What’s so scary about smart girls? —
The question was posed by a donor representative speaking at the Girl Summit 2014 this week in London. The speaker’s answer to his own question – that smart girls can change the world – matched the mood of the event, which was upbeat, energetic, and ambitious in its goals.
Girl Summit Should Lead to Action
This week UN Member States proposed a set of Sustainable Development Goals to improve people’s lives and protect the planet for future generations.
The proposed Goals cover a range of issues, including ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.
The proposal will now be considered by the UN General Assembly as part of the post-2015 development agenda that world leaders are expected to adopt at a Summit in September 2015.
See the proposed Goals here:
We at ChildFund are shocked and saddened by the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash and extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of those who were lost in this tragic event.
In the second part of his LinkedIn Influencer interview, released this week, Ban Ki-moon talks about his ambitious goals for the UN and the world.
Watch what the Secretary-General had to say to LinkedIn Pulse.
The ChildFund Alliance has been working to make sure that children’s needs are included in the U.N.’s post-2015 goals. Read more about our position here.
My daughter’s 22nd birthday is coming up soon. As a recent college grad, Emma’s birthday celebrations are obviously very different now than when she was young and growing up, when each new year represented a different milestone achieved.
One birthday that sticks out clearly in my mind was her 8th. We were living in Egypt at the time. We invited all her friends from the international school to her birthday party. There must have been 10 little girls from about eight different countries. When it came to singing “Happy Birthday,” it came out in six or seven different languages. At the time, I thought that if only more kids could experience such multiculturalism when growing up, the world would be a more peaceful place.
I had the same thought recently when UNHCR announced that the total number of people currently displaced by conflict has reached a new peak of 33.3 million people, breaking the record for the second year in a row.
Think of all those children who are frightened and living away from their homes, many missing school, separated from friends and left vulnerable to sickness and violence. Think about what they are hearing from the adults in their lives, who are worried and angry at whatever groups caused them to flee. These young children are not celebrating diversity. Just the opposite. Their lives are filled with learning about “us” and “them” and learning to hate the “them.”
ChildFund knows childhood is a one-time opportunity. Young children pay a terrible price when violent conflict breaks out. And the whole world continues to pay that price for many years to come.
Gender-based violence is a major problem in many places, and everybody needs to be part of the solution. In Dominica, boys and young men are learning about making good choices and respecting women and girls through ChildFund’s Shine a Light program. These boys, above, are showing the importance of cooperation by running a three-legged race. Read more here.