Nomadic Notes


UNICEF’s 2015 Millenium Development Goals and RAIN: A Match Made in Heaven

Posted in Uncategorized by rain4sahara on September 30, 2010

During a three-day summit at UNICEF’s headquarters in New York, experts and world leaders discussed the importance and progress of the eight 2015 UN Millenium Development Goals,  centered around eradicating poverty and reaching the world’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.  The goals speak directly to RAIN’s mission statement: RAIN for the Sahel and Saraha works with nomadic and rural peoples of West Africa to improve their lives through education, agriculture, water security, and income-producing activities.  These locally rooted programs promote literacy and empowerment while sustaining nomadic traditions throughout the Sahel and Sahara. 

Goal by goal, UNICEF’s MDGs work hand in hand with RAIN’s projects. 

Goal One:  Reduce extreme poverty and hunger (specifically, to halve the number of people living on less than a dollar a day, and to halve the number of people suffering from hunger). 

One of RAIN’s most successful programs are school market gardens.  Employing local parents and feeding school children, the gardens are self-sustaining and support schools. 

Goal Two: Ensure primary education for all.  

Guaranteed meals at school, a benefit of the school market gardens, greatly increases the number of parents who choose to enroll their young ones. 

Goal Three: Promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

RAIN’s scholarship program supports school age girls by linking them up with a local volunteer mentors, who encourage them, advocate for them with teachers and parents, and teach them practical skills, such as income-producing crafts. 

Goals Four, Five, and Six: Reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. 

RAIN’s health education and disease reduction programs involve local RAIN volunteer mentors that are trained to recognise and prevent common diseases.  Those that need medical attention are brought to clinics that have been provided with medicines.  Mentors also provide health education to the girls. HIV/AIDS awareness programs, targeting mainly school-aged children to prevent risky behavior before it starts, have reached, so far, over 10,000 people in 100 communities. 

Goal Seven: Ensure a sustainable environment: 

RAIN’s school market gardens are self-sustaining in that when extra crops are sold, the funds are invested back into the project.  Drip-irrigation systems, wells, and other water-related projects are “greening the desert,” where rainfall is scarce. 

Goal Eight: Institute a world partnership for development. 

RAIN is working in the very areas that UNICEF has identified as vitally important: those geographically isolated, especially difficult to reach, poorest and most sparsely populated regions.  In fact, according to a UNICEF study titled Narrowing the Gaps to Meet the Goals,“60 percent more deaths of children under the age of five could be prevented by targeting aid to those in the most remote areas.” Often, aid is distributed most commonly to urban centers, where population density is the highest.  These most remote areas are where RAIN has been working for the past ten years.  

Supporting RAIN means supporting the 2015 MDGs. 

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow addresses the MDG Summit

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