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What I can do to achieve the Millennium Development Goals Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by sabina mutangadura, Zimbabwe Sep 9, 2005
Poverty , Human Rights   Opinions
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I could show my support by wearing a white band,
Join a thousand others on the streets by taking a stand.
Would it make you do something about babes and mothers
Or help little ones around you do sums, perhaps even
stop you from lying
That everything’s ok. Look! There’s not a cloud in
the sky!
Only there’s something wrong with that answer & you
know the reason why.


It’s winter in Zimbabwe but not the typical winter of the West. For one, though temperatures are cooler than usual, the sun still shines most of the time. Even then, the days are still long. They are especially long for those of the population living below the poverty line, for children can’t afford to go to primary school, and for those languishing because they have HIV / AIDS. Good health care is a luxury most of the country’s population of 11.6 million can’t afford, particularly when they are worried about how to get basics such as mealie meal, margarine, sugar and cooking oil. With problems like these, there is little energy left to spare on checking whether the environment is doing better than you.

These are some of the issues addressed by the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs themselves are like a faint rainbow in Zimbabwe’s wintery sky. At first glance, it might seem your eyes are playing tricks on you and you could conclude that you must have imagined the rainbow in the first place. But with a little squinting and a more concentrated look, you find that the rainbow is real. While not much progress appears to have been made in addressing the MDGs, Zimbabwe is one of the 191 member states that has adopted the Millennium Declaration to ensure “that globalisation becomes a positive force for all the world’s people” including its own. This, like a rainbow after a storm, offers a faint hope. The challenge then is to begin to turn this hope into a reality.

The first step is to take a personal inventory and asking “what can I do personally to achieve the millennium development goals - even in a small way?” Any ideas can seem like throwing a pebble into a large river. Small, irrelevant and causing a few ripples before sinking. But it is useful to recall the United Nations Development Programme statement: “To you I say, consult not your fears, but your hopes and aspirations. Think not about what you have tried and failed, but rather about what is still possible for you to do.”

With this in mind, I will support the Global Call to Action Against Poverty by wearing a white band on 1 July for the G8 Summit and 10 September for the UN Millennium Summit. I will also attend prayer meetings and pray about the MDGs with people in my community. On a practical note, I will set aside a small portion of my income monthly for extremely poor relatives, poor people in my church or charities that require assistance.

With regards to what I can do in relation to government, I have come up with a story outline incorporating MDGs for an animated movie. I hope to finish my script, obtain funding and make the movie as I feel it could be used to lobby government and influence it to make a greater commitment to the MDGs. I have chosen to work with a concept that involves children because approximately 54.5% of Zimbabwe’s population is under 20 years of age.

The story is based on Article 8 of the MDGs (i.e. Develop a Global Partnership for Development). I chose this article because if it is correctly addressed, Zimbabwe can begin to address all the other articles such as poverty reduction, better health, environment sustainability, education etc. For children, this article is interesting as it deals with different countries – children love stories about traveling to different lands and going on journeys. It offers excitement, adventure and mystery. At the same time, focusing on this article provides an opportunity to teach them about the unique traditions and cultures of various countries while introducing them to economic principles in an exciting way.

The story itself is about African twin girls (non-identical), Patty & Ruby who come from the high density suburbs (townships) of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Life is colourful and spent playing many kinds of exciting games. Their father (baba) is a truck driver - which is very exciting as he has many tales about the different countries he visits. Once a year, they get a special treat and have a week’s holiday in any South African country using free transport and accommodation provided by the National Railways. Their mama is a kind soul loved by most people in the township because she is welcoming and always loves to give to those in need. She looks after poor extended relatives on and off and is expecting the twins’ baby brother. The girls are looking forward to meeting him and often sing to him after mama has been telling them stories and folktales (ingane).

One day, Baba doesn’t come home from a trip. Mama becomes anxious and this induces the premature birth of their brother, Fortune, at seven months (introduction of Maternal Health goal). Her health fails and her sister Auntie Maggie from the rural areas comes to look after her and the girls. She leaves her own children with her husband, Uncle Thabo.

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Guide Makombo | Dec 31st, 2009
I greet u in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have run through you article; What I can do to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This is quite good keep it up my dear. Grace & Peace, Guide

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