EDITOR’S NOTE: Since we wrote this article in February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and worsened food insecurity, decreased children’s access to education, and set back gender equality for years to come. The Global Goals have never been more important than now. Working towards achieving the goals is imperative as they provide crucial framework for COVID-19 recovery and beyond.
It’s tough to read the news these days. From the devastating effects of climate change on families around the world, to conflict, hunger and inequality, it is hard to know where to begin making a difference. Guess what? You are already part of the solution.
As a supporter of Canadian Feed The Children, you know you have been helping children access education, food security and a chance for a poverty-free future through your gifts. But did you know that your support is helping the world end poverty through the Global Goals?
What are the Global Goals? Why should I care about them?
What goal does Canadian Feed The Children work towards?
This is almost too easy. Goal 2: Zero Hunger! Well, we most certainly focus a lot of our attention on food security and food sovereignty for children and youth in our programming. However, because children grow up in complex environments, we take a holistic, community-led integrated approach to help children thrive at home, at school and in their communities. Each of these areas are interconnected, so we address many of the Global Goals at once.
What does this look like? Just ask 8-year old Flavia and her mother Emily in Uganda. When Flavia’s father was left bedridden after a terrible motorcycle accident, her mother Emily was suddenly thrust into a new role as primary earner for her family. She struggled to provide for Flavia and her siblings.
Flavia began going without meals. She felt sluggish, complained of stomach aches and was unable to concentrate in school. Emily searched for a solution and decided to join a CFTC funded program in her community, run by our partner HUYSLINCI. Flavia was immediately enrolled in a school feeding program (goal 2) and supported in her educational needs (goal 4).
Emily joined a Village Savings and Loans Group that helps many women like her grow their assets and savings, and she was able to start a fish smoking business to supplement the income from her firewood business (goals 5, 8 and 10). Now, Flavia is healthy (goal 3), eats a nutritious diet, and is excited about school. Emily feels empowered to provide for her family now, and Flavia is motivated to stay in school to study and become a nurse. All of these efforts can help break the cycle of poverty for their family, and many others like them around the world.
How do the Global Goals apply in Canada?
As mentioned earlier, each country, including Canada has signed on to reduce poverty and inequality for their citizens, as well as to help support other countries. We don’t have to tell you that poverty, hunger and severe inequality exist in Canada. Indigenous communities in Canada are some of the most affected by these challenges. Canadian Feed The Children’s partnerships with Indigenous communities in Canada are one way of implementing the Global Goals in the Canadian context.
The Global Goals challenge us to end inequalities. One powerful way you can help advance this goal is to understand the truth about Indigenous history in Canada, and how that history continues to create systemic barriers for Indigenous communities today. Listen to Indigenous podcasts, read books by Indigenous authors and follow the lead of communities who are fighting to preserve their lands, language, culture, ways of knowing and to reclaim their food sovereignty.
“The call to leave no one and no ecosystem behind presents an opportunity for the global development sector to embrace and strengthen partnerships within Canada and with Indigenous communities who are already carving out the solutions for themselves.” – Tyra Cox and Jessica Hudson Hum-Antonopoulous, Transformations.
Our partner Muskeg Lake Cree Nation is reclaiming their food sovereignty, reducing the effects of climate change and passing on Indigenous food traditions and ways of knowing to the next generation through their Food Forest. Supporting Indigenous-led initiatives like this through donations or volunteering is one way that you can help advance the goals in Canada.
How can I help?
Here are some more actions you can take right now to help achieve the Global Goals:
- Visit the Global Goals website to get to know each goal. Click the ones that inspire you most to learn more,
- Attend our Go For The Goals: Working Together to Build A Better Future event on February 6, 2020,
- Make a donation to help organizations like Canadian Feed The Children achieve the goals in Canada and around the world,
- Share this article with your family and friends,
- Learn more about Canada’s work to Go For The Goals during International Development Week 2020. Follow the hashtags #GoForTheGoals and #IDW2020 to learn more.
Go for the goals!
We cannot achieve the goals without working together. The best part is, each of us doing our own part brings us that much closer to ending poverty for millions around the world. So next time you feel helpless about the state of the world, pick your favourite goal and go for it. Commit to reducing your food waste to achieve goal 2. Take public transportation or carpool to help achieve goal 13. Remember that you have been part of the solution all along by supporting children and families through Canadian Feed The Children. Thank you for helping to create a better world for everyone!