This week is the first in a new blog series that will be guest written by Amy Auguston. Amy first volunteered in Kenya in 2007. That year, she organized and financed weekly soccer lessons for the boys at Tunza Children's Center in Kibera and this project was later incorporated into Uweza to become our soccer league. She has also sponsored a student through our sponsorship program. She recently finished an 18-month stint managing a development project in Dodoma, Tanzania. She has an MSc in Development Studies and has worked on Africa-related issues with organizations including Human Rights Watch, EngenderHealth, the African Human Rights Consortium, and The Rory Peck Trust.
Below is her first blog post and she will continue to write a weekly post to keep us educated and informed about current issues affecting Kibera and Kenya.
First introduced in 2000, the UN Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs) outline a comprehensive and ambitious vision for social and economic development in the world’s poorest regions. The MDGs provide obtainable guidelines to reduce worldwide poverty by 2015. Last week in New York, leaders from around the globe gathered at the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals to evaluate and discuss the progress made so far as well as what needs to be accomplished in the next five years.
Below you’ll find some MDG-related coverage of issues facing Kenya and the rest of the developing world:
• Kenya’s top newspaper Daily Nation assembled a detailed round-up of Kenya’s progress—or lack thereof—towards achieving the MDGs. While Kenya has made significant strides towards some goals, there has been insufficient progress in other areas, including child mortality, maternal mortality, and HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
• “The lack of African voices at the MDG summit was both notable and troubling. Learn more about efforts by Africans to address African issues here .
• What happens if the MDGs aren’t reached in 2015? As one development expert asks, “If we miss the goals, who is going to punish us?” Read more about accountability for the MDGs here.
• Kenya’s own Wangari Maathai, who is the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, published an impassioned editorial about the importance of involving women and girls in issues of environmental sustainability (MDG #7).
• MDG # 5 aims to reduce maternal mortality and to improve maternal health in general. Obstetric fistula is one of the common—and most devastating—childbirth injures in Africa. In a recent report, Human Rights Watch spotlights the plight of Kenyan women with fistula and the failure of the Kenya’s health system to prevent and repair this condition.
• A recent World Health Organization study reminds us that the fight against HIV/AIDS (or MDG #6) is far from over. The target for universal access to ARV treatment in the world’s poorest countries has still not been reached.