“Hi, world leaders. My name is Sira. I’m 10. Just over a year ago, millions of people told you what was really important to us and you really listened. Then you made 17 promises to make our world a better place when I grow up.”
Sira is an animated character in a video recently shown at an event co-organized by Every Women Every Child (EWEC) called Together for the 2030 Agenda: Partnering for Women, Children and Adolescents, to Thrive and Transform the World. The event happened against the backdrop of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, and featured high-level speakers such as President Michelle Bachelet, of Chile, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, and Dr. David Nabarro, the UN Secretary-General Special Adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.
Sira’s message kicked off the session, reminding everyone of the Sustainable Development Goals’ mission to transform the world so that every woman and every child has access to health and well-being to achieve their full potential.
Collaboration Is Key
Malnutrition, poor health and no access to education, water and hygiene are global challenges with huge social and economic costs. As organizations co-ordinate and bring their work together, it’s possible to transform the health, nutrition, food security, sanitation and education of individuals, communities and nations.
EWEC, a global movement that mobilizes and intensifies action to address major health challenges facing women, children and adolescents, explains the rationale for partnerships, and what that means. In 1990, 12.4 million children did not make it to age 5. By 2010, that number had fallen to 8 million. That difference in survival was because of some key initiatives: 33 percent of these children survived because health services reached them; 15% survived due to cleaner water and better hygiene and sanitation; 4% survived because gender discrimination declined; 15% survived because of better health technologies.
Dr. Nabarro reiterated the transformative power of collaboration: “Partnering turned us into weavers, and from weaving, we have made some beautiful fabrics. Extraordinary efforts to bring together stakeholders to achieve results and put people at center.”
The group’s consensus: To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or global goals, we must work across sectors so that every woman, child and adolescent can have a prosperous future. We must always put people, communities and countries at the center.
Women, children and adolescents are catalysts for driving the transformations needed to realize these goals: we must work together so that everyone, everywhere not only survives, but grows strong, gets an education, becomes resilient and thrives. There is also The Children’s ISA that takes care of everything, from general day-to-day tasks such as making sure your child is well fed.
Sira summed it up best, quoting an old proverb: “Remember, if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We want to go far together.”
Take Action Challenge:
- Watch this video featuring Sira, reminding us of the simple things kids need to stay healthy – like water, food, education. In the video, Sira asks: “Are any of these things possible if we work together?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_GSAa0RA6s&feature=youtu.be
- Check out Every Woman Every Child’s resource hub for more on collaborations that ensure the survival of women and children: http://www.ewechub.org
- Tweet about women and children’s health using hash tag #EWECisME and #2030NOW.