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Everything you need to know about the SDGs

Everything you need to know about the SDGs

This weekend, world leaders are gathering in New York to finalise and formally adopt the post-2015 Development Agenda. But does what that mean, and what will the impact be? How will this affect the next generation of children growing up around the world? Here, we answer those questions.

The post-2015 Development Agenda summit, convening between 25-27th September, is part of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly which began on the 15th September.

What is the post-2015 Development Agenda?

The post-2015 Development Agenda is focused around 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs have defined and structured the world’s efforts to tackle poverty for the past 15 years. Progress has been made – for example, the number of deaths of children under 5 are down to 6.3 million from 12.7 million in 1990. But much more still needs to be done. 

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

That’s where the SDGs come in. 17 new goals that aim to transform our world by 2030. They have a much wider focus then the MDGs they are replacing; goals relate not only to poverty reduction but also the environment, sustainability, employment and peace. The goals will be implemented from the beginning of January 2016.

What’s the relevance for SOS Children’s Villages?

Six of the SDGs relate directly to SOS Children’s work. Working towards the achievement of these six will continue to form a central part of our work over the coming decades:

Sustainable Development Goal 1 - end poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 1 - No poverty

Achieving a world where poverty is a thing of the past is the main aim of the SDGs. Making sure that no child has to grow up in poverty is a central aspect to this goal. Currently around 570 million children are living in extreme poverty/ 

How we're helping:  At SOS Children’s Villages, we know the damage poverty can do; the number one reason for family breakdown and child abandonment in Africa, Asia and Latin America is poverty.

We are passionate about helping poor families and communities break the cycle of poverty through capacity and resilience building, education, health-care and vocational training as part of our family strengthening programmes.

Sustainable Development Goal 3 - ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 3 - Good health

The purpose of this goal is to make sure that every family, young person and child has access to adequate healthcare services. 6.3 million children under the age of five died in 2013 – that’s nearly 17,000 every day. More than half of these deaths are from easily preventable conditions.

How we're helping: We secure access to adequate healthcare services for the poorest, and most vulnerable, families by helping communities build basic healthcare infrastructure. Where needed, we also provide direct medical services, including mobile clinics.

Sustainable Development Goal 4 - quality education

Goal 4 - Quality education

Making sure that every single child and young person, regardless of background has access to quality education is a hugely important goal. 59 million children of primary-school age (typically between five and 11 years of age) are out of school. 65 million young people between the ages of 12 and 15 are also denied their right to education.

How we're helping: We make sure that every child or young person who finds a new home with us has access to quality education - from nursery schools right up to support with university applications. Our SOS Schools are also available to children from the surrounding communities, giving everyone a chance to learn and build a positive future. 98% of children and young people participating in an SOS Children’s Villages family strengthening programme in 2014 were attending school and 78% passed their grade.

Sustainable Development Goal 8 - Good jobs and economic growth

Goal 8 - Good jobs and economic growth

Almost 74 million young people, between the ages of 15 and 24 were looking for work in 2014 and the global youth unemployment rate reached 13% - almost three times the rate for adults. Goal 8 reflects the fact that every young person should have the opportunity to have decent work and lead an independent life with dignity.

How we're helping: We help young people without parental care develop the skills and attitudes they need to be employable, independent adults. We also help parents from vulnerable families access vocational training, giving them the opportunity to earn enough to keep their family together and give their children a brighter future.

Sustainable Development Goal 10 - reduced inequalities

Goal 10 - Reduced inequalities

The belief that no-one, including children, should suffer from discrimination, or be denied equal access to opportunities on the basis of race, gender, religion, disability, cultural or family background, is the motivation behind Goal 10. 66 million girls across the world do not attend school.

How we're helping: We advocate for laws and practices that ensure equal opportunities, social inclusion and non-discrimination for children and young people who have lost their parents, and those from poor or marginalised households. 

Sustainable Development Goal 16 - peace and justice

Goal 16 - Peace and justice

This goal wants to make sure that no child is a victim of violence, abuse, exploitation or neglect. 25% of all adults reported in a World Health Organisation survey that they were physically abused as children. 

How we're helping: We know how terrible experiencing abuse and exploitation is for children and young people. 15% of the children and young people in our family based care programmes were referred to SOS Children’s Villages because they experienced some form of physical abuse (physical, sexual, emotional or neglect).

Together with other members of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, we advocate for adequate child protection systems and for protecting children and young people from violence. We build the capacities of children and young people, social service workers and caregivers to report and prevent abuse.

“All kids should be able to feel safe. I think that’s the most important thing, because if kids are able to safe and get what they need, they are going to grow up as people who are able to make important changes,” Ylva, Youth Activist from Norway

Find out more about the post-2015 Agenda and the SDGs.