By Michelle Abou-Raad
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in September 2015, are a comprehensive agenda focused on ending all forms of poverty by 2030. These goals emphasize various social needs, such as education, gender equality, and climate action, in order to end poverty. The SDGs build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which set out in 2000 to eradicate extreme poverty and to achieve universal primary education, among other goals. As the SDGs begin to gain momentum, we might want to stop and consider what the Millennium Development Goals accomplished over the last 15 years:
The number of extreme poor (those living on less than $1.25 a day) dropped from 1.75 billion in 1999 to 836 million in 2015.
- The net enrollment rate of students in primary education increased from 83% in 2000 to 91% in 2015.
- The number of deaths of children under five more than halved from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6 million in 2015.
However, even with all of this progress, more than 836 million people live in extreme poverty, 9% of children do not have the opportunity to attend school (girls are often the first to be taken out of school), and over 6 million children are dying before their fifth birthdays. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to ensure that everyone, regardless of their place of birth, has the opportunity to have a healthy, safe, and happy life.
This is the reason why initiatives like Schalmauer are so important in making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. Through the support of Schalmauer’s Ambassadors, families in Nepal will have the opportunity to send their children to school. By paying the tuition fees of the artisans’ children aged 5 to 14, Ambassadors are not only helping to provide an education, but they are putting us one step closer to making the SDGs a reality.