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Sesame Street
Sesame Street uses its influence to improve global health through its unwavering support of Youth Day and Global Goals — both of which are recognized by the United Nations — to encourage young children to act as voices of change.

Youth Day 

Youth Day is celebrated on August 12, and this year’s theme is centered around the eradication of poverty and achieving sustainable consumption and production. Sustainable consumption means meeting Earth’s present and future needs by simply being aware of everyday actions that affect the planet and learning to minimize waste and pollution.

The beloved children’s show shared the following important message on Facebook: “With the help of our friends around the world, we hope children continue to be inspired and empowered to be the change they deserve!”

Iconic Sesame Street characters such as Big Bird and Elmo are pictured carrying signs that promote multiple Sustainable Development Goals like quality education, clean water, and sanitation.

Sesame Street and Sustainability 

The U.N.’s list of Sustainable Development Goals comprises 17 other objectives including no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being. According to the U.N., these plans to transform the world can be met with the collective efforts of government authorities and regular individuals alike.

Sesame Workshop’s shows use media outlets for the greater good in more than 150 countries. Since it first aired in 1969, Sesame Street has aimed to give disadvantaged children equal opportunities through numerous educational outreach programs. Additionally, Muppet characters are created to address specific and relevant concerns.

One such character is Khokha — lead Muppet of Sesame Street coproduction Alam Simsim — is a model for girls’ education in Egypt. Another Muppet, Kami, is an HIV-positive Muppet living in South Africa. She destigmatizes HIV/AIDS by telling children that it is okay to touch someone affected by the disease.

With everyone working together, the reality of a brighter future is more than attainable. Sesame Street is drastically improving global health by getting involved and spreading the word about the need to care for the planet and its people.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Flickr

The_Global_Partnership_for_Education2015 has been an active year for global education. The fourth Global Goal in the new Global Goals for 2030 focuses on education. But according to Results, The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is the only international partnership exclusively dedicated to achieving education for all.

The Global Partnership for Education had five major accomplishments over the course of 2015.

1. GPE welcomed Bangladesh and the Republic of Congo as new partners.

Bangladesh became the 60th developing partner of the GPE. As a GPE member country, Bangladesh is now eligible for a Program Implementation Grant worth $100 million dollars over the course of three years. The Congo is the 61st developing country partner of GPE. The GPE is working with the Congo to give all children a basic ten-year education.

2. GPE calculated that it takes only $1.18 to pay for a day of primary to secondary education for a child in a developing country.

This calculation comes from The Education for All Global Monitoring Report and IMF figures for historical US inflation. According to GPE, 88 percent of $1.18 will be provided by developing countries themselves, making the international funding gap just 14 cents a day per child.

3. GPE received new funding from Canada.

Canada decided to double their contribution to the GPE. They agreed to donate $98 million dollars during the 2015-2018 replenishment period. More than half of GPE’s financing to countries in 2014 went to conflict-affected countries.

4. GPE allocated more than $245 million in grants and distributed more than $400 million.

GPE approved $245 million in grants fro Bangladesh, Mozambique, Nepal and Rwanda. It plans to use this money to provide imperative funding and momentum toward quality education for children.

5. GPE adopted a new strategy for the next five years.

The new strategic plan sets out contributions that GPE will make to focus on the Global Goal for education. The new results framework will be used to measure achievements and ensure accountability for results. GPE is invested in delivering the Global Goal of quality education for all.

GPE hopes to continue to make a positive impact in global education and to reach the global education goal. Their new strategy for 2016 identifies their biggest challenges to achieving quality education for children around the world.

Jordan Connell

Sources: Global Partnership for Education, Results
Photo: Global Partnership for Education

Reduce Climate_Change_and_PovertyOn December 5, officials from 195 different countries agreed on a proposal to reduce global carbon emissions in an effort to reduce climate change and poverty worldwide.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has released the drafted agreement that addresses issues relating to reducing climate change and poverty such as food security, deforestation and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

There are three global goals listed in the draft agreement, the first being to “maintain global average temperatures short of a two degrees Celsius increase over pre-industrial global temperatures.”

According to the National Centers for Environment Information (NOAA), every state in the U.S. had above-average fall temperatures during September and November of last year. The average global temperature during the month of October was the highest ever recorded.

The second goal of the climate change draft proposes increasing a nation’s ability to adapt to resulting climate change and respond effectively. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that climate change is a threat to economic growth in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

A World Bank report finds that globally, poor people are at a high risk for climate-related disasters, so it is important for communities to develop early warning systems. Being prepared for a catastrophe, like flooding or crop damage due to heat, can save resources and help to counter the effects of climate change on the economy.

The third global goal of the UNFCCC climate change draft suggests creating sustainable development strategies in order to create climate-resilient communities with minimized greenhouse gas emission to reduce poverty rates.

The climate change draft to reduce poverty also includes the following proposal: “Developed countries shall provide developing countries with long-term, scaled-up, predictable, new and additional finance, technology and capability-building.”

According to the World Bank, climate change can put 100 million more people into poverty by the year 2030. John Roome, Senior Director for Climate Change at the World Bank Group, recognizes the importance of creating sustainable development strategies to reduce climate change and poverty.

He states, “We have the ability to end extreme poverty even in the face of climate change, but to succeed, climate considerations will need to be integrated into development work. And we will need to act fast, because as climate impacts increase, so will the difficulty and cost of eradicating poverty.”

Kelsey Lay

Sources: CNN, National Centers for Environment Information, NPR, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Photo: UN

sustainable_development_goalsSave the Children, an organization which stands by the belief that “every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation,” has asked world leaders to leave no child behind with the coming of the 70th United Nations Global Assembly (UNGA) recently held in New York on Sept. 25.

Over the next 15 years, the agency believes that as many as 6,500 lives per day could be saved, totaling 35 million globally over this time span alone. This could be achieved through the implementation of stronger healthcare systems, the provision of free healthcare to mothers and children as well as increasing the number of medically trained workers to aid in caring for sick children.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in 2000, offer 17 new initiatives to be met by 2030 — these include ending extreme poverty, providing a better education and healthcare experience, ending violence against children and once and for all tackling malnutrition and preventable child deaths.

World leaders believe now is the time to act due to the “significant and historic window of opportunity” to mobilize and drive these changes forward. The SDGS offer a chance for the UN to pick up where it left off with the MDGs, and end the evident inequalities that still exist.

Today, accomplishments vary across places, with some success but glaring inequalities seen within countries, like the 2 million newborns dying within their first week of life every year or India’s exclusive treatment of diseases.

“The country’s narrow focus on specific diseases, such as HIV, TB and malaria, and population groups, has also created silos that have overlooked the broader needs of health systems,” explains Save the Children.

Even with significant progress made in achieving global goals for education and the number of children out of school falling by almost half since 2000, the MDG of achieving universal primary education has still not been met.

Abongile Sipondo, head of advocacy at Save the Children South Africa, warns that the poorest children who do not receive a primary school education are the most vulnerable — reaching adulthood without the ability to read, write or count, which has a severe impact on their futures.

“Every child has the right to go to school, and South Africa has made significant progress in ensuring that children are attending, with 97 percent of children now registered, but whilst all of the richest children are finishing primary school, 15 percent of the poorest children do not even complete their primary education,” Sipondo says.

Currently, Save the Children states that 30 million people have pledged their support for Action 2015, which included tens of thousands of people worldwide engaging in mass rallies the night before the SDGs were signed.

Time is of the essence for Action 2015, a citizens’ movement which collaborates with “2,000 organizations, networks and coalitions from over 150 countries united by the belief that 2015 is a critical year for progress in the fight against climate change, poverty and inequality,” states Save the Children.

For more information on how to become involved and help in the quest to end inequality, check out Action 2015’s website.

Nikki Schaffer

Sources: Save the Children, Action 2015
Photo: Flickr

world_largest_lesson
The Global Goals for Sustainable Development will launch on September 25, 2015, when 193 world leaders unite in New York City to pledge their commitment to the 17 initiatives that seek to achieve three major goals by 2030: end extreme global poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change.

The more awareness of the Global Goals, the better. If more people understand the mission of the goals, more change is likely to occur in the next 30 years.

That’s why the Global Goals have partnered with UNICEF to launch “World’s Largest Lesson,” a program designed to teach children the reality of poverty, the importance of the goals and the impact that they can have on the future.

The kids of today are the future of tomorrow; they have the potential to become the generation that changes the world and ends extreme poverty. However, it is imperative that they first understand the Global Goals. “World’s Largest Lesson” is an opportunity to promote global citizenship in schools around the world.

Together, UNICEF and the Global Goals have created a program to teach children about the three major components of the goals.

The “World’s Largest Lesson” includes several videos and lesson plans accessible to teachers around the world. It also encourages teachers to spend the week following Sept. 25 teaching their students about the Global Goals through a wide variety of subjects.

Positive change can be enforced by anyone, anywhere, regardless of age. “World’s Largest Lesson” believes that children are capable of making a difference and seeks to inspire young people to take action. Through lessons in geography, sustainability, technology and citizenship, teachers can break down the Global Goals and foster citizenship in their students.

The Global Goals will change the world and provide new life for the impoverished. “The World’s Largest Lesson” will ensure that children around the world are aware of current and future events, and inspire them to build a just and sustainable world.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: TES 1, TES 2
Photo: British Council

Arsenal_Football_Club
Arsenal Football Club has teamed up with Save The Children to support efforts to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change with the #DizzyGoals Challenge.

In a video sanctioned by action/2015, another organization dedicated to these goals, two players, one coach and one mascot participated in the challenge. The athletes can be seen putting their hand on a soccer ball and running around it in a circle—similar to the dizzy bat game. Once each player completed several circles, they were to take a shot at a goal.

Each of the soccer players fell in the grass on the soccer field, making the video and challenge comical and fun-filled. Joining soccer and charity together, Save the Children and Arsenal have worked together since 2011, raising more than one million euros for the charity’s important goals.

The #DizzyGoals Challenge was created to promote awareness for the action/2015 goals and campaign, Global Goals. All organizations ask that participants share their dizzy goal in a video on social networking sites.

The power of social networks is a large part of the Global Goals campaign. Several organizations, including Save the Children and action/2015, have joined together to help end extreme and unsafe circumstances around the world. Global Goals is one campaign that asks followers to upload videos and pictures to their social media profiles.

The objective of these organizations is to raise as much awareness as possible so that these goals can be met this year. The Global Goals website said that these goals will only be accomplished if all people are clued in.

“If the goals are going to work, everyone needs to know about them. You can’t convince world leaders to do what needs to be done if you don’t know what you’re convincing them to do. If the goals are famous, they won’t be forgotten,” the website said.

Global Goals also gave motivating advice to readers and philanthropists about change and humanitarian aspirations.
“We can be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality and the last generation to be threatened by climate change,” Global Goals said.

In accordance with this notion, other athletes have stepped up to promote this cause. Gareth Bale, a professional soccer player, posted his #DizzyGoals video on Twitter. The athlete shared this tweet with his followers: “Quality time with my mates filming my #DizzyGoals for @TheGlobalGoals.”

Usain St. Leo Bolt, a famous Olympian, also shared a video of him doing the challenge on Twitter. The runner can be seen laughing in the video, promoting the challenges ultimate goal—to make people smile.

Many more athletes in all levels of play have participated in this challenge, showing that sports is one way to bring people together and to promote change.

Global Goals said that this month, Sept. 25, 193 world leaders will meet to commit to change the world by 2030. They want to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change and fix inequality and injustice to make the world a better place.

To learn more about this important cause, visit globalgoals.org. To view #DizzyGoals challenges, search the hashtag.

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: Global Goals, Look to the Stars, Twitter 1, Twitter 2
Photo: Pixabay

global_goals
Trending hashtags can sometimes be confusing and pointless. Usually, hashtags accompany a picture on Instagram or a tweet on Twitter and sometimes they are associated with different challenges. But, every once in a while, a hashtag will emerge and correlate with a worthy cause, and using it on social media will raise awareness for that cause.

The hashtag, #DizzyGoals, is raising awareness for The Global Goals one video at a time. #DizzyGoals requires a person to spin as quickly as possible around a soccer ball 13 times and then attempt a penalty shot. Many professional soccer players have accepted the challenge, including Gareth Bale of Real Madrid, whose video featured some of his friends and teammates.

Less than a month away, the Global Goals launch on September 25 in New York City with 193 world leaders in attendance, and the campaign is doing everything in its power to raise international awareness and support of the goals. The Global Goals are dedicated to ending global poverty, fighting injustice and correcting climate change through a set of 17 initiatives for the next 15 years.

Before world leaders commit themselves to the goals, however, citizens around the world must know about them. World leaders listen to citizens to understand what needs to be done; the more people that know about the goals, the more likely the world leaders are to support them.

Therefore, it is imperative that the Global Goals become famous amongst world citizens and #DizzyGoals is one entertaining way to do that.

Many of the videos that accompany the hashtag feature professional soccer players spinning rapidly around a soccer ball, and then stumbling to kick the next ball, where the inevitable dizziness usually results in an epic fall to the grass. Nonetheless, the stars of the challenge are sure to mention their support for the Global Goals and provide links to goals’ website.

The Global Goals have the power to positively change the world. Share a #DizzyGoals video to inform more people about the Global Goals, or grab a soccer ball and take the challenge!

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen, Global Goals, Twitter,
Photo: Express

Coldplay-Girls-Living-in-Poverty
Today, 62 million adolescent girls around the world are not receiving an education.

Together, Global Poverty Project and the band Coldplay would like to change this. As partners, the dynamic duo will encourage countries to vote in favor of global education, ideally announcing their support at the Global Citizen Festival in September, where Coldplay will perform.

If countries fund continued education, extreme poverty can be alleviated. An annual $39 billion will provide these girls with 12 years of free, sustainable education – the same amount it costs to fund eight days of global military spending. Continued education has the power to provide the impoverished with sustainable livings, better health and overall independence.

In the past several years, Coldplay has positively used their fame to shed light on the issue of global poverty. As a headliner at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival this September, the English band will bring attention to the Global Goals, a set of 17 initiatives that seek to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change. The first goal is to end poverty, but the fourth goal is to ensure unbiased, quality education for all humans.

Due to gender inequality, girls are often refused an education. Not only is providing girls with an education a basic human right, but it will also help to break the cycle of extreme global poverty. Girls that go to school are more likely to postpone unwanted marriages and pregnancies, are less susceptible to HIV and AIDS and gain knowledge and skills that lead to a sustainable life with increased earning.

Coldplay is calling on world leaders to support global education to ensure that all humans are granted access to quality education, especially girls that are held back by outdated gender inequalities. Through social media, partnerships with honorable nonprofits and their earned fame, Coldplay chooses to stand up for the girls, understanding that education has the power to end global poverty.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen, Global Goals, UNICEF
Photo: Under the Gun Review

global goals
As the deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching, world leaders have continuously met in the last year to assess the achievement of the program and set goals for the future. However, in light of the fact that many targets remain to be met, the U.N. is shifting from an approach that promises to help to one that is more inclusive and participatory — the Sustainable Development Goals.

This new approach carries important changes, especially when it comes to aligning national and international interests and needs, instead of imposing generalized international goals to a wide array of countries with different resources. It also seeks to incorporate more global leaders and local agents to produce more tangible results.

One of the elements driving this change is the wisdom of global goals in driving development. The set of goals established by in the Millennium Program have produced mixed result at best. While extreme poverty and child mortality have indeed been reduced to half of their 1990s levels, progress remains uneven among different countries and regions, especially in education and health. Even some African countries have seen a reversal in health related issues.

However, according to Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, considering the nonbinding nature of these goals, the fact that countries and various organizations have abided by them and attempted to meet them speaks to their significance.

Building upon successes of the Millennium Development Goals, world leaders want to expand to new goals to include more than just poverty alleviation. This means that beyond health and education aimed at reducing extreme poverty and child mortality rates, the Sustainable Development Goals include issues such as climate change.

A main driver behind the new agenda setting for the next 15 years is to create programs that not only benefit the world’s poor, but the world in general. U.N. leaders have met 11 times in the last year looking to align national goals with some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.

Whether setting development goals is a good practice or not is still being debated. However, one thing that world leaders can agree on is that it established a common language to implement and measure the success of development programs.

Sahar Abi Hassan

Sources: The New York Times, Anchorage News Daily
Photo: UN