2010 is the 10-year mark since 189 world leaders gathered together to decide on the most pressing global issues that needed greater attention and collaboration on in order to reverse the effects and prevalence of poverty worldwide. These became the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set to be achieved by 2015 with promises made by leaders to commit to development aid and partnership.
With world leaders coming together for the 10-year MDG Review at the United Nations in September this year, “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!” was set for the weekend before summit meetings began. Stand Up is an annual 3-day global campaign which rallies millions of people around the world together to literally “stand up” and show world leaders that civil society has not forgotten pledges made to fulfill the MDGs and end poverty.
This year, with schools having just started a week or two before Stand Up, efforts to organize school events were pulled together quickly by avid teachers and administrators. Many GCC schools gathered students together on Sept 17th to raise awareness about the MDGs and to show support to achieving them including Poly Prep Day School, Lawrence Woodmere Academy, St. Vincent Ferrer High School, and Trevor Day School.
On Sept 16th, Global Concerns Classroom organized a MDG student workshop with 9th graders at Trevor Day School. It was a great day devoted to students exploring the MDGs and collaborating together to find solutions to them in eight different countries. At the end of the day, students made posters displaying each of the MDGs and stood together to recite each of the promises as a pledge: By 2015 it is possible to…
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Ensure that all boys and girls complete primary school
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
- Reduce by three quarters the ratio of women dying in childbirt
- Halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development
As teacher Sinead Naughton commented, “After the GCC workshop, it was powerful to see all the freshmen ‘stand up’ for the MDGs. The pledge had new meaning for them and the feeling of empowerment could be heard in their voices!”
At St. Vincent Ferrer High School, Stand Up was organized over three lunch periods as in previous years. Students gathered together at the end of each break to hold up posters spelling out S-T-A-N-D U-P and shouting “stand against poverty!”
Not only does being part of a global campaign such as Stand Up Take Action send a message to world leaders through submitted photos and videos on the website that civil society cares, it is a great reminder to students each year that the next generation is also committed to ending poverty and making sure that these important development goals are met and sustained for future generations to come. English teacher and Global Concerns advisor, Mike Beil, describes, “Stand Up is a great ‘kickoff’ event for SVF. It’s a way for us to show our support for a great cause, remind our community about the MDGs, and get new students involved.”
For more on Stand Up 2010, click here. To set up a MDG event at your school, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.