SIMPLE & GREAT IDEAS TO LIVE THE MDGs

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Wear your words. Many of us wear T-shirts that advertise brand names. Why not try something different and wear one that conveys a positive social message? Perhaps “Stop HIV/AIDS” or “We are all one human race.” Wear it, live it, and speak out with style. (Millennium Development #6: Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases.) Maybe sell these T-shirts as a fund raising campaign.

Celebrate motherhood around the world. Next Mother’s Day, surprise your mom with a fair-trade gift. Many typical gifts, including chocolate, coffee, and flowers often come from regions where women are exploited in the fields or factories. When you buy fair trade your mom will know you care – not only about her, but about mothers around the world. (Millennium Development Goal #5: Improve maternal health.). Maybe organize a sale at your club meeting for such products as a fund raising idea.

Adopt a Village. Come together with others in your workplace, faith group, or school to adopt a community and build a school overseas. For as little as $5,000, you can build a classroom and transform the lives of children for generations to come. Through lions in developing countries you can even help in the construction process. (Millennium Development Goal #2: Achieve universal primary education.)

Use a cup that shows you care. Purchase an environmentally friendly, reusable coffee mug. Sure it’s a small action, but your love affair with fair-trade organic Arabica could save 365 disposable cups a year from being thrown in the garbage. (Millennium Development Goal #7: Ensure environmental sustainability.)

Step up against AIDS. Put on your running shoes and get moving! Participating in a charity marathon or walkathon is a great way to meet new people, get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other causes, and improve your health all at the same time! (Millennium Development Goal #6: Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases.)

Try a taste of something different. Host a “taste of the nations” dinner party for your neighbors in which you cook different recipes from around the world. Accept $10-$15 donations on behalf of a charity that feeds the hungry. Provide your guests with printed information about this charity at the door, and set up a babysitting service so everyone can come. (Millennium Development Goal #1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.)

Make the 0.7 percent commitment. If we are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the world’s wealthy countries will need to honor their promises to devote 0.7 percent of their gross national income to development assistance for things like poverty reduction. Exactly how much is 0.7 percent? Find out by making a commitment of your own. For one month, donate 0.7 percent of your paycheck to a good cause. (Millennium Development Goal #8: Develop a global partnership for development.)

Give a gift that keeps on giving. Next time you find yourself hunting for a birthday gift for that special someone, make a donation to an international charity in his or her name. Every year, more than 10,000 children never reach the age of five – your gift may help a child reach his or her next birthday. Donate to LCIF. (Millennium Development Goal #4: Reduce child morality.)

Know your clothes. Set aside some time to look through your closet. Do you know how your clothes are made? Do the brands you buy help create sustainable incomes or trap underpaid workers in a cycle of poverty? When you decide to buy something new, make responsible choices. Me to We: Responsible Style empowers you with ethical options at www.metowestyle.com. (Millennium Development Goal #8: Develop a global partnership for development.)

Host a movie night with a message: Raise awareness about an issue effecting our global community by gathering family or friends or in a lions club to watch a movie about a world issue. When the movie ends, talk about it. For the adventurous, being food and music from that part of the world. The list of movies is endless, but here are a few to get you started: City of Joy, Salaam Bombay, Hotel Rwanda, The Constant Gardener. (Millennium Development Goal #8: Develop a global partnership for development.)

Write for rights. Around the world, women’s rights are violated every day. In some places, including North America, women are paid less than men for doing the same work, or are victims of domestic violence. Research an issue that affects women, then write a letter to a political leader asking for urgent action. (Millennium Development Goal #3: Promote gender equality and empower women.)

THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

On the eve of the new millennium, world leaders came together to establish development goals to help lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. With a focus on eight specific goals and four important themes – poverty, health, education, and sustainable development – the Millennium Development Goals are targets that countries in the United Nations have promised to achieve by 2015.
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
– Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day.
– Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education
– Ensure that all children complete primary schooling.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
– Work toward equality in education, employment, and political decision-making.
4. Reduce child morality
– Reduce the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds.
5. Improve maternal health
– Reduce the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
– Stop and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
– Practice sustainable development and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
– Reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and achieve significant improvement in the lives of slum dwellers.
8. Develop a global partnership for development
– Ensure developed countries support developing countries through aid, trade, and debt relief.
– Enhance developing countries’ access to technology, medicine and youth employment opportunities.


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