Tag Archives: United Nations

IDW 2015

IDW 2015

Happy 25th International Development week!

This week, thisvillage has been reflecting on the Millennium Development Goals set out by the UN in 1990. These goals had a deadline to be achieved by 2015 therefore, the UN has also been reviewing them and weighing up their success. In fact, they have unveiled a new set of goals, called Sustainable Development Goals. (ßRead more about them, they’re cool!)

The SDGs consist of 17 targets to reach before 2030. For example, number 1 SDG is: End poverty in all its forms everywhere (whoa! Lofty!).

But hey. We would like to see an end to poverty too. And that’s not the only goal that we can relate to:

Number 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages.

Maternal mortality has fallen 45% since 1990, but we can’t forget that 50% of women do not receive the recommended health care during pregnancy*. One of our major projects in Bandanpally is providing wells and toilets for the community.

Number 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life long learning opportunities for all.

90% of children in developing countries are now enrolled in primary school, but what about the other 58 million*, or those that are forced to drop out. thisvillage believes in education, and that equipping marginalized community members with confidence and practical skills is essential to their long-term prosperity. Some of the projects we’ll be implementing in Bandanpally include stocking the school library with books and desks.

Number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The enrolment in primary school is distributed equally among boys and girls*, but women still face inequality in education, work, and decision-making. thisvillage knows that empowering women and children is key to alleviating poverty. One program we’ll be implementing in Bandanpally is a support group for widowed women.

These statistics are encouraging. People working together can make a difference to the injustice in the world. thisvillage works to alleviate poverty on a smaller scale. You can also fight for sustainable international development. Help thisvillage make a difference, one village at a time!

–Julia Kutyn

*All statistics in above article are available at www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

Let’s talk about water


Everyone knows that water is important. With the risk of getting all kindergarten science lesson on you, however (and in case it has been a long week), a few reminders of what we use water for in our day-to-day lives:

  • washing your hands,
  • taking a shower/bath,
  • brushing your teeth,
  • using a toilet,
  • drinking tea or coffee (or just water! or anything!),
  • warming (or cooling) your home,
  • cooking your food, and
  • innumerable other important things.

So unless you’ve had a 127 Hours experience, you’ve used (and needed) water every single day of your life. And you know what? The same is true for people around the world, including people in rural India.

Take a moment to think how your life would be different if you had to work (and I mean really work) to get your water every day, if you had to leave your home to get water, and had to carry all the water you wanted back to your house. Then imagine that the only water you had access to was contaminated and would likely make you sick. Oh, and add to the issue that all the food you eat needs to be grown using water.

Everyone needs and deserves easy access to clean water.

thisvillage believes that water plays a crucial role in helping the world’s poor (so does the United Nations), and that is why we’re starting a fundraising campaign on Monday to build three water wells for our friends in a small village in India.

On Monday, November 4th, visit startsomegood.com/wells and make a donation to our campaign. We only need to raise $2,400 to make a huge difference in the community of Bandanpally, and we would love your help doing it.

Come back to the blog on Monday for a detailed post about the wells campaign!

— Christie Esau

Safe spaces for women



[content note: rape, sexual assault]

Statistically, reported rapes in India are comparably low. The per capita rate of rape in India is a small fraction of that in the United States [source]. But, as a quick Google search will tell you, statistics can be misleading. Although they can be helpful and informative, statistics do not tell the whole story. Reported rape in India is comparably low to that of the US; however,

Local Indian surveys in the past 25 years have found that 1% to 4% of women in some areas reported having been raped or sexually assaulted in the past year—50 to 200 times greater than official rates.

Clearly, women living in India are not likely to feel safe.

Rape and sexual assault in India have received a fair amount of press in the past year in light of some particularly horrifying cases (you can read about some other high profile cases in the past few decades via the Washington Post). And, although discussing such atrocities certainly isn’t a pleasant way to occupy oneself, awareness of injustices like rape and poverty are a huge first step to making changes.

November 25th marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, but Orange Day happens on the 25th of every month (which includes today). The safety and well-being of women and children is completely entrenched in development. At thisvillage, we want to work hard to increase safety and health for women and girls in India, and all over the world.

I’d encourage you to take five minutes to read through a few resources from the United Nations, and to spread awareness. thisvillage believes in the inherent worth of people, and especially in empowering women and girls to have safer, healthier lives. You can read more about what we think on our Approaches page.

— Christie Esau