in 22 countries the work is equally inspiring. For example, we are combatting violence against children in Latin America and raising aspirations of vulnerable children in the UK. You can read a full summary of our work in our Annual Review which will be published next week – so keep a look out.
We have joined many others around the world in raising awareness of the Global Goals this week. The week was chosen as it coincides with the General Assembly, a week where world leaders come together and agree on resolutions and declarations which aim to make the world a safer, healthier place. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were created this time last year to encourage governments, organisations and people to focus their efforts to achieve targets of reducing inequality, discrimination, violence and environmental destruction.
Whilst it is vital to highlight these issues and important for leaders to have goals to work towards, one cannot expect too much from the goals themselves. If you consider the Millennium Development Goals, in many areas they fell well short of their targets. For example, whilst they aimed for boys and girls alike to complete a full course of primary schooling, although more children do, it is still not a reality that all children receive this. The UN evaluation report gave a positive spin, but it is impossible to tell how much can the goals themselves are the main driver behind improvements highlighted. There are multiple movements in progress alongside these goals, and trends of economic growth in countries such as India and China can also be reasons behind some improvements.
However, these goals are valuable because of the conversations they prompt, and the motivation they will hopefully give to governments to provide funding for projects which work towards the achievement of these goals. Yet the vision of the goals cannot be described as new or radical, and donors have committed to these causes in the past. Nevertheless, the SDGs are a way of society urging key players to honour their commitments, and give a degree of accountability and a heightened sense of global responsibility.
The fact remains that we must all work together in order to end poverty, improve equality, and ensure that all people live in peace with a good quality of life and free from fear. This can only be achieved if we all pull together – which is what Viva is all about!
What can you do?
If you feel called to action, there are many ways that you can get involved in some of the exciting work being done by so many worldwide. Volunteering, campaigning, writing, donating and supporting people close to you all play their part in this picture. Here is a list of opportunities to play your part at Viva:
- Take on a sponsored challenge to raise money for our work
- Volunteer to help us at one-off events and on our awareness-raising stalls
- Invite us to speak at your school, church, workplace
- Hold a fundraising event for us (this could be a pop-up charity shop, Christmas party, bake sale…)
- Donate directly to our work online here
If you have any questions about any of the topics covered in our blogs, or how you can get involved, please feel free to email email@example.com or phone our office on 01865 811660.