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SDG#6 is an inspiration for Water Energy and Sanitation for Development (WESDE), an active member of our Horyou community. With the aim to fill the gap left by civil society organizations in terms of Health and Environment Education and Integrated Water Resources Management in Cameroon, WESDE faces security, infrastructure and funding challenges to bring development to urban and rural populations in the far North region of the country. Interview with Marie Louise Kongne, WESDE National Coordinator.

WESDE team acting in Cameroon

What are WESDE’s main goals?

While improving significantly the sanitation, hygiene and housing conditions of disadvantaged populations, we aim to reduce the percentage of the population that does not have sustainable access to a drinking water supply. We also want to train and educate people to sustainable management of water resources and the protection of the environment, trying to reverse the current trend of loss of environmental resources. In order to do so, we seek to cooperate with national and international organizations, develop and maintain partnership, exchange and learning relationships. Last but not least, one of our objectives is to accompany the community in the fight against HIV / AIDS in order to stop its spread and reverse the current trend.

Tell us about your main achievements in 2017 and your plans for 2018

In 2017, we helped to raise awareness on education and training of 125 community health workers to work closely with families in 9 health areas on 12 main themes. In total, more than 43,000 households were visited. We also had an active participation in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) coordination meetings of the far North region under the co-lead of UNICEF and the far North Regional Delegation of Water and Energy and, as a Partner of Global Water Partnership (GWP) Central Africa, we contributed to the WASH resilience project in the Mayo Tsanaga sub-basin. In 2018, we aim to implement the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach in 150 villages of 3 pilot health areas as part of the support of the government to improve sanitation conditions in rural areas.

What main challenges do you face in your work?

We have no appropriate vehicles, as we need 4X4 vehicles to reach many areas. The self-financing mechanism is still very weak and there is not a long-term program, which could be at least 3-year renewable. Also, we develop our activities in a context of high insecurity (by Boko Haram)

Your work is closely connected with the SDG#6. In your point of view, how important is it to have a global agenda for water and sanitation?

In comparison with Drinking Water Supply, sanitation has often fallen behind government and donor concerns; however, this situation is moving in the right direction as sectorial strategies are increasingly putting sanitation at the top of the agenda. Recent studies have shown the importance of sanitation for improving health, promoting social development and protecting the environment. It has also been shown that Sanitation interventions are particularly effective in terms of cost reduction if we judge the increase in productivity that they induce and the decrease in the diseases and deaths that they allow. With this in mind, in the framework of the International Year of Sanitation (AIA) by the United Nations in 2008, the African continent, with the support of the African Ministerial Council for Water and Sanitation (AWCOW) organized the AfricaSan conference in Durban in 2008. This regional conference culminated in the ambitious eThekwini ministerial statement, stressing the importance of leadership in sanitation and recommending that 0.5% of GDP must be spent on sanitation.

Une organisation active sur notre plate-forme Horyou, l’ONG FAID – Food and Agriculture Initiatives for Development – travaille sur les projets agro-écologiques au Bénin dans l’espoir de promouvoir le dévéloppement durable en stimulant une agriculture équitable et une alimentation saine. Nous avons interviewé Vianio Kougblénou, secrétaire executif de l’ONG, qui nous a inspirés avec ses idées et projets pour l’environnement et l’éducation!

ONG Faid au Benin

Pouvez-vous nous raconter en quelques mots votre histoire et vos projets ?

Tout est parti d’un amour partagé entre personnes venant d’horizons divers pour une agriculture et une alimentation plus «saines et équitables», au regard des conséquences sanitaires graves et grandissantes de la production conventionnelle et des pertes et gaspillages alimentaires notoires, cause majeure de la famine. De Juin 2017 à ce jour, nous avons appuyé la création de trois jardins solaires et communautaires ; sensibilisé les élèves à ce que doit être l’agriculture à l’ère du changement climatique ; fait la production agro-écologique de semences de légumes menacées et en avons fait don aux écoles et aux maraîchers ; fait de la transformation de produits pour éviter leur gaspillage (fruit à pain, curcuma, tomates, farine de maïs sans amidon, jus de fruits bio…).

Quels sont les objectifs les plus importants de votre organisation ?

L’ONG FAID a pour mission principale la valorisation des filières agricoles et animales en passant par leur organisation, production et transformation en vue d’assurer la sécurité alimentaire et de lutter efficacement contre les pertes et gaspillages, source d’extrême pauvreté. Nous voulons encadrer les producteurs et les sensibiliser à la gestion optimale des ressources pour une agriculture et une alimentation «saines et équitables» ; motiver et piloter des initiatives, projets et activités axés sur la réduction des pertes et gaspillages alimentaires ; offrir une assistance nutritionnelle aux orphelins, aux handicapés et aux personnes fragilisées ; assainir l’environnement et valoriser la filière agricole et animale.

L’ONG FAID a le soutien et un partenariat avec Slow Food International

Quels sont vos projets pour 2018 ?

A l’ONG FAID, préserver de façon soutenable la biodiversité est notre passion! Pour relever ce défi majeur, en 2018, nous comptons développer et vulgariser l’agri-technologie «GléSika», une innovation qui permet de résoudre le problème de gestion optimale d’eau du côté de la pépinière. Autre projet, “One School = One agro-ecological Garden”, projet d’Éducation à l’Environnement et au Développement Durable (EEDD) lancé en 2017 avec le soutien financier de Slow Food International, suivi de dons de kits de démarrage ou de renforcement de jardins scolaire ou pédagogiques. Il y a aussi le projet-programme «Jardins des Pêches», visant à faire de Cotonou une ville durable en matière de productions végétales et animales. Démarré en phase pilote en 2017, nous y faisons déjà de la production organique de lapins et de volailles locales et de la production de semences des espèces végétales menacées.

Projet Jardin des Pêches

Voulez-vous laisser un message pour notre communauté Horyou ?

Les obstacles à la préservation de l’environnement sont institutionnels, financiers et politiques, et l’on sait comment les lever : il s’agit de développer et de promouvoir un partenariat mondial (Nord-Sud) pour la gestion de projets climato-compatibles. La transition écologique est avant tout une question d’attitude, une question spirituelle. Le Climat devra être considéré comme un bien commun, et gérer en tant que tel. “Ensemble œuvrons donc pour une production plus juste, plus sobre et plus respectueuse des écosystèmes”.

The 5th Sustainable Development Goal concerns nearly half of global population – girls and women are still far from having the same opportunities and privileges as men

Photo: UNDP

Internet and social media are full of hashtags concerning women’s challenges in our society. The most recent one was #metoo, in which women shared their personal stories about harassment. The idea was to prove a grim reality – believe me if you are a man, almost every female on the planet has a sad story to tell about it. If you are a woman, you already know how it feels.

From corporations in the developed world to slums in the poorest countries, we share the same vulnerability. Since we’re born, our gender defines our challenges – we are going to face more difficulties to access education; if we get into the job market, our salaries will be lower; we are more exposed to violence and forced marriages; we have poorer access to health services. Women empowerment is urgent, and we, regardless of gender, should work together to promote it.

We need more representation: according to the UNDP, in 46 countries, women hold 30% or more in national parliament seats. Globally, women’s participation in single or lower houses of national parliaments reached 23.4 percent in 2017, just 10 percentage points higher than in 2000. It’s not enough.

We need more education: in sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.

We need equal opportunities: in the corporate world, women are underrepresented in managerial positions. In the majority of the 67 countries with data from 2009 to 2015, fewer than a third of senior- and middle-management positions were held by women.

We need liberty: only half of women in reproductive age make their own decisions about consensual sexual relations and use of contraceptives and health services.

We deserve respect: A fifth of women of reproductive age have suffered physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey, made in 2016.

Association El Khir promotes cooking workshops for women in Morocco

The SDG 5 defends the end of all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. In 2014, the UN Women launched the campaign He for She, inviting men to join the fight for equal opportunities – since then, the discussion has improved and many debate spaces were opened in media, companies, governments and civil society. Many organizations have been working towards the same goal. The Horyou community has great examples of NGOs and projects that support women and create an empowering environment for them to overcome difficulties and thrive personally and professionally.

One of the active members of our platform is Association Féminine de Bienfaisance El-Khir, based in Morocco, which promotes better life condition for women in the country, supporting their independence by providing them with legal assistance and career opportunities through education.

One of the activities of Fundação Laço Rosa during Pink October

In Brazil, Fundação Laço Rosa, yet another active nonprofit organization in our platform, empowers women with breast cancer, by helping them with self-image issues and to create bonds to overcome the disease.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps promote women empowerment in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

Written by Vivian Soares

A filosofia de trabalho da ONG Frutos do Amanhã é a solidariedade humana. Com atuação em comunidades em vulnerabilidade social, a organização usa a cultura, educação, respeito e cidadania para modificar as vidas de crianças e famílias em situação de risco. Membro ativo da nossa comunidade Horyou, a fundadora da ONG Heloisa Morais falou com o nosso blog sobre suas iniciativas e planos para o futuro.

Atividade promovida pela ONG Frutos do Amanhã

Quais são as principais inspirações para o trabalho da organização?

Temos um lema que vem inspirando e servindo de mantra para que possamos seguir em frente: Educação, Respeito e Disciplina.

Quais foram os projetos mais bem-sucedidos de 2017?

Executamos vários projetos como oficina de idiomas, capacitação escolar, danças culturais, capoeira, oficinas e ballet. Posso destacar dois como os mais bem-sucedidos, que foram as oficinas de Artesanato e Geração de Renda e o Ballet Sonho de Menina.

Ballet Sonho de Menina

Quais são os principais projetos da ONG Frutos do Amanhã para 2018?

Queremos ampliar nosso projeto educativo, melhorar e ampliar nosso espaço físico e buscar apoio para poder atender a famílias que se encontram na fila de espera para participar de nossas atividades.

Que tipo de impacto a organização deseja causar para o mundo?

Transformar crianças que vivem em situação de risco em cidadãos através da educação e cultura.

Oficina realizada pela ONG

Qual a importância de participar de uma rede social do bem social como a Horyou?

Fomos convidados em 2015 pela Horyou, que nos esclareceu sobre o funcionamento da rede, e desde então estamos ativos na plataforma buscando apoio para os projetos.

Vivemos em uma era de constante transformação. Quais são as mudanças positivas que você deseja para a sua comunidade e para as gerações futuras?

Estamos em uma região carente como muitas espalhadas pelo mundo, se com nossas ações conseguirmos livrar algumas crianças do tráfico de drogas, que hoje está sendo o primeiro emprego de crianças e adolescentes, será uma grande vitória.

The 4th UN Sustainable Development Goal relates to education and change. How to implement inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning, to build a fairer society.

Children in Pakistani School. Photo: UNDP

Malala Yousafzai was only 12 years old when she wrote a moving blog article about her life in Pakistan under the Taliban regime. Her bravery almost cost Malala her life – she was shot by a gunman and had to flee her country to remain safe. Things have changed for her since. Her voice was now heard and she became famous in global media for advocating education for girls in her country. Last summer, Malala received the news that she was accepted at the prestigious Oxford University. She’s a good example that education can change people, build dreams, move the world.

Like Malala in her early years, many children have poor or no access to education. According to the UN, 57 million children are out of school. Half of them live in conflict-affected areas. Even when they do go to school, it is often not enough to provide them with the basic education: 103 million youth lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 percent of them are women. The most vulnerable groups are persons with disabilities, indigenous people, refugee children and poor children in rural areas.

Some progress has been achieved in the last 17 years – more schools have access to computers, and schooling is growing; yet the numbers are unequal and can’t always equate with quality. «Even though more children than ever are going to school, many do not acquire basic skills in reading and mathematics», said a recent assessment report published by the UN. Teachers do not have proper training and the poor conditions of schools in many parts of the world jeopardize quality education prospects.

Funds for infrastructure and training are needed, as well as public policies that prioritize quality education. Many non-government organizations have acted tirelessly to improve the situation, especially in the most affected regions and with the most vulnerable groups.

Girls education is a critical issue for our society. Photo: Ma belle école

On the Horyou platform, the NGO Avante – Educação e Mobilização Social, based in Brazil, provides empowering education to children in poor and socially vulnerable communities. In addition to funding teacher training and tech inclusion in schools, it promotes citizenship, encourages gender and racial identity debates with children, their families and social actors and train them to become community leaders.

The association Ma Belle École works within school inclusion projects in developing countries. Through individual sponsorship programmes, it provides children with regular access to school in conflict-affected countries like Syria and Mali. It also helps their families, providing them with food and other basic resources, so children are not forced to abandon education and thus be used as cheap labor.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps promote education in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

Every baby taking its first breath is a potential actor of change. Every teenager living in a healthy environment has the potential to create a stable and happy family. Every woman with access to a safe childbirth is potentially a loving mother. Health is an essential condition to change the world for the better.

Photo: UNDP

What would the world be like when deaths are not caused by neglected or badly treated diseases anymore? The UN Sustainable Development Goal number 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.

It does not mean that we would no more have diseases and deaths, but that we would minimize avoidable mistakes and negligence. Global maternity mortality ratio, for instance, would be reduced to less than 70 per 100,000 and epidemics of infectious diseases would end by 2030. Road accidents, tobacco-related illnesses and other health conditions caused by lack of access to treatment would not be part of our daily lives either.

According to the UN, many advances have been made on the health front worldwide since 2000. Yet we still have to face realities such as the ones we find in sub-Saharan regions whereby only 53% live births are assisted by skilled people and mortality among children under 5 years of age is 84‰, almost twice global rates. Part of the solution is to prevent early and unintended pregnancies by fighting child marriages and spreading reproductive education; but there is an urgent need to invest and train in skilled care and sound health policies worldwide.

Infectious diseases are yet another challenge to face – HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis B epidemics continue to plague many countries -, and the solution lies in prevention. Vaccines, sanitation and hygiene, as well as sexual education are to be improved. The same applies to premature deaths caused by depression, alcohol and tobacco, all of which are taboo ailments in several regions.

Many of these health risks are directly related to poor quality medical assistance and lack of health coverage and funding, especially in underdeveloped regions. Available data from 2005 to 2015 indicate that over 40% countries count less than one physician per 1,000 people, and around half have fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people. Almost all least developed countries count less than one physician and fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people.

Many organizations and social projects did produce some improvement. Child Family Health International, an NGO that is active on our Horyou platform, is one fine example of community-based global health education programs for students and institutions that aim at empowering local communities. CFHI acts on undergraduate medical schools curricula and publishes papers and publications on global health safety on a regular basis.

Based in Cameroon, Ascovime, yet another active member of the Horyou community, runs educational health campaigns and provides free medical consultation and surgery to isolated communities throughout the country. Ascovime was founded by Dr. Georges Bwelle, a surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaoundé and a CNN Hero.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps promote health and well-being in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

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