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Faith In Action: Millennium Development Goals
Activity time: 0 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Information about the UN World Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
- Optional: Leader Resource 1, One World Worship Service
- Optional: Leader Resource 2, Components of a Traditional Worship Service Optional: A computer with Internet access and the ability to access or download Google Earth.
Preparation for Activity
- Download information about the MDGs from the UN website.
Description of Activity
Youth discover ways to help promote the United Nations' World Millennium Development Goals.
In general the United States has a very high standard of living, although wealth is not evenly distributed. Poverty exists in many pockets of the country, but that poverty is generally not as extreme as the poverty that exists in other countries around the world. In 2000 the United Nations (UN), an organization to which many UUs feel closely aligned, set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for the world to reach by 2015. The goals are:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
From the website, you can print out the latest progress report. The 2007 Progress Chart not only reports how close different regions are to attaining specific goals; it also uses color-coding to project the possibility of attaining the goal by 2015. Review the progress report. Which goals are faring poorly? Which ones seem attainable?
If you have access to a computer with an Internet connection, you can download Google Earth and the MDG Monitor, which tracks the goal.
Ask how many youth were aware of these goals before today. Ask how many think adults in their congregation are aware of the MDGs? Invite participants to help educate the congregation on the MDGs. Several ideas for ways to do this include:
- Conduct a survey asking adults to identify the eight goals in a list of a dozen. List the goals on the back of the survey, along with websites that adults can visit in order to learn more and help.
- After a Sunday service, set up a computer in the entrance area of your congregation's meeting place and display the MDG tracker. To attract people to view the monitor, place an array of international snacks on the table with the computer. Prepare handouts that list the goals and ways to help.
- As a reminder, distribute a list of the goals to people in your congregation. You can design and laminate bookmarks that feature the goals. You can also order wallet cards from Augsburg Fortress that present the goals and information about the ONE Campaign to end hunger. NOTE: Augsburg Fortress is an Evangelical Lutheran publishing house, and the wallet card says "Become a ONE Lutheran" on one side and lists the website for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).
- Design a worship service, or part of a service, that focuses on the concept of One World. See Leader Resource 1, One World Worship Service Ideas for suggestions.
Any of the suggestions above will work just as well in the community outside your congregation. Brainstorm places at which to disperse MDG information; a school fair, community health fairs, and Earth Day celebrations are a few possibilities. Bear in mind, however, that if you distribute the wallet card, recipients outside your congregation might think you represent the ELCA. If you want to distribute the cards at a community event, consider inviting an Evangelical Lutheran Church to co-host the activity and make an interfaith connection.