THE GLOBAL GOALS
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Global Goals were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as "a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity".
There are 17 integrated SDGs, meaning that actions undertaken in one area affect outcomes in the others, with the aim of achieving a development that balances social, economic and environmental goals.
The AFLÉ Foundation's core objectives align with the SDGs:
-Children's mental health (SDG #3)
- Education (SDG #4)
- Women's empowerment (SDG #5)
Children's mental health
SDG #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Mental health has recently been included in the SDGs as there can be no sustainable development without mental health.
Children living in lower income countries are the most exposed due to the lack of sustained financing for the necessary services. There is an urgent need for action in this area in Africa.
According to the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health 2019-2023 Report: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. However, mental health remains a neglected part of global efforts to improve health. People with mental health conditions experience widespread human rights violations, discrimination and stigma. More than 80% of people experiencing neurological and substance use disorders, are without any form of quality, affordable mental health care".
SDG # 4
SDG #4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Access to quality education remains a challenge in Africa. "Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africahas the highest rates of education exclusion" according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).
Lack of infrastructures, lack of electricity, shortage of teachers, of learning material...so many factors impede African children's education.
Girls's education data remain very alarming despite some significant developments:
"Across the region, 9 million girls between the ages of about 6 and 11 will never go to school at all, compared to 6 million boys. Their disadvantage starts early: 23% of girls are out of primary school compared to 19% of boys. By the time they become adolescents, the exclusion rate for girls is 36% compared to 32% for boys".
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).
SDG # 5
SDG #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly which defines discrimination against women was reinforced by the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action in September 1995 when women's empowerment was declared to be fundamental for the achievement of development and peace.
Despite a strong advocacy, gender inequalities remain. Women constitute the majority of the world's poor and earn 24% less than men when their ecoomic empowerment could reduce poverty for everyone according to Oxfam.
The AFLÉ Foundation has partnered with the NGO Sauvons 2 Vies (Côte d'Ivoire) to help reducing maternal mortality in the country.