In 2000, the United Nations set eight Millennium Development Goals, each of which aims to eliminate poverty and improve the general welfare of the global community. Nations around the world agreed to work toward targets like eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, reducing child mortality, promoting gender equality, combating diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, improving maternal health and providing universal education. The MDGs are set to end in 2015, and at this time, countries are giving input for the post-2015 U.N. agenda. ChildFund is joining its sister organizations in the ChildFund Alliance to call for a particular, child-focused target to be prioritized among the world's post-2015 goals.
These objectives focus on the many different causes and accompanying effects of extreme poverty, but they require a comprehensive effort that attempts to fight the very roots of generational poverty.
Once the Millennium Development Goals were set, organizations like the United Nations Development Program and the Earth Institute at Columbia University teamed up to launch the Millennium Villages Project in 20 countries across Africa. This initiative focuses on improving the quality of life in individual villages and communities with a holistic approach, much like ChildFund uses.
In each location, the project strives to empower local children and families with the knowledge and resources they need for long-term, sustainable success. It accomplishes this by training health care workers, diversifying food production and farming techniques, and expanding the use of solar electricity, among other strategies.
Focusing on one village a time allows the project to ensure that all of the children and families in the area are receiving the tools they need. Although the process is slow, it has proven successful. From 2006 to 2008, the first two years of the initiative, the Millennium Villages Project managed to increase crop yield in its locations by between 85 and 350 percent while also decreasing cases of malaria by more than half, according to a report from the Overseas Development Institute.
The Millennium Villages Project is doing great work in Africa, and many of its goals are similar to those of ChildFund. We offer assistance to children and families in 30 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, working with local partner organizations to provide basic needs like food, clean water and health care, as well as early childhood development programs, education support, skills training for parents and youth, and disaster preparedness training in risk-prone communities.
One way you can make a difference is by choosing to sponsor a child in need. For just $28 per month, you can help provide a child with food, clean water, health care and educational opportunities that they can use to become healthy and independent adults. Emerging from generational poverty is a tough battle, but together we can positively impact the lives of children around the world and give them the chance to succeed.