17 May Not Just Problems – But Solutions!
May 17, 2012
Not Just Problems – But Solutions!
How do you solve the problem of poverty and hunger without considering the role of the family? How do you achieve education of all the world’s children without considering the involvement of parents? How do you reduce child mortality without recognizing the crucial role of mothers, fathers and families? How do you combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases without the day to day involvement, teaching, and caring of committed parents and family members?
Those were the questions running through the mind of Susan Roylance as world leaders gather at UN back in the fall of 2010 to discuss how the Millennium Development Goals had progressed over the last decade. What Roylance found was that there was not a single mention of “the family” in the entire 32-page outcome document. Oh, there was plenty of mention of the importance of “family planning,” but not a word about how the family could be engaged in solving what the international community had identified as the world’s most pressing problems.
From Susan’s frustration and the understanding that the world needed to have a paradigm shift, the idea for a book was born. At the UN in New York, on Monday, May 14, the book became a reality. “Using Family Capital to Achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals” was presented to government representatives, non-governmental organizations and other policy makers.
A major goal of the book is to change the perspective of policy makers who often view families as “takers” – units requiring intense funding and oversight – rather than the facilitators of positive things and major contributors to the community that they actually are.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, explains the contributions of this new book:
“I am pleased to introduce this book, which explores how the substantial resources generated within the family – or family capital – can be harnessed to achieve the well-defined and specific objectives of the MDGs. Within the pages of this book, both philosophical and practical suggestions are given to recognize and facilitate the participation of family units through the world in meeting the Millennium Goals.”
This book is about solutions and best practices. It has great potential to redirect and change the international dialogue and it was sponsored by the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (Qatar) with United Families International playing a role as a facilitator and editorial involvement. UFI was also pleased that Stay Alive, a program we founded, was prominently mentioned among the list of effective, family-centered strategies that can work to protect populations from HIV/AIDS.
We thought we’d take this opportunity to share the basics of the “MDGS” – the framework that has been the centerpiece of much international work (and funding) over the last 12 years. In 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This pledge became the eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. The eight goals are:
1.Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
7. Increase environmental sustainability
8. Promote global partnerships
As United Families International works at the UN – and as we regularly report to you – we find that that the intact, natural family is ignored at best and is subject to attempts to destroy at worst. We are grateful for efforts like this book that shine the light on the crucial nature of the family and the contributions it has made since the dawn of time to building strong communities and cultures and providing a pathway to the future. We at UFI are thrilled to have been a part and will be a key player in the distribution of the book going forward. The world needs this information! If you know of a key policy maker or academic institutions that need a copy of this book, please contact us.
I’ll close with a couple of quotes from the book:
“Development, therefore, is empowerment: it is about local people taking control of their own lives, expressing their own concerns and finding their own solutions to their problems. As we empower families with additional resources and education to break through the poverty barrier, we lift generations to come.” – Jastus Suchi Obadiah
“The policies, promises and pledges pursued by the United Nations have focused more on goals and targets than people, families, and integral human development. Yet the family, as the basic unit of society, is key to development.” – Vincenzina Santoro
President, United Families International
***One last reminder that it is not too late to plan to attend the World Congress of Families to be held in Madrid, Spain, May 25-27th. UFI will be there and you can find out how you can be a part of this exciting event by going here.